The line has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump's 'Make America great again' tagline
While Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speeches have been widely criticised on both side of the Atlantic as well as the political spectrum, with the news that he has taken a lead in the polls for the first time, the message of “Make America great again” is clearly getting through. What damage, if any, will the catchphrase’s association with the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini have, then?
Video of Il Duce appearing in one of the first ever picture and sound newsreels made by the Fox News Service in March 1929 has been uncovered by The Washington Post. The broadcast, which played out before the FW Murnau film Sunrise, marked one of the first ever sight-and-sound news broadcasts, produced by the company that would later on become 20th Century Fox.
Addressing the camera in English, Mussolini offers some timely words of advice to the 1.8m Italian nationals making a new home in the United States. “I greet with wonderful energy the American people and I see and recognise among you the salt of your land, as well as ours, my fellow citizens who are working to make America great.”
Mussolini would later go on to embrace fascism as a political ideology, aligning with Hitler’s Third Reich in an attempt to redefine world history during the Second World War.
While it’s highly unlikely that Trump and his marketing team knew of Mussolini’s use of the majority of his presidential catchphrase, it does call to mind a ruthless demagogue who seized power to the detriment of millions.
You can watch Mussolini’s newsreel in full below: