America never has been great - we only started to catch a glimpse of greatness, and then the far right wrested away the steering wheel and we careened back to a path they wanted. Tonight the GOP candidates for INCD5 participate in a virtual town hall.
There are so many GOP candidates in the June 2 primary that the 14 candidates have been split, by alphabetical order of last names, into two groups of seven. The other 13 try to out-pucker in what they apparently see as a contest of who best can kiss trump’s derriere.
I am different: we should look at how trump has lied, especially in his 2016 campaign slogan: Make America Great Again. The slogan implies this country was, at one time at least “great.” We only glimpsed greatness, and not for reasons trump might list.
In grade school we were taught America is great because of our founding principles of liberty, justice, and equality. After all, if we use size of our military to measure greatness, there are dictatorships that could be called “great.”
Three time lines, of equal importance, in our history must be included when we discuss “greatness.” From 1789 to 1865 chattel slavery not only was legal but protected by the Constitution. Other “advanced” countries abandoned slavery long before 1865.
After 1865, former slaves and their descendants fared hardly better. Poverty, lynching, denial of voting rights and use of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect corporations instead of people meant life was brutal and separately, and unequally, “protected” by our laws.
In WW II tens of millions of people died. On a brighter note, large corporations and the U.S. military saw how racism was bad for business. Mass prosperity meant America could afford to let people be free. In 1954 Brown I was handed down by a unanimous SCOTUS.
Another time line tracks the rights of women. Until Amendment XIX was ratified in 1920 and women could vote, they had few rights. Though they are over half of America’s population, the rights of women were at best an afterthought, at worst a joke.
The third time line has to do with the rights of people who lived on this continent before Europeans - who mistakenly called them “Indians” - arrived. Indigenous peoples were victims of genocide as America pursued its “manifest destiny.”
Progress to secure the rights of black people, women and our indigenous peoples was slow, but the movement always was forward. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were critical. Insistence on equal pay for equal work was increasingly accepted as a truism.
People began to understand that our indigenous peoples were varied and different - and that we owe them a lot of back interest on a lot of broken treaties.
The late 1960s arrived and, outside of these time lines, the unthinkable happened. Americans stopped a “war” that never was declared and only was fought based on lies. We questioned authority. We also demanded our water and air be clean.
Many people were scared and resented the direction - back toward the principles espoused in The Constitution - this country had taken. We no longer had a military that could kick anyone’s ass. Our economy hit recession.
People in the GOP took advantage with a “Southern strategy” that leveraged prejudice to obtain political power. From 1954 to 1981 this country began to glimpse greatness. We can be great as a country that protects the rights of her people by law, not by violence.
If you live in INCD5, you can make a difference. The only hotly contested race on June 2 is for the GOP nomination for INCD5. We need to send a message to trump and those who value ineptitude and corruption that their days in control are over.
Tonight’s town hall of GOP candidates streams at 6:30 and at 8 p.m. and will be webcast by WFYI. You should be able to pick it up at Indiana Town Halls dot com. We face a Constitutional crisis - one that cannot be addressed by my opponents.
I’m Mark Small, a candidate in the June 2 primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. We need to seize one-half of our two-party system back from forces of bigotry and ignorance as espoused by trump and embraced by my opponents. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.