"Make America Great Again." The infamous four words we have nauseously heard over and over again for the past 13 months, and we still have another four more to go. Conservatives around the nation passionately chant this phrase, but what exactly does it mean? America isn't great anymore? America was great? How do we make it great again? And most importantly...When exactly was America "Great"?
Let's dissect America's greatness on a timeline, and please let me know which time period Trump and his supporters are referencing.
Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and murdered and raped thousands of Native Americans. I know this was before America was a country, but how great is the murder and dislocation of indigenous people?!
Our Founding Fathers started the O.G. #Brexit on July 4th, 1776. We were the trend setters of revolution, and the first to enact freedom and liberty as national values. But, how free were we actually? The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was still enacted and women had no rights in or outside the household. Also, it took about 10-11 years after this for us to get our shit together and adopt the Constitution. But still, we were great right?
Yeah, still had this great thing called SLAVERY. But hey, at least people started questioning it, right? Oh, and there's still the disenfranchisement of women! And don't forget one of the greatest moments of American history: The Trail of Tears!
Half the country was at war with the other half of the country. How freakin' GREAT?! Slavery abolished, but only because Lincoln wanted everyone to sit the f*** down and shut the f**** up. So now black men and women weren't exactly slaves, but they did all the labor in exchange for shelter! Doesn't sound like slavery to me. But hey, at least black men gained the right to vote...y'know, as long as they could read, are educated, can pay a fee, and only if their grandfathers were allowed to vote! Greaaat.
There were sooo many great parts to the Early 1900's that it's hard to pick the greatest event: World War I? Prohibition? Excessive nativism and the hatred of immigrants? The revival of the KKK? You pick and let me know which part we should go back to!
Okay, this one may be the winner to fulfill our dream to Make America Great Again. The Great Depression, amirite ladies?! Let's please take us back to the times where Americans had to wait 2 and a half hours for a piece of bread and children would steal just to survive. I'm almost positive this is the time period Donald J. Trump is referring to.
So, like, World War II. You know, when we denied the Jewish population from entering America during the Holocaust. Or maybe we should go back to Pearl Harbor? Hiroshima? Interment camps for Japanese-Americans? How about 17 million soldiers, civilians, men, women and children dying from bomb attacks, illnesses or starvation? *Tony the Tiger voice* It's more than good...it's greeeeaaaat!
Baby boomers! Because we all know how ~great~ they turned out to be (if you're unsure, just look at our presidential candidates and their supporters.)! And don't forget about suburban affordable housing -- and how cheap houses will get once a black family would move into the neighborhood! Speaking of which, let's not forget the great Jim Crow Laws. Separate, but EQUAL. Like come on, I know that colored water fountains were rain water and white water fountains were Fiji Water, but if you dare come into a white diner, you will get jumped -- even in front of your children! But hey, at least white teenage couples went on cute dates! I wish I was alive during those times -- since, you know, milkshakes and diners don't exist anymore?
Make LOVE not WAR! But, RIP Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy (don't forget how they died). And don't forget the Vietnam War! And the Cuban Missile Crisis! And the Watergate Scandal! And the extraordinary use of illegal drugs such as LSD! But trust me, it was great.
Ah, the time with the beloved Republican Ronald Reagan. You know, with extreme uncertainty with the Middle East, and most significantly, with the Soviet Union and Gorbachev, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Iran-Contra Affair, the AIDs epidemic, apartheid, the tripling of the national debt thanks to "Reaganomics," the War on Drugs, shall I go on?
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Yeah, ok, Bill. And let's not forget the passing of anti-gay laws, such as The Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. During this time, the Clinton Administration doubled the incarcerated population, leading to the overpopulation of prisons and the unnecessary jail time for low-level crimes.
9/11...Iraqi War...Britney Spears' meltdown...The Financial Crisis of 2008 and Recession...so freakin' great.
I'm not trying to say America was never great - we are an amazing, well-established country and I would never want to live elsewhere.
What I'm trying to prove is that there was no time period that was flawless, so just because there seems to be a lot of shit going on today does not mean that we are not "great." I could've easily put positives for all these time periods as I did negatives.
I love this country so much that I can point out its flaws and understand that there is room for improvement. What we all need to do -- not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans -- is to progress. We must look at how we overcame obstacles of the past and keep going forward instead of backwards. We can't just look at the negatives of today and believe that there are no positives!
Let's not Make America Great Again, but instead continue to Keep America Great.