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

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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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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