Donald Trump’s slogan is, “Make America great, again.”
Although he is clueless about what to do and how to do it, or even what it means for a nation to be great, I agree with the slogan.
The implication is that we were great, and now are not great, but could be great once more.
I believe we were great during WWII. Great, not pure, but great because we were moral as much as nations can be moral.
Yes, we were tainted by bigotry, the hatred of blacks. A symbol of our bigotry was those “Colored” and “White” drinking fountains. And the anti-miscegenation laws. And official racial segregation in schools and neighborhoods.
Yes, we were tainted by bigotry, the hatred of Japanese Americans, which resulted in the shameful internments.
Yes, we were tainted by bigotry, the hatred of Jews; the quota system in schools and businesses, and “restricted” communities were common.
And the carpet bombing of civilians and the atom bomb were controversial, though perhaps not controversial enough.
No, this nation was not pure, but still we were great.
At a huge cost of our lives and wealth, we saved the world from the hatred of Hitler and Mussolini. The war gave us a common enemy, which made us cooperate as friends. We loved one another and we felt true compassion.
We saved China and the Pacific from a rampaging Japan, then returned to save our former enemies. (Who does that?)
The Marshall plan helped rebuild Europe, General MacArthur’s SCAP helped rebuild Japan, and the GI bill helped rebuild America.
We were great then. These initiatives cost us billions, but there was no right-wing Tea Party to object. We had morality. We had compassion. We had love.
Then, after some backsliding, we returned to greatness in 1964:
Lyndon Johnson designed the “Great Society” legislation upholding civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services, and his “War on Poverty”.
Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during Johnson’s presidency.
Civil rights bills signed by Johnson banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace, and housing; and the Voting Rights Act banned certain requirements in southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans.
With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country’s immigration system was reformed and all racial origin quotas were removed.
Sadly, with the Vietnam war, we drifted from greatness.
Today, our leaders think greatness lies in our military and economic might. They are wrong.We have lost our moral soul.
Without compassion we can be strong and feared, but we cannot be great.
Today’s politicians and their followers look for ways to undo what we had done. Everywhere, there are calls to cut the social programs that made us great.
We cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut the Voting Rights Act. We cut aids to education, cut poverty aids.
We cut aid to public broadcasting, the arts, urban and rural development.
Some wish to enforce discrimination against Muslims, Latinos, gays. We’ve made legal immigration too difficult.
Though we sit on the unlimited funds of Monetary Sovereignty, we’ve become a penurious, “I’ve got mine” nation, resentful of those who want a better life.
We have become so twisted we would rather make life worse for the poor, than to benefit from their contributions.
Yes, I agree with Donald Trump. We need to become great again. But the man and the party that coined that slogan, wish to do away with the very things that have made us great in the past.
By tradition, Americans are a friendly, generous, open-armed, loving people. But our leaders today, in their lust for power and money, admire and wish to emulate, a mean-spirited, selfish, bigoted version of Russia.
Trump’s Stalinistic, vicious, ego-driven, cheat-the-“losers,” steel curtain, build-a-wall hatred is not America. It is alien to everything American.
Watch him prowl the stage, scowling and insulting those who disagree. Listen to him threaten to jail his opponent, as dictators do.
There is no compassion in him, no love, no greatness. He is a tin-pot dictator in the making. Do you know that term? (Wiktionary: Tin-pot dictator: An autocratic ruler with little political credibility, but with delusions of grandeur.) Does that sound familiar?
Trump would move America diametrically away from greatness.
Clinton, though far less a threat than Trump, still is too money-driven. She will not be a Kennedy/Johnson liberal, narrowing the Gap between the rich and the rest.
She is a tougher version of Obama, a right-wing Democrat, beholden to the wealthy, and widening the Gap for their benefit.
What next? My crystal ball does not see greatness in our near future. It would require a great leader, but who will that be? Probably not Clinton. Certainly not Trump.
There will be no great conservative leaders. The Tea Party has seen to that. Conservatism has become hatred and selfishness. The Democrats are conservative too, just not hating and somewhat less selfish.
So who? Perhaps Elizabeth Warren?? Any others?
National greatness is not just a large population. China and India beat us there. And greatness is not just military power or the percentage of billionaires, else Russia and Saudi Arabia would be among the greatest.
Greatness certainly is not a “strongman” dictatorship.
Greatness lives in the hearts of the people and of their leaders. Greatness is extending a hand, not an iron fist. Greatness is lifting up, not tearing down. Greatness is feeding, not fearing, a stranger. Greatness is written on the Statue of Liberty.
Every tin-pot dictator in history has spewed hatred. Hatred is easy, especially hatred of those who look, think, pray, or act differently from us. Any fool can hate, and most fools do.
Love is hard. Love takes effort. Love takes understanding, compassion, sympathy, and empathy.
In the past, those words have described America. We have been great.
So, how will we really make America great again?
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest.
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.