Ivanka Trump Misquoted Socrates And Twitter Is Having a Blast
In a swiftly deleted tweet, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser posted a quote she attributed to the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.
But it turns out, Ivanka Trump doesn’t know her Aristotle from her Plato. Or Socrates, for that matter.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new,” Trump tweeted, citing Socrates.
And she was half-right. The quote does come from a Socrates—but not the ancient Athenian philosopher that we all know and love who died in 399 BC.
According to Quote Investigator, that quote comes from a gas station attendant called Socrates in a fictionalized memoir written by former American gymnast Dan Millman and published in 1980.
It’s a self-help book called Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives.
“The book was a fictionalized memoir that explored the physical and mental challenges Millman faced in his early life and the spiritual growth he experienced,” Quote Investigator says.
“The main catalyst of his spiritual journey was an attendant at an all-night gas station who became his mentor in 1966. Millman gave this enlightened counselor the nickname ‘Socrates’, and the quotation above was spoken by the modern fictionalized character and not the ancient Socrates.”
After deleting the tweet, Trump tried to clean up her gaffe by posting it again—with an important clarification. This time, she attributed the quote to “Socrates (note: a fictional character not the philosopher).”
Twitter still had a field day with it:
— ✨𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕝𝕖𝕪 𝕝𝕪𝕟𝕟✨ (@_ashlynn_b) October 16, 2018
Well, here is a Quote from the real Socrates. PLEASE SHOW THIS TO YOUR DADDY !! pic.twitter.com/m3Uz8pkeoP
— Snarky Snowflake 🌊 (@edizzle1980) October 16, 2018
–Socrates stumbling across this philosophical gem pic.twitter.com/249MYXDoUq
— B, (@pwnedlib) October 16, 2018
Confucius say: A woman who steals designs & uses children to manufacture stolen designs is a Trump who has no moral ground to stand on. (not a real quote)
Confucius say: “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” (real quote)
— Jane L. (@JLustwerk) October 16, 2018
— Jason Prasad (@PrasadJason) October 16, 2018