Trump’s demand that US companies boycott China, which he doesn’t have the power to enforce, inspired responses on Twitter

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It’s was just another weird day under the Trump administration. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Leaning further into a burgeoning economic war with China of his own design, Donald Trump on Friday levied a series of bizarre demands of American companies who do business in the country.

They included an order for American firms to cease production in China.

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

The proclamation, which the president does not have the power to enforce, might have been expected to unleash a wave of panic and terror among America’s mostly capitalist citizenry – such state-mandated orders are, after all, the stuff of planned-economy communist countries.

But instead, America’s Twitter-sphere resorted mainly to mocking Trump and his rhetorical flourishes. Soon “I hereby order” was taking on a life of its own: from top politicians down to the man-in-the-street Twitter inhabitant.

Adam Schiff

@RepAdamSchiff

As long as we are claiming constitutional powers we don’t have, I hereby order the President to stop tweeting.

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Congressman Adam Schiff, a frequent critic of Trump, was among the many on Twitter to make light of the concept of issuing decrees via tweet as if one were an all powerful wizard (or monarch).

Daniel Dale

@ddale8

Trump likes to say “hereby” when he is making an order that he has no power to make.

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Chris Hayes

@chrislhayes

It’s so cute he threw in “hereby” as if it means anything.

“I hereby order the Cubs to win their next 20 games.”

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Patrick Monahan

@pattymo

I hereby order the Stock Market to go up and our Great Economy to do even better!

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Rep. Eric Swalwell

@RepSwalwell

Fun fact: #iherebyorder is socialism.

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George Conway, another regular opponent, urged others to pile on, starting the hashtag #iherebyorder on Friday afternoon.

George Conway@gtconway3d

I hereby order everyone on Twitter to hereby order something. #Iherebyorder

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 · Alpine, NJ
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Like others, he also took the opportunity to shift the focus to the state of Trump’s alleged deteriorating mental health.

George Conway@gtconway3d

I hereby order Republicans to get real about Trump’s mental state.#Iherebyorder https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1164935837785776129 

George Conway@gtconway3d

Republicans need to face up to the fact that the President of the United States is mentally unstable and psychologically unfit. And it’s only going to get worse.

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 · Alpine, NJ
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Curiously, but perhaps unsurprisingly considering this is the internet, more than a few people used the developing meme as a chance to post pictures and videos of dogs.

Steve Schale

@steveschale

We hereby order you give us treats!

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 · Tallahassee, FL
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Josh Jordan

@NumbersMuncher

I hereby order all of you to RT this gif because it’s awesome.

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Some even took the idea that there could be actual thought and intent behind the president’s words seriously.

Bobby Chesney(@BobbyChesney)

A president cannot simply “hereby order” American companies to act as he directs. That said…look out for the possibility of a presidential declaration of, that’s right, a “national emergency” with respect to trade and China, opening the door for him to use… https://t.co/oWEhe0tHyV

August 23, 2019

In short, it was simply another weird day under the Trump administration, during a week in which he has already called himself “The Chosen One” and picked a fight with Denmark because of its refusal to consider selling him Greenland.

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