Four years ago trump lied many times, but especially in his 2016 campaign slogan: Make America Great Again. The slogan implied this country was, at one time at least “great.” Now the slogan is “Keep America Great.”
This country is NOT great today. trump’s bungling has caused over 230,000 people to have died from COVID-19. trump attacked his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, by saying Biden would listen to scientists. That is an attack?
Economics? Neither trump’s strong suit nor an aspect of America anyone can claim is “great” because of trump. trump stole office after the economy had recovered during President Obama’s eight years in office. trump has tanked it.
In grade school we were taught America is great because our founding principles are liberty, justice, and equality. Size of military is a gauge to measure “greatness” of dictatorships. America never has been great - we only started to catch a glimpse of greatness.
Three time lines in U.S. history illustrate our country’s “greatness.” 1) 1789 to 1865 chattel slavery was protected by the Constitution. After 1865, former slaves and their descendants were poor and treated brutally. In 1954 Brown I was handed down by a unanimous SCOTUS.
2) Until Amendment XIX was ratified in 1920, women 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. By most measures women still are not treated equally in pay or promotion.
3) People who lived on this continent were called “Indians” by Europeans explorers who had been trying to find ... well, India. Indigenous peoples were victims of genocide as America pursued its “manifest destiny.”
Progress to secure rights of black people, women and indigenous peoples was slow, but always forward. By the late 1960s the unthinkable happened. Americans stopped an undeclared “war” based on lies. We questioned authority. We also demanded our water and air be clean.
Many people were scared and were convinced to blame the ills of society on progress we had made in fighting those ills. People in the GOP use 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, but only if we embrace, and not simply mouth, the principles that protect the rights of our people by law. There never was a USA where everyone was white and happy.
If you have not voted and you are registered, please make sure you vote. We need to make this country great - not “again,” but finally - through liberty, justice and equality. Scary times are ahead. Would-be dictators do not easily cede power, but we don’t give up our rights.