Donald Trump perhaps broke a record for aggrandizement on Monday, when he referred to his “great and unmatched wisdom” following his decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.
Trump is no stranger to grandiose, narcissistic statements. He has frequently referred to himself as a “very stable genius” – and not tongue-in-cheek. He actually did so recently, in reference to his controversial phone call to the Ukraine president, Volodmyr Zelenskiy, which sparked an impeachment inquiry into him.
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
On Monday afternoon, following the great-and-unmatched-wisdom-gate, Twitter users were moved to draw comparisons between Trump and other authoritarian leaders who have bigged themselves up. We’ve picked out the best ones.
1. Muammar Gaddafi
NBC correspondent Richard Engel made the observation that Trump sounds a lot like the late Libyan leader:
“I, in my great and unmatched wisdom,… ?” Who talks or writes like this? The closest i can come up with was Qaddafi.
Not Mubarak. Or Ben Ali. Or Assad, let alone any European leader. Really can’t remember a current or recent example. https://t.co/EkOKJuw2F3
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) October 7, 2019
In March 2009, Gaddafi stormed out of a crowded summit in Qatar. He was quoted in the Scotsman as saying: “I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims. My international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level.”
2. The Wizard of Oz
Keen observers quickly cottoned on that there was something familiar about Trump’s phrase “in my great and unmatched wisdom” – and then they realised it sounded strikingly similar to the “great and powerful” Wizard of Oz.
One Twitter user thought the president might do well to remember how the story ended for the man behind the curtain.
— Lori Wade (@loridwade) October 7, 2019
Another person, Andy Zahn, pointed out they look similar, too.
"I, in my great and unmatched wisdom"
It is apt indeed to compare Trump to the Wizard of Oz – both are old men who lied and cheated their way into positions of power.
— Andy Zahn (@NakMakFeegle) October 7, 2019
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic poem, published in 1818, contains the line: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings!”
After reading Trump’s Tweet about his own “great and unmatched wisdom”, I was reminded yet again of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” for no particular reason. pic.twitter.com/G59K0arIZu
— Brian Stack (@BrianStack153) October 7, 2019
Are we missing anyone?