Donald Trump is Going to Make America Great Again! So Which Illustrious Period of our History are we Returning to?
When was this "golden age" everyone's talking about?
We've seen the hats and T-shirts. We've heard it over and over again. We ask our friends and family who support this man, "Why?". They respond "Because he's a straight shooter, and he's going to make America great again!". Well, obviously enough people believe it that as of yesterday, he's the official Republican Nominee for President. But what is it they believe exactly? To say he's going to make America great again means that there was a time when it was measurably better than it is now. While i agree that we could be doing a lot better, I look back on our history and ask myself, "when were things ever so great?"
Does 'The Donald' mean back before 9/11? No, that couldn't be. Bill Clinton was running things back then, and we know how he feels about the Clintons. Maybe he means during the first Bush administration, when we 'had' to go to war with Iraq for the first time because they started using the weapons we'd sold them a few years earlier against our friends? Nah, He's always talking about how terrible things were in the lat 80's-early 90's.
He must want to go back to the Reagan Era... You know, when we sold weapons to Iran and Nicaragua (among others) so they could overthrow their democratically elected governments. Crack and AIDS were a lot of fun too, but by anyone's standards these things were all less than "great". So lets keep going.
He can't mean during the Carter Administration when we opened our doors to Cuba. Frankly, I'm surprised he survived at all, to judge by how he feels about Mexicans you'd think he'd have had a stroke from that whole mess. So the early 80's are out. What about the 70's? Pulling out of Vietnam in disgrace after killing over 4,000,000 people and still losing, seeing the resignment of Nixon. Definitely not great. Kennedy was assasinated, also not great.
So now we're back in the days of segregation, could this be the time Donny T means? If it is, he's just plain wrong, there was nothing good about segregation. So lets jump around a bit. WWII, when we were bankrolling both sides until a clear winner presented itself and then manufactured a crisis with Japan (You know, Pearl Harbor?) to join the fight because even then the public wasn't interested? Before that was the 20's and 30's, the only thing 'great' about those days was the depression.
I know, He must mean the days of westward expansion, when we committed the greatest genocide in the history of the world. Maybe Mr. Trump is just thinking of times in our history that can be described as great, whether or not they were good. We're back to the Civil War now, where we were the last civilized nation on Earth to outlaw slavery and we had to kill over a million of our own people to do it. I don't think thats what he means. All thats left is the Revolution, when the British aristocrats who lived here got tired of paying taxes and got the peasants to revolt for them. Once again, not such a great time for the average American.
Having Just walked back through our history, I personally don't see any particularly great times. The conclusion I'm left to make is that Donald Trump believes the days of war, depression, segregation and slavery were better than the way things are now. Can we admit that returning to the 'great' days of yore is a thinly veiled endorsement of a return to the oppression of minorities, gays, immigrants, women and the poor in general? I don't mean to say that things are 'great' now either, there's a lot of work left to be done. We are afterall now in the 15th year of our longest running military engagement in history. But the steps we've taken towards equality, the strides we've made in science and technology. Donald Trump would have us return to a time before these advancements, and people think that's a good idea?
The fact is that we live in a dangerous time, but many of the dangers in the world today are of our own making. Let's face up to it. Let's take responsibility for the actions of our country, which almost from its inception have been the actions of the kind of government that we were warned by our founders would take power if the people of our nation let it. We have trusted the elite to run things for our benefit, but from the very beginning they've run things for their own. They keep us fed and entertained, they even give most of us jobs, so we turn a blind eye to the real cost of the way they choose to control things. We are still a democratic republic, we are still responsible for electing our own leadership and so accountable for the choices our leadership make.
Let's not worry so much about "making America great again" because how great America has been is questionable at best. Let's see what we can do about making America great today, tomorrow and the next day, for everyone, within our borders and without. Its on you and me, we've seen what trusting the elite has gotten us, let's stop fighting for the scraps from their table and take whats ours.
as an aside, this is my first hub... in the future i'll write more specifically, my intention with this piece was to get a feel for the audience, find out what kinds of things people here are interested in and see what kind of perspective i can bring. This has been something of an opinion piece obviously, I'll take a more focused approach in future articles. Thanks for reading, feedback is appreciated