Donald Trump created a media uproar this week by Retweeting a quote from Nazi-affiliated dictator Benito Mussolini. Trump defended the tweet by saying that it was an interesting quote intended to stimulate conversation. Indeed, it was an interesting quote that most activists would actually agree with, so it was merely the source of the quote, not the content that created controversy.
The quote was, “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016
Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Trump said, “Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. And I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else? It’s certainly a very interesting quote. That’s probably why I have between Facebook and Twitter 14 million people when other people don’t.”
Trump had actually fallen into a trap set by the website Gawker. Apparently, the website has been using a bot to tweet fascist quotes to him in hopes that he would retweet them.
“Last year, we set a trap for Trump. We came up with the idea for that Mussolini bot under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself,” Gawker’s Alex Pareene said.
It goes without saying that Trump is obviously a terrible person, however, he is right in this situation.
Activists and artists frequently use quotes from both heroes and tyrants from history to make a point.
When seeing news of Trump’s tweet, many fans of Rage Against The Machine were reminded of a Zach De La Rocha side project called “One Day As A Lion,” which seems to have taken its name from the same quote.
According to Wikipedia: The band’s name was taken from an infamous black and white graffiti photograph taken by Chicano photographer George Rodriguez in 1970 reading “It’s better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb.” This comes from a minatory slogan popular during the 1930s in Fascist Italy, “Better one day as a lion than a hundred days as a sheep.”
Check out one of their music videos below:
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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.