Donald Trump Did Not Coin the Phrase “Make America Great Again”

Sad.

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Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but President Donald Trump isn’t in the habit of paying respects to his forebears.

No one is debating the “magnificence” of the president’s catchphrase. We’re just saying he didn’t coin it. Ronald Reagan used the phrase “let’s make America great again” in his 1980 presidential campaign. “But he didn’t trademark it,” the Washington Post quotes Trump as saying. A regular businessman, Trump trademarked the phrase in 2012. “I think I’m somebody that understands marketing,” he said.

So, no, “Make America Great Again” was not “made up by” Trump. The only thing that was made up by him was the notion that he invented the phrase.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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