‘Wonder Woman’ Star Chris Pine Asks If ‘Make America Great Again’ Means ‘Jim Crow, Slavery’
Actor Chris Pine asked if President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” means the era of “Jim Crow” or “slavery.”
Chris Pine was participating Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series of interviews, an excerpt of which was published on Friday. Interviewing with House of Cards star Robin Wright, Pine jumped in when Wright was talking about the political atmosphere behind her Netflix series House of Cards.
“House of Cards is obviously so reflective of the political world in which we live. Is it hard to live in that space for four to seven months a year?” Pine asked Wright.
Wright replied that it was “hard to face” that they were “actually doing reality” and not just fiction with House of Cards, even as they began filming the first season the year before Donald Trump ran for president.
Wright added that maybe politics in every country is like the way they depicted things on her show.
“But I think that is how it’s always worked, maybe in every country,” she said. “It is this theory of ‘Let’s do a little bit of bad to get a little bit of good done.’”
But that brought Pine to wonder about Trump’s “MAGA” campaign phrase. “I always think this idea of like ‘Make America Great Again…’” he said before being interrupted by Wright who said, “Didn’t he steal that from Reagan anyway?”
But Pine then added that he wondered if Trump’s slogan was sensible and asked if America was ever that great by pointing out the U.S. had Jim Crow and Slavery.
“Also, what period of history are we talking about? Jim Crow, slavery? I’m not quite sure what. This is not to hate on the country in which I live, which I love dearly, but we’ve had problems forever.”
“He should have finished the sentence as ‘Make America great again since dot-dot-dot,’” Wright added.
Both actors are seemingly uninformed about American history, though. The essential concept of Trump’s MAGA slogan has been a common theme throughout U.S. history. Yes, Ronald Reagan had his “it’s morning in America again” in 1984, and his 1980 campaign slogan was “Let’s make America great again.” But Reagan and Trump were not alone in looking to return America to some former level of greatness.
For instance, Warren G. Harding campaigned with a slogan of a “return to normalcy” after the chaos of WWI. But there were other similar slogans. Lincoln campaigned to save America’s constitution (and thereby return to the “real” America), Benjamin Harrison ran to “rejuvenate” things, Charles Evans Hughes ran with an “America First” slogan (as did Harding a few years later), and Pat Buchanan also chanted “America first” in 1992. Then, in 2012, Ron Paul wanted to “Restore America Now.” Even left-wing John Kerry ran on the slogan of “Let America Be America Again.” And during his 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton said it was time to “make America great again.”