Brow Beat

Jon Voight Thinks Donald Trump Is “The Greatest President Since Abraham Lincoln”

Jon Voight attends the InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party, 2019.
Jon Voight attending a party, presumably somewhere deep in Real America. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Academy-Award-winning actor Jon Voight addressed the nation via Twitter on Friday, posting two videos of a brief speech in which he asserted that Donald Trump “has made his every move correct” and “is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”

It was unclear what prompted Voight, long associated with conservative causes, to share his thoughts about President Trump at this particular moment; the actor is an infrequent social media user who has posted only seventeen tweets since joining Twitter in 2016, eight of which were from the day after Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” tape leaked. (Voight suggested that people should instead be angry about Robert De Niro saying he’d like to punch Trump in the face, and added that Trump-style bragging about sexual assault was commonplace.) Here are Jon Voight’s latest contributions to our nation’s political discourse:

On the one hand, this is just another dull chapter in Voight’s reinvention as a right-wing crackpot. Previous installments include a blurry portrait-mode video in which Voight, who in 2009 urged Republicans to “bring an end to this false prophet, Obama” argues that all Americans should support “our president”; a bizarre tribute to Laura Ingraham, and his role as George Washington in An American Carol. But his masterpiece is “Jon Voight’s plea to save America,” a YouTube video posted a few days after the Access Hollywood tape in which Voight spreads lies and antisemitic tropes about George Soros, warns about an incoming tide of refugees unless Trump is elected president, and explains that “the pendulum of freedom is not balanced,” whatever that means:

So: more garbage from a garbage broker. But what Voight is actually saying in this week’s address is fascinating, and not just in a social media trainwreck sort of way. (To be clear, it’s also fascinating in a social media trainwreck sort of way: Why are there two separate videos? Why aren’t they threaded?) The first thing that stands out is the faux-formality. Ideally, the only time you should behave as though you are giving a State of the Union address is when you have been asked by congress to deliver an address on the state of the union. Nevertheless, Voight loads up his letter-to-the-editor ramblings with phrases like “my fellow Americans” and “God Bless America” in the hopes of adding a little gravitas to what are essentially Leave Britney Alone videos. But there’s something slightly more sinister at work: Look how unthinkingly Voight flips back and forth between “my fellow Americans,” “the people of this nation” and “people of the Republican party.” The conservative movement spent the aughts trying to define “real America” as white, rich, rural, and Republican—but they had to actually make that claim, or at least dog whistle about it, not just conflate categories. But at this point in the conservative campaign to delegitimize all political opposition, Voight can flip back and forth at will, confident that his fellow Americans will understand. Things are getting slippery.

Here is the complete text of the first part of Jon Voight’s address to the nation:

People of the Republican party: I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy, for he’s battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I’ve said this once and I’ll say this again, that our nation has been built on the solid ground of our forefathers. And there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I’m here today to acknowledge the truth. And I’m here today to tell you, my fellow Americans, that our country …

And here is the complete text of the second half of Jon Voight’s address to the nation:

… country is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our president has made his every move correct. Don’t be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth: that President Trump is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. God bless America. And may God continue to guide this nation. Much love.