Louis XIV almost certainly never said it. The phrase was attributed to him by his enemies precisely because it would have been an outrageous thing even to think. The words are still easily recognized today.
L’Etat, c’est moi
I am the nation
When we hear modern echoes identifying an individual with the state, no matter how faint those echoes, we still take notice.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus did not see much in Donald Trump’s State of the Union to applaud. So they didn’t.
Donald Trump reacted:
…even on positive news, really positive news like that — they were like death. And un-American. Un-American.
Failing to applaud my President is an insult to more than a mere individual. It is an insult to America.
I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.
As it turns out, those African Americans, those Democratic members of Congress, were worse than un-American.
Can we call that treason?
The boisterous presentation, and the crowd reaction, may suggest the President was joking.
Of course. Or half joking. Or some other fraction.
He was not joking a few weeks before when, during a break from a golf outing, he spoke about the ongoing investigation into possible campaign conspiracies with Russia. He seemed explicitly to identify himself as a personification of the country. Any investigation into his own possible wrongdoing hurts, not him, but America itself. Here are his words: