Words that have changed the political landscape of the country. Words that Donald Trump made into the central platform of his run for the Presidency and is the reason why he has ignited the movement that has won the Republican primary for a fraction of the cost of what anyone else has spent. The words carry with it an assessment and a promise. It says that we have lost our way as a country and are heading down the wrong path. It says that there is still time to change direction to get back the greatness that we have lost.
The first question people who are critical of Trump will always ask is what time did you want to return the world too? Of course every single time in history had its dark moments and that is what they will focus on. If you answer the 1920’s instead of a time of prosperity they will say a time when women were kept in the kitchens. If you answer the 1950’s instead of a time when the war is over and a boom created more jobs they will say a time when blacks were discriminated against. Any point in history will have its good and bad points so the key is not in a specific time but in the direction of the country.
The answer is simple. To steal Bernie Sanders words To make America great again we have to return America to a time when we had a future to believe in. That optimism is the time when America was great.
There was a time when we had peace. The second World War lasted 5 long years, but afterwards we had peace. America had no major conflicts and everyone got used to living a life of boring normalcy. Today we have a generation who will have lived their entire adult life in a state of war. We have a generation for whom it is normal to endure 5-10 terrorist attacks per year like Paris, Brussels, and now Orlando. We remember a time when we would mourn an attack like that and put steps to stop it, instead of mourning attack after attack after attack in an endless circle of misery.
We have been fighting the war on terror for 15 years. We are still using the same tactics when we started the war as we are now. It would be different if someone were to tell us that we are using the same tactics but the war should be over in 5 years so we can look forward to a time of peace. But no. The people who want to continue the status quo say that we are nowhere near the end and the war could take generations more to complete. We are given a future of terror attack after terror attack.
There was a time when you had stability and a chance to advance provided you did the work. There was a time when you had hope that because of all your sacrifices your children would live a better life than you did. You would see different manufacturing, service, and technology jobs pop up all over the United States and were secure in the fact that your country would prioritize your well-being over the well being of the rest of the world. They would make sure that their citizens, who put their faith and votes in them, would be given every opportunity to succeed.
Instead we are told that these jobs are no longer coming back. America is too expensive to manufacture in therefore jobs must be sent abroad. Americans are too expensive to hire for construction, farm work, and service jobs therefore illegals must be imported to do them. Americans are too dumb to ever learn the secrets of programming and other skilled work therefore we must import foreign nationals with H-1B visas to get the jobs done. We are told America is too weak to negotiate better deals with Mexico, China, or any other country. We are told that if we attempt to do this they will cause our fragile economy to collapse. We are told that our future is one of financial ruin where our paychecks are taken by credit card and student loan debt. We are given a future where we must race to the bottom to compete with other countries.
There was a time when we knew we could count on our allies if we ever needed to. We knew our allies would take their share of the load and not count the cost because it would have been to their interest as well. We knew could count on our allies in Russia to sacrifice the lives of millions of its brave soldiers to stall the German advance. We knew we could count on the heroism of our friends in Britain to keep the Germans at bay and their democracy intact. We knew that if we went into battle with them our friends would do everything in their power to make sure that our side came out on top.
Today we are told that we cannot do this. We cannot dare ask Germany, France, and other prosperous NATO countries to live up to their treaty obligations as they would abandon us if we do. We cannot dare ask Japan or South Korea to help contain threats in the pacific as they would then threaten us themselves. We are told that Russia must always be the enemy and no cooperation is possible. We are told that our future is one where we take the entire burden of the world upon our shoulders while our allies look after their own interests.
These are just three topics I chose to discuss but it is the same for everywhere. Remember when you are asked “When was America Great?” the answer is “America will be Great Again when we have a future to believe in.”