Nov 17, 2016

Oh, To Be "Great" Again

"Make America Great Again!"  People chant, murmur, and repeat this reverently, but what does it even mean?

I was trying to make a joke about this with a family member, pointing out that "great" can mean good or it can mean a large quantity of something, good or bad.

But to a lot of people "great" seems to be a quantifiable measure of something that our country is apparently lacking and can be given back.

According to Trump, our country was last "great" in the 1950s, which is fantastic news for his favorite demographic: older white males.  Not so much for the rest of us, if we women don't wish to return to the kitchen and minorities do not wish to return to "separate but equal."

I've also heard that great means "not being a joke like we have been for the last 8 years."  Are we a "joke"?  What does THAT mean?  That other countries laugh at us?

Who fucking cares???  Is our country at the core just a bunch of middle school students who are afraid of what other people think of us?

Yes, it would be ideal to have a strong economy.  Jobs = improved quality of life for everyone.  Having the respect of other nations is useful if it means we're safe from attack, but as I recall the last time we were officially attacked was prior to this 8 year period during which we have apparently been considered a joke.

The promise to make America "great" is just hype.  A bullshit promise that will provide a great fallback when the more concrete (but equally ridiculous) promises fall through.

"Sorry that wall isn't actually logistically possible and I can't actually force another nation to pay for it, but hey!  We're making America great again, so it doesn't matter!"

"Oh, what, my new tax plan actually hurts middle and lower class and helps the upper class?  Well that's unfortunate, but don't you worry.  It's all a part of the plan to make America great again!"

I don't know what your definition of "great" is, but if it's "of ability, quality, or eminence above the normal or average" that's not something we can just vote or petition for.  We have to decide what qualities qualify us for greatness and actually work towards obtaining them.

And maybe instead of spending so much time worrying about who might be coming into our country, we should focus more on having a country that's worth entering in the first place.  Why don't we aim to be "great" in things like overall happiness of our citizens (Bhutan)?  Why not most stable economy (Switzerland)?  Lowest unemployment rate (Japan, if we're just counting first-world countries)?  Most peaceful (New Zealand)?

How about just a president who doesn't outright lie to us, or worse, not realize that he's lying because he doesn't even know what a president is capable of?

But no, silly me, obviously not being laughed at is the primary goal.

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  1. Also, this country is now probably more of a joke to other countries than it has ever been in history. There's video of an interview with Trump from the 90s or something where he says, "The economy is always stronger under Democratic presidents." Hahaha.

  2. Uhhhhhh ... if he (I refuse to write his name) thinks other countries were laughing at us under Obama, well, they are laughing even harder today. Seriously, he is just pathetic. And yes, to everything. The one thing I find extremely interesting to anticipate is how he reacts to criticism when he is president. He spent the last 8 years accusing of Obama of various false lies and saying he could do better without actually having to do better. And now he does. And people are watching and will be talking. He made a lot of promises that he cannot deliver to people who will not take it well when he doesn't. All those old white men (and women, and that just breaks my heart) may think differently when Medicare and Social Security get routed under him. And the other half of America already hates him, so his cheering rally days are winding down. I really don't think he understands the roles are reversed now and he is in the hot seat. I'm not remotely happy he is there but I plan to help make that seat stay hot as long as he sits in it.

    1. Yeah, that's a good point. As soon as he starts enacting any of his planned policies, his support will start dropping away.

  3. Yep. I seriously cannot believe that people buy his BS.

    This post reminds me of this book, which I haven't been able to find yet but can't wait to see:

  4. Yeah, I think one of the biggest jokes in American history is the one where we elected a cheese doodle with no political or governmental experience to be president. But what the hell do I know? I'm just a dumb liberal who thinks a "free country" and a great America occurs when I live next door to a black guy on one side and a Muslim on the other and if the two of them want to get married, they can and if I want to get an abortion, I can and if people need to see a doctor, they can and when kids need a comprehensive education so they can grow up to not be idiots, they can get it at no additional cost to the family and I could go on and on, but none of that would be acceptable to the people who would only consider America "great" again if Mad Men was modern reality TV.

  5. I can speak firsthand from Australia. Australians like Barack Obama. They weren't laughing at America under his leadership. Australia has a public health care system. So, they don't understand Americans that don't want that. In Australia, stricter gun laws were put in place after a shooting massacre that occurred in 1996. They don't understand Americans love of all guns. Many Australians are at a loss how/why Trump was elected, but they as a major ally, they want America to excel.


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