A Short History of ‘America First’


A Short History of ‘America First’

The phrase used by President Trump has been linked to anti-Semitism during World War II.

By Krishnadev Calamur | January 21, 2017

President Trump’s speech Friday will go down as one of the shorter inaugural addresses, but it will also be remembered for its populist and often dark tone.

“From this day forward,” Trump said at one point, “it’s going to be only America first. America first.”

Trump appears to have first used the phrase last March in an interview with The New York Times when he denied he was an isolationist. “I’m not isolationist, but I am ‘America First,’” he said. “So I like the expression. I’m ‘America First.’”

Trump insisted publicly that he wrote his own speech, going as far as to tweet a picture of himself  holding a pen and piece of paper in his hotel at Mar-A-Lago. But as The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, Trump’s speech was at least in part written by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, two of Trump’s senior advisers. Bannon, as has been widely reported, was previously CEO of Breitbart, the conservative news site that he’s described as a platform for the alt-right, a movement that combines elements of white nationalism and economic populism.

“I don’t think we’ve had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House,” Bannon told the Journal. “It’s got a deep root of patriotism.” …

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