Is America Really Great … Again?
Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” catchphrase, first of all, is not original.
This is my first issue. I’m a writer. Credited adaptation or sourcing is one thing. Plagiarism while claiming to have created something is another.
Here is an example of accredited sourcing. The following Donald Trump quote is attributed to The Hill, and the link can be found here:
“The line of ‘Make America Great Again,’ the phrase, that was mine, I came up with it about a year ago, and I kept using it, and everybody’s now using it, they are all loving it ... I don’t know, I guess I should copyright it, maybe I have copyrighted it.”
According to The Washington Post, Trump applied for a trademark for the slogan in 2012. His application requested exclusive usage for political action committee services, namely, promoting public awareness of political issues and fundraising in the field of politics.
Though he did not create the slogan, to be clear … he can credit himself for dropping the word “let’s.”
Though tenuous — and frankly ridiculous — a case can be made in Trump’s defense that by dropping a single word from a slogan he appropriated, he in effect created a new one.
Non-partisanship attempt be damned, I’d personally throw a shoe at my television if I saw a judge deriving that conclusion. I’m a writer; I take these things seriously.
So, is America really “great” again, as I posed at the outset?
The answer would presuppose this conclusion: At some point, America fell out of “greatness.”
So let’s explore.
- Donald Trump became our 45th U.S. President in 2016. Did we formally stop being great during Obama’s presidency? A) If so, were we “great” during George W. Bush’s era, the period of lies about WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and the 9–11 terror attacks following comprehensive advance intelligence warnings? Is this then, to what we want to return? B) If not, then when exactly did we stop being “great?”
- If America was ever truly not “great” at any time in its history, then wouldn’t such thinking make one the very opposite of a patriot? How could any Republican possibly be considered a patriot if they acknowledge that America was not always “the greatest country in the world?” In this scenario, the term “America, love it or leave it” rings awfully hollow. If, however, such a self-proclaimed patriot argues that in its earliest history America had to earn its greatness, perhaps that is a fair point … but would that not mitigate the very need for “Make America Great Again?” In this argument, America would have been “great,” with some hiccups, for centuries. So is the point of the slogan … that we have not been “great” for centuries?
- As Ronald Reagan campaigned first on “Make America Great Again,” with George H.W. Bush as his running mate, the same questions apply. Primarily, when did America stop being “great?” My guess is during the Nixon administration, but I may be shooting blanks, there. Truth is, Reagan never answered that question either.
- Are we “great” now? Has Donald Trump succeeded in his quest? Are we better off today than nearly four years ago?
I can go on, but I don’t think I need to.
Clearly, my points have been made. It’s an inane slogan on its face, and has always been, if one is a self-described patriot holding love of country above all else. If, on the other hand, one does not preach a deified view of our country, it just may be the greatest country in the world.
May be. As I’ve traveled extensively but have only lived here, my frame of reference is limited.
I will say this much: I cherish my freedoms here, and I rue the day our government becomes Big Brother, which seems to be happening … right about now.
We Are Creating the Need For Our Own “Big Brother”
Donald Trump’s “liberation” tweets of April 17, 2020 are irresponsible, and irredeemable. What happens from here we are…
Alas, I tried to nonpartisan. Really, I did.
I guess I failed.
Thank you for reading.
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