Make America Great Again!
I wish Donald Trump would clarify what he means by this.
I wish Americans, including myself, were not so quick to believe just anything.
I wish the press were braver and more willing to probe and fact check political rhetoric.
I wish I knew when America was greater than it is right now.
Now, if I had these wishes granted, then, yes, I could agree America would be great...even again!
But, I'm going to be as honest as I can be here. When I hear Trump talk about making America great again, I'm not sure what America he's talking about.
How could America be any greater than it is right now for Trump himself?
He says he's rich. Richer than ever before. Worth $10 billion, give or take a few billion. If part of what anybody means by "the American Dream" includes at least the freedom to buy what you want, when you want it, how could it be better for Trump? Maybe what he means is that $10 billion isn't enough. Even for him.
And, when I think about it...with as much honesty as I can muster...I have to ask myself, "How could America be any greater than it is right now for my partner and me?"
I cannot think of a better time. I'm sixty years of age. Admittedly, I could be jealous of Trump's personal buying power if I allowed myself.
But I don't.
Why? Because, frankly, I'm happy with what I have. Of course, there are times my wife and I watch one of those house buying programs on cable television and dream of owning a winter home on the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
That isn't going to happen. But that hardly changes the fact my partner and I have it pretty good in America right now.
And, almost everyone we know does, too.
I can think of people who don't have it so well today. In fact, there are people in my own community who have it pretty tough. Every day. But, my guess is, for the majority of them, there isn't some period of mythical history in our country they dream of returning.
Make America Great Again! When Was America Ever Greater?
We have health care insurance that is as good, if not better, than at any other time in our adult life. I've had a couple of health issues in the last couple of years, too, that might have wiped us out financially had we not had what I still hear politicians deride as "Obama-care."
Is our health care expensive?
But when was it ever cheap?
So, what does Trump mean, "Make America Great Again?" I really don't know.
Now, what I do know is what I think he means and I sure cannot imagine going back to any of that...
To a time when segregation was widespread and even defended by church leaders and church-going people as something that God actually preferred - the segregation of the races.
OMG! Surely, that isn't the better time Trump imagines?
That time when gays and lesbians or transgender people and, yes, even women had virtually no rights?
Is that the better time, Mr. Trump? Is that the nerve you've touched in the twisted psyche of a bigoted few?
I can only hope that's not what you mean. Or, worse, what others hope you mean. If so, then, I would not call going back to that better. I'd call that worse. And, if that's true, then, sir, your slogan ought to be "Make America BETTER!" because we clearly have a lot of work to do.
So, what do you mean?
Would you tell us, Mr. Trump?
Surely, you do not mean a better time educationally?
I don't know all the facts but I'm pretty sure more young Americans are going to college these days than ever before in our history.
How could there be a better time in the past?
Oh sure, I know that we make a grave mistake in this country whenever we saddle our graduates, as we are doing every year, with debt they'll spend years trying to pay off. But hasn't education always been expensive? If you want to do something really great, Mr. Trump, and I would say the same to the other candidates, why don't you guys propose a way to make college or trade school mandatory and free for all Americans? Just like we do elementary, middle, and high school education?
What do you mean, "Make America Great Again?"
I don't know about every reader...I can speak only for myself. But, frankly, I don't want to go back to some previous day or age in American history. I like the way things are today and want to make things greater for everyone.
Wow, wouldn't that be a novel notion for one of the political candidates to adopt as their platform?
I don't know of a better time than we have today. No, I am not suggesting things are perfect. But they are better for most Americans. And, they're sure as hell better than at any other time in my memory.
Technologically, America leads the world. Tell me of a time when we didn't. In Joshua Ramo's book The Seventh Sense, he points out that among the nine techno-global platforms, like Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Facebook, etc, and several others...all of them worth billions...all of them employing thousands...and, all of them American.
And, militarily...nobody comes close.
So, Mr. Trump when you say you are going to "Make America Great Again," I don't know what the hell you're talking about?
Financially, doesn't America lead the world...still?
By a long shot, Mr. Trump. You, of all people, should know this.
I think I've listened to you and other politicians in Congress for so long, I have actually questioned this fact. I think I've mistakenly believed your rhetoric that America is lagging financially behind the rest of the world.
But then, just yesterday, I am pretty sure I saw the truth...for once in a long time. From the infamous "press" even. Heck, if I listened to you, the one source for truth still available would have to be kicked in the you-know-what. But I watched and listened and felt more pride about America than I have at any time listening to one of your stump speeches.I watched CNN's Fareed Zakariah's fantastic expose' of the condition of America on GPS...and...well...the jury brought back an immediate verdict, erasing all my doubts.
What you and other politicians in Congress have been saying about America being at an all-time low...
Is patently false.
Were I not a nice person, I'd call what you and others in Congress have been saying, "Bull-$h!#"
And, what about racially and, yes, even religiously?
America is far better off today than at any other time when it comes to race relations. No, we are hardly perfect. And, yes, we have a ways to go still. But go back to some other day? When was it better?
You've got to be kidding!
And, religiously? We may be more spiritual today than at any other time in the history of our nation. Oh sure, you're not likely to hear that conclusion in traditional churches of America where threatened leaders watch in horror at annual declines in church-going and church-giving.
But only threatened leaders would ever fault those who are leaving for this.
The truth is, people are not leaving church because they've lost their faith. They're leaving the church to preserve what little faith they have left.
It's hard to stomach what many churches continue to promote even today...
Myths about creation;
The refusal to accept evolution;
Telling those who question their faith they're faithless;
Promoting racial segregation;
Depriving all people of their Constitutional rights and shrouding that prejudice with phony talk about "religious liberty";
Arguing, fighting, debating over doctrines and dogmas that don't mean squat;
Insisting people submit to rigid belief systems or be labeled liberals;
Shall I go on?
Don't blame those leaving, though, as if the declines are their fault. Besides...when you know the facts...there has not been a time in our history when people had a greater interest in spirituality...in knowing and in living a vital, growing, and enriching faith.
So, no, Mr. Trump, I don't get it. And, with all do respect, I hope you'll give us the specifics.
Please, sir, name the age...the year...the decade...what period in our American history was it better than today? I'd like the specifics. Not an argument. Point instead to that precise time. No sales pitch on this one, please.
In my own opinion...and, yes, I could be wrong, Mr. Trump...but, in my own opinion...
America is the Greatest Nation on Earth...STILL!.
So, on this Memorial Day, I am asking you and all politicians...
Out of respect for those who've given their lives to give you and me the greatest nation on earth...
Could we please have a little honesty from you guys this election year?
Please? I mean, for the sake of their memory? Their sacrifice?
Am I asking too much?