Today marks a political milestone: Twenty-six years ago today, Bill Clinton declared he was running for president in Little Rock, Arkansas.
It was a providential moment, for more ways than one. Not only would Bill Clinton eventually find his way into the White House, but he would use a phrase that a future candidate would utilize to also win the presidency.
Do you see what it is? Look very closely at the third paragraph below:
Promising to "make America great again," Bill Clinton declared his presidential candidacy 26 years ago today in Little Rock: pic.twitter.com/YXvzbeOLq2
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) October 3, 2017
“Together we can make America great again…”
Well, there you have it. Clinton said it nearly three decades before President Trump popularized the slogan, and branded his best-selling hats with it.
Of course, Clinton was not the first politician to use the now-iconic phrase. Ronald Reagan was also fond of it.
I believe Reagan also used the slogan in 1980. https://t.co/oR3Rr1zWPZ
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 3, 2017
What makes Clinton’s use of the MAGA slogan interesting is how liberals reacted to it when then-candidate Trump said it during the campaign. When Trump said he wanted to “make America great again,” liberals treated it like a dog-whistle, summoning his wily band of racist supporters.
A writer for the Huffington Post called it “racist nostalgia.” One college student said that Trump’s slogan was no better than calling for a return of slavery. A teacher even compared the tagline to a Nazi swastika.
Do you think any of these clueless liberals thought “Make America Great Again” was a racist, Nazi slogan when Bill Clinton used it? Of course not. Critics of Trump’s MAGA line are only looking for an excuse to tear Trump down. They’re political opportunists, and ineffectual ones at that.
And, as history showed us, presidents who promise to restore America don’t always succeed. Bill Clinton tried to force his liberal vision upon American (remember Hillarycare?) but Newt Gingrich and congressional Republicans fought back, putting the brakes on his progressive takeover.
Thankfully, we now have a president who is truly working to “make America great again.”
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