Where did Donald Trump’s America First slogan come from? Sinister history of President’s buzz phrase is revealed

Donald Trump’s catchphrase ‘America First’ is not something he coined himself.

The new US president has repeatedly uttered the slogan as part of his policy focus on putting the interests of his country above all else. But history reveals the phrase has a dark history.

Trump said in his inauguration speech: “From this day forward it’s going to be only America first. America first.” Historian Susan Dunn has highlights the phrase’s disturbing roots in American fascism.

Donald Trump has used the phrase but he did not coin it

The America First Committee was founded in 1940 and opposed US involvement in World War II. It had 800,000 members across the country – but that included the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford and Avery Brundage. Former US Olympic Committee chairman Brundage once banned two Jewish runners from participating in relay final and he was removed from the committee alongside Ford. But that did not stop allegations of anti-Semitism after a speech given by one of the AFC’s most famous spokesmen Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh (left) was a member of the America First Committee
Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, (left), with R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., National Director, when the flyer enrolled in Chicago as a member of the America First Committee

He suggested in 1941 that Jews should be opposing the war “in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences”. Lindbergh continued: “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.”

The speech was labeled anti-Semitic with New York Times columnist Dorothy Thompson accusing him of being “pro-Nazi”. Decades later in 2000, the phrase was used by Pat Buchanan as a slogan for his Reform Party presidential run – but he was branded a “Hitler lover” by Trump who was seeking the nomination himself at the time.

NPR’s Ron Elving said: “Assuming he is aware of at least some of that history, Trump is demonstrating his confidence that his adoption of a phrase can supersede its past.”

Ku Klux Klan stages an ‘America First’ parade in New York in the 1920s

Related posts

Long-awaited justice in cop’s killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson, whose death helped spark Alabama civil rights marches


Five Things to Know About the Descendants of Cherokee’s Black Slaves


The KKK started a branch just for women in the 1920s, and half a million joined


The Forgotten Girls Who Left the South and Changed History