One of the catch phrases that is doing the rounds this silly season, err I mean Presidential campaigning season, is “make America great again”. Which to me quite obviously implies that some people believe that America in it’s current state is not great, however at some point in the past it must have been great, otherwise the statement would make no sense.
I guess a couple of advanced notices here. First, I don’t like politics, at all, the argumentative rhetoric and showmanship that surrounds it all disgusts me. I firmly believe that if the politicians actually focused on running a country and taking care of its people, the world would be a much better place, instead they wast all their time and our resources trying to win arguments that they may or may not actually believe in, just to win.
Secondly, I think America is a pretty great country, so much so that when I moved here from Great Britain, I decided to make it my permanent home, becoming a proud citizen, which makes me about as traditional of an American as a non Native American can get.
So back on track, I have been wondering exactly when this “great” period of time for America was, obviously it was nothing like it is today & thus we can start to eliminate some eras.
We are currently fighting a war (on terror) that we will most likely never win, so that eliminates the Vietnam era (1955-1975).
We have foreign policy that countries we deem too be a threat (Iraq, North Korea etc) do not like. So I guess that would eliminate the entire Cold War era (1947-1991)
1942 to 1945 American joined and helped significantly in ending World War 2. However from 1939 to 1941 that sat aside and allowed millions of the nations ancestors be torn apart by war and genocide. I am going to be generous and call this a wash. American was great, when it eventually decided to get involved, sitting on the side waiting to see which side to join though, maybe this is just a Brit writing, but that almost outweighs all the good they did when they eventually didi join.
The Great Depression was 1929 to 1939, I am guessing that is not the “great” that folks are referring to.
This follows on from the 2.5 year wait in World War one to join the allies. I am trying to be impartial on this, I am British by birth and American by choice. I will always believe that a great many lives less could have been lost in each conflict if America had decided to join up earlier. However, that is by the by. You can’t be “great” and in a world war, if you were that great then you would have prevented that war. So we have ruled out 1914 to 1918 then.
I am going to make a personal call on this one, but any country that legally allows slavery can not be considered great, so lets get rid of anything from when the USA became independent to the Emancipation Proclamation (1776 – 1863)
It is not the President Obama era, because apparently leading the nation out of a possibly disastrous financial depression, reforming healthcare & fixing our relationships with most of the rest of the world is a bad thing. (2009-2016). Actually while I do support the President, not that he is not without a great many faults (he is human), but his era has seen the rise of the disgusting troll go from unacceptable to becoming the normal way one talks about the President. Apparently because he is not white & does not have a name that sounds like he descended from English middle to upper class, that makes it ok to be vile & ugly & spread hate and lies about the leader of our country. At least back in the KKK era you could spot these people by their white cloaks. Although you can spot them just as easily today with their Facebook accounts.
So by my calculations. This mythical great America was either some time between 1863 to 1918 Cowboys & the Industrial revolution, hmm, maybe, but I don’t think it would stand up to scrutiny. Or 1991 to 2009, gulf wars, 9/11, Presidential scandals, George W’s public speaking. Hmmm.
So what am I actually trying to say here? Ok, well here it is. America is a great country, it always has been and hopefully always will be. What we need to do is not make America great again, we need to make America even better. We need to take care of the country, manage our taxes and resources better, look after the people & help to look after the world. Most of all we need folks to take a chill pill, stop being so darned hateful and try to get along. Like the great Abraham Lincoln said: