The theme of GOP presidential primary candidate Donald Trump is “Make America Great Again” – which I wholeheartedly agree with, and is the reason why I support Donald Trump and will vote for him in both the primary and general elections.
I had to consider and come to some understanding of what I think Donald Trump means when he says “Make America Great Again”. Is not America still “great”? If not, when was America considered “great”, and by whom was it considered as such?
The definition of the word great gives us “of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average”. Therefore, America as a nation and people, would have had to have been seen as – being above other nations in the world at some point.
My general knowledge of American history is as an arc: from independence, raising upward to the abolition of slavery; to victory in World Wars; and civil rights victories; and continuing upward to our technological advances and industrial superiority in the world today.
My actual experience of living and growing up in America allows me to say that America was at least “great” during my formative years. I was born in November of 1963 (President Kennedy was assassinated 20 days after I was born). I graduated from Primary school in 1978, and graduated high school in 1982 – I was very well educated in parochial schools – and had my first job working at a Friendly’s restaurant at 17 years old (NOTE: “Motorhead”, the local parking lot where the “cool” kids hung out was the adjacent parking lot to where I worked – I’d get off work at night and join in – mostly white kids and me and a few other blacks, yet, no issues).
Ronald Reagan was the first President I was aware of. Mind you I didn’t follow politics, and I wasn’t informed enough about social, foreign and domestic policies that I could hold an intelligent conversation about his presidency. But between the ages of 18- 25 years old, 1982- 2000, this was”the time of my life”.
I had quite a few “girlfriends”, learned a lot from each. I tried a stint in the US Navy, which was derailed because my sickle cell trait and hypertension would not allow me to navigate submarines (made it through boot camp to nuclear school, but decided to pass on any another job and quit). Moved to Chicago, Illinois, studied theater and tap dance, and a month later met my beautiful British bad girl and future wife of 23 years. Had my first of five children, born on Valentines day 1990. Traveled, and lived, across the US. Lived in the UK and traveled to Europe quite a few times. Was always employed wherever I was at the time – money was not an issue. I succeeded as much as I failed, and not for lack of trying.
To me, being well educated, getting along with other races, opportunities to earn a living, being able to travel and experience many different people, cultures, different countries – “America was great”!
2001. September 11th. Tuesday. What I remember most about the 9/11 attacks is the fact that “outsiders” attacked the US. Outsiders attacked America – the people; our culture; our “way of life”. I became afraid for my family immediately after these attacks as information became available as to whom and why. Since then, years later, having learned a thing or two, today I’m simply “angry”.
As broken as some may have described America before 9/11 – personally I did not notice the same levels of: “divisiveness” among the races, and religions; the perceived level of “injustice” for minorities; terms like “politically correct” weren’t used daily. Now just about anyone and everyone can be labeled “racist” or “phobic”, simply because they disagree with someone. This all became worse, in my opinion, after the 9/11 attacks. We allowed the outsiders to effectively win. This event in our American history, appears to be the point in time, to me, that led to America becoming less than “great”.
After years of faltering world leadership from America – fast forward to 2008 and the first “black” President of the United States. Barak Obama traveled well during his campaign, internationally as well, and spoke eloquently and my impression was that we would now see the benefits of a “hope”, and much needed “change” from stagnation, more unity and justice for all, and the fundamental “transformation” of America. I voted for Barak Hussein Obama in 2008.
America transformed alright – after 9/11, particularly at the end of the George W. Bush administration, and especially during the Obama regime. In the Hasbro cartoon Transformers: Robots in Disguise, vehicles, like cars and semi-trucks, transform into huge, powerful, armed, battle ready robots (the good guys and the bad guys). I always thought of my America as a huge, powerful, armed, battle ready nation. A la transformers, we have now transformed back ,to become a yellow 1980 Volkswagen beetle.
History and my past experience allows me to state that America was a great country. Does my future outlook, as well as opportunities, allow me to say that America is still a great country? The optimistic answer to this question is yes, because I can and will be responsible for my decisions regarding my life’s choices going forward.
Today, I have an adequate job and means to earn an income . I can continue to support my own family through my effort and hard work – realizing that I am “entitled” to nothing.
Today, I am much more aware of my surroundings, and I have increased my knowledge of things that are honest and altruistic – realizing that authority as well as media can and do lie to us in the general public.
Today, I understand that those who consider themselves the “established expertise” (pick any industry or system) live by a philosophy of “equality and fee stuff” – simply put, liberalism, provided this establishment can determine, from on high, who can benefit.
Today I understand that I have to fight being coerced and regulated into “acceptance” of persons, places and things that I do not agree with – this does not make me an “-ist” or “-phobe” of any kind.
Beyond these and other things I can also do – the easiest would be to cast a vote for Donald Trump in 2016!! A definitive start I think, to what I can do to “Make America Great Again”.