Donald Trump hasn’t even been sworn in as president, and he’s already thinking about his re-election campaign four years from now. But someone might want to tell him that his plans for the next wave of his signature red caps include a slogan already used by a horror movie.
In an interview with The Washington Post, the incoming president discussed the origins of his now ubiquitous campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” In the middle of the interview, he said without being asked that he had already come up with the slogan he will be using in 2020: “Keep America Great.” After announcing it, he called for his lawyer.
“Will you trademark and register, if you would, if you like it — I think I like it, right? Do this: ‘Keep America Great,’ with an exclamation point,” he told his lawyer. “With and without an exclamation. ‘Keep America Great,’ ” Trump said.
But “Keep America Great” has already been used by a movie that was made partly in response to his campaign: “The Purge: Election Year.”
“Election Year” is the third in the “Purge” horror movie series, which centers around an alternate America where on one night every year all crimes are made legal for 12 hours. The so-called Purge, which was created by the zealous political party New Founding Fathers, has dropped annual crime rates to an all-time low. However, it has left millions of Americans cowering in fear of violent masked gangs and ultra-rich billionaires who indiscriminately hunt civilians on Purge Night for sport.
“Election Year” features a young U.S. senator whose family was killed by The Purge when she was a child and who now seeks to end the night of bloodshed. The New Founding Fathers want to stop her, so they set up a trap for her so she is left vulnerable to the violence on Purge Night, forcing a resistance group to protect her as Purge supporters seek to hunt her down and end the threat to their bloody passion.
And in the trailers and tv spots for this nightmarish film, the tagline reads “This July 4th…Keep America Great.”
While that phrase was created in the film’s marketing materials as a direct reference to Trump’s then-ongoing campaign, the movie itself doesn’t include the slogan. (The script was written in 2014, well before Trump even announced that he was running for president.)
“I always wanted to tell a political conspiracy thriller for the third one,” said director James DeMonaco in an interview with The Latin Post. “Naturally it was going to be a senator who was running for president and yeah back then Trump wasn’t even on board. My producer always says I was telling the future because I had no idea.”