Can you impeach the country? No. But Donald Trump is daring Democrats and anyone else to try.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
Before Trump posted the meme this morning and made it his pinned tweet later in the day, it had already made the rounds on Twitter. Like most Trump tweets, it’s attracted hundreds of replies clowning Trump’s foolishness. There’s plenty to point out with this meme alone, like the fact that the map is inaccurate or that American land doesn’t vote. But one response from Trump repliers is a bit more puzzling.
This is Nixon’s map from 1972. The rest is history. pic.twitter.com/lNmB7gQK6b
— CHIDI®️ (@ChidiNwatu) October 1, 2019
Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. The idea is that Trump, with his similar-looking electoral map, will meet a similar-looking fate. After all, he’s as corrupt and crooked as Nixon was (and probably more so). Why not find another reason to compare the two?
But Nixon won the popular vote by more than 18 million votes in 1972; Trump lost it by roughly 3 million in 2016. Comparing him to Nixon in this regard is tacitly conceding he’s as popular as Nixon was. What’s meant to be a funny Twitter dunk turns into a glaring self-own. It gives Trump the credit and implied popularity he wishes he has, especially at a time like this.
The reply also wrongly implies there’s even a remote chance of Trump’s impeachment or resignation. Despite excited reports, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said the Senate will hold an impeachment trial should it pass the house. And if you’ve got the full support of the majority party, why quit? Why worry at all?
Trump’s meme tweeting isn’t a show of strength. It signals retreat into the only thing Trump can rely on—his base. Their perceived persecution and love for his fake tough guy act will sustain him through impeachment proceedings. And comparisons to Nixon might too.