As journalist Aaron Rupar pointed out, the announcement was so left-field that the first reaction among those in attendance was giggles.
Trump's announcement that he's pardoning Susan B. Anthony is met with laughter pic.twitter.com/ycIFtFtQOQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 18, 2020
Although Anthony is a key figure in American history, The New York Times points out that she is considered an “increasingly divisive figure” who was “adopted by anti-abortion forces and criticized for relegating Black suffragists to the sidelines.”
Many Twitter users thought the president should be focused on more pressing needs.
So, the president, who undermines confidence in elections by predicting massive voter fraud announces he will pardon Susan B. Anthony, who was convicted for voting illegally, which spurred the eventual passing of the 19th Amendment? OK. Got it.
— Full Dissident (@hbryant42) August 18, 2020
The “pardon” of Susan B. Anthony is classic Trump. Instead of actually DOING something to address problems like everything related to the pandemic or fixing the Postal Service, he makes a gesture that commands a sliver of the news cycle. pic.twitter.com/T67P2zAvYU
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 18, 2020
Some thought it was simply an empty gesture.
Why does anyone care that Trump is going to pardon Susan B Anthony?She died in 1906, she didn't support the right for black women to vote, and we all know if she was a live today, Trump would be happy to grab her by the pussy.
— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) August 18, 2020
Susan B. Anthony doesn’t need a man to pardon her. 💅 https://t.co/1l1jbdPlTE
— Lauren Reeves (@laurenreeves) August 18, 2020
Others thought Trump was insulting the intelligence of women voters.
— Maureen McFadden (@MMcFaddenTV) August 18, 2020
So gracious of Trump, condescending to"pardon" Susan B Anthony .. am sure women all over America will be deeply grateful. Which genius in WH thought this stunt up? Dept of Tin Ear? Or Dpt of 2 Corinthians who brought us the Bible moment?
— Simon Schama (@simon_schama) August 18, 2020
Just as the GOP's manipulation of a Kanye West candidacy shows they think Black people are stupid, Trump pardoning long-dead Susan B. Anthony for political gain shows he (still) believes women are dumb
— David Lazarus (@Davidlaz) August 18, 2020
Still, some people couldn’t help but imagine how the decision to pardon Anthony came about.
Frederick Douglass did a great job lobbying for Susan B Anthony’s pardon.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) August 18, 2020
Ivanka told Father-Employer that Early Shift Maid says "housewives" would go wild for a pardon for Susan B. Anthony. Jared told Father-In-Law-Employer that this actually came from a substitute maid the agency sent over while she's on unpaid leave, but they look alike.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 18, 2020
One woman pointed out that pardoning a woman for illegally voting in 1872 isn’t as important as ensuring equitable voting rules in 2020.
As Trump posthumously pardons Susan B. Anthony — who's constantly lionized as Black suffragists are rendered invisible — I think of Lanisha Brachter and Crystal Mason, Black women who face prison time *right now* for voting mistakes.https://t.co/NpAix5jMRA
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) August 18, 2020
One guy predicted Trump would quickly regret his decision to pardon Anthony.
I give it 24 hours before Trump starts complaining that Susan B. Anthony still hasn't thanked him for the pardon.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) August 18, 2020 testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today!No thanks. Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost