Donald Trump threw some fresh chum into the water to get his critics circling on Twitter Saturday morning. The president tweeted a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote from a New York Times analysis that read :
Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, ‘you must kill him.’ Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down.
Commenting on the Democrats’ failed impeachment effort, the Times’ political analyst concludes:
His acquittal in the Senate assured, the emboldened president will take his victory and grievance to the campaign trail, no longer worried about congressional constraint.
There’s little doubt Trump enjoyed being compared to a king in the newspaper of record:
But many of the president’s opponents on Woke Twitter seemed to take the tweet as a serious suggestion by Donald Trump that he is a literal king.
One of the most popular anti-Trump Twitter users out there is “Brooklyn Dad.” He’s a frequent tweeter on #TheResistance and #BlueWave2020 hashtags with just shy of 400,000 followers.
He took Donald Trump’s Emerson quote painfully literally, replying that Democrats couldn’t kill the king because “Murder is illegal.”
But all of the outrage seems misdirected.
After all, it wasn’t the president who made the comparison in regard to himself. It was a New York Times analyst. Trump merely passed the comparison along.
And there’s no suggestion that Trump is literally a king. It’s a metaphor.
One can imagine Donald Trump tweeting that he self-funded his campaign, which makes him independent of moneyed interests, because, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” And all of his haters flaming him on Twitter: “YOU ARE NOT A MUSICIAN.”
Donald Trump may not be a literal king, but he sure is the king of enlisting his political opponents to turn his molehills into mountains for him.
As in the case of this morning’s king tweet, that often involves Trump haters (willfully?) misconstruing his remarks. Or exaggerating their significance or malevolence.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson also once said:
To be great is to be misunderstood.
By that definition of greatness, Donald Trump may be one of the greatest presidents in American history . His comments are so often misunderstood or twisted out of context.
Trump seems to be fine with that, even going out of his way to encourage it. Because the more Democrats advertise how much the president annoys them on social media, the more that endears him to his base and energizes them to vote for him.
His most passionate opponents are, in a sense, Trump’s biggest supporters and fans. They talk about him and promote him non-stop. Like a plane taking off against the wind, he soared to the White House against #TheResistance of all his “fan-emies.”