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Ivanka Just Mis-Attributed a Quote to Socrates on Twitter, and People Can't Stop Mocking Her

Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks during an Axios360 News Shapers event August 2, 2018 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images).

The aim of the Socratic Method is to explore a subject's true nature through acknowledging one's own ignorance and seeking knowledge through the continuous asking of questions.

And questions were just what people had when first daughter and presidential advisor Ivanka Trump, attributed a quote to the method's creator, Socrates, tweeting:


"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

While Ms. Trump cited famous Greek philosopher Socrates, the quote actually comes from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives, a 1980 fictionalized memoir by gymnast Dan Millman. To Ms. Trump's credit, a character named Socrates - who works as a wise gas station attendant - does give the aforementioned guidance to one of the characters in the book.

Twitter users quickly corrected her.

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After deleting the original tweet, Ms. Trump reposted it with further clarification.

But the damage was already done.

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And Twitter users weren't done yet.

The real Socrates was executed as his hometown of Athens was recovering from the Greeks' loss of the Peloponnesian war. The loss created a national identity crisis, and Athens became fixated with its past, with superficial beauty, and with riches (sound familiar?), though Socrates insisted glory could better be reached through cultivation of the mind.

When Ms. Trump misattributed the quote, many began pointing out that the infamous Trump values are more in opposition to Socratic values than congruent to them. They used actual Socrates quotes to do so.

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Some reminded her of the very ideas that led to Socrates's execution.

While it's hardly the first - or worst - misstep from a Trump when it comes to using words, we're willing to bet Ivanka wishes she'd done a little more research before citing one of the most famous philosophers of all time.