Donald Trump has officially taken the oath and was sworn in as the 45th President Of The United States. That has happened. Even before his term started, he was already thinking about the future. New policies, a promise of returning the country to the people, and, of course, catchphrases. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, President Trump spoke about how his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” came to be.
According to Trump, the phrase was conceived back in 2012 after witnessing Mitt Romney lose the race to President Obama. As Trump sat in his office atop his tower, overlooking the bustling New York City streets below, he brainstormed what would become the words that would set the tone for his entire campaign. After a few misses, he landed on “Make America Great Again” and moved at once to have the phrase registered and trademarked -- because that’s just what business folks do.
As everyone knows, the slogan was printed everything bearing the Trump name, most notably on the millions of red trucker caps that sold. It was the work of “marketing genius” and a team of lawyers that got the job done. Being the business-minded person that he is, Trump hasn’t stopped there. During the Washington Post interview, the new President had an “A-ha!” moment when he came up with the slogan for his next campaign in 2020. He paused the interview to instruct his lawyer to get to work securing the trademark, as illustrated in this excerpt:
Halfway through his interview…Trump shared a bit of news: He already has decided on his slogan for a reelection bid in 2020.
“Are you ready?” he said. “‘Keep America Great,’ exclamation point.”
“Get me my lawyer!” the president-elect shouted.
Two minutes later, one arrived.
“Will you trademark and register, if you would, if you like it -- I think I like it, right? Do this: ‘Keep America Great,’ with an exclamation point. With and without an exclamation. ‘Keep America Great,’” Trump said.
“Got it,” the lawyer replied.
“Keep America Great!” sounds like the sequel to his original slogan, right? Sure, but the problem is that it already belongs to the creators of The Purge: Election Year. It’s eerie to think that Trump came up with a slogan already being used in a violent horror movie because the parallels are so specific to political themes. The movie takes place in 2040, ruled by an ultra-conservative totalitarian authority, with the motto “Keep America Great” being the central chant promoting the cleansing of the population. This wouldn’t be nearly as big of a deal if it didn’t seem as though life were imitating art, at least in some form. Trump using this slogan may not happen, but we shall see. As it stands, the creators of The Purge films do own the original phrase. It is unclear if they own the version with the exclamation point.
In the same vein of questionable phrasing from movies, people watching the Presidential Inauguration speech noticed another parallel between the words that Trump used and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. Although not entirely exact, there is no denying that the similarities exist in the manner the words are spoken. Trump addressed, “and giving it back to you, the people.” In Bane’s Blackgate Prison speech, the character bellows, “and we give it back to you, the people.” Again, there are subtle differences in the phrasing, and most people probably would not have noticed if the majority of citizens had a feeling of joy and safety under the leadership of President Trump.
Below are the videos for comparison.
Bane says the phrase at about 2:05 in this clip:
Here is the footage of Trump's inauguration speech. The quote also, strangely, can be found at the 2:05 mark:
Coincidence or not, we are living in a pretty volatile time in United States history. While things seem sinister lately, one thing we can always do is laugh. In the words of Roger Rabbit (and not from Trump): “A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have.”