Donald Trump and American Decline

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again.  What does this mean, exactly?

Think about it.  As American workers, how desperate are we to "hire" a man as president whose signature line to wannabe entrepreneurs is, "You're fired"?  We're a bit like abused spouses who, despite being bruised and bloodied, still decide to stand by a bully.

Americans sense that our nation is in decline; indeed, that's the implicit meaning (as noted in this article by Tom Engelhardt) of Trump's slogan: he wants to make America great again.  As in, we're not great now, but we have been in the past, and under Trump we will be again.  But how?  Is Trump just going to fire all the "losers" in America?

Many abused workers have placed their faith in Trump to revive America.  Yet the irony is that Trump himself has precipitated America's decline, what with his tacky casinos, his off-shoring of jobs, his shady business deals that seek to maximize profits while minimizing pay to workers.

So much of our economic health today, such as it is, consists of massive spending tied to a sprawling national security state, which fosters military adventurism and interventionism as well as weapons exports, amplified by casino capitalism (literally "casino," as in my old hometown, which desperately seeks a casino as a jobs producer).

Back in the day, the city of my birth was proud to manufacture shoes and to ship them around the world.  Now, my city puts it faith in casinos and gambling.  If that's not a clear sign of economic decline, what is?

Again, consider the irony of placing faith in Trump to reverse this trend.  Nearly 30 years ago, in the song "Gimme What You Got," Don Henley captured the hollowness of "promoter Trump" with the following lines:

Now it's take and take and takeover, takeover
It's all take and never give
All these trumped up towers
They're just golden showers
Where are people supposed to live?

Trumped up towers -- more true today than when Henley penned that song (along with Stan Lynch and John Corey) back in 1988.

How have so many come to place their faith in America's resurgence in the trumped up BS of Donald Trump?  Again, someone whose signature line as a boorish and preening boss is, "You're Fired"?

Let's make America great again.  Come this fall, let's not hire Donald Trump as our new boss.

A retired lieutenant colonel and history professor, Astore blogs at Bracing Views.