“Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote unquote own the libs,” President Trump’s Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently asked a crowd of high schoolers. Most of the teens in the audience raised their hands, then exploded into uproarious applause. “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good,” Haley continued, “But step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?”
It would be ironic for a Trump official to admonish the youth for inflammatory political tactics if irony hadn’t died in 2016. But with Haley’s utterance of the phrase IRL, the concept of “owning the libs” officially went mainstream.
To “own” someone on the internet is to dominate and humiliate them, and the “libs” can loosely be defined as anyone to the left of Sean Hannity. If you hate yourself enough to read political commentary all day on Twitter dot com, you already know that “owning the libs” is an often-sung refrain.
After the president called Kim Jong-un a “smart” and “funny guy” with a “great personality,” conservative commentator Rick Wilson jokingly tweeted.