Friday, November 11, 2016
America, has it ever been "great" and where should we focus anyway?
Trump won his election by focusing his constituency's attention on the past, a past that many people see differently. To be simplistic and direct in his branding, Trump repeated his mantra, "Make America great again" It's the "again" that strikes a nerve with a varied demographic.
So, besides the fact the phrase was plagiarized (Ronald Reagan used that phrase when he ran for office) what's really wrong with the phrase?
It falls short because it's claiming a future that's tied to a past, a somewhat unshared past experience. We can't go back in time, even if we wanted to, so its a waste of time to wax nostalgic. Regardless if you think America once was great, we can agree that not everyone thinks so, in fact about 50% of the population takes issue with this phrase.
How can you govern effectively if half of your people feel alienated? We could say, "Who cares? Let's move on." But that's not feasible in a democracy or a republic. That type of "suck it up and get over it" stance only works under a totalitarian regime, and even then the cooperation is only a thinly veiled attempt to acquiesce to the leadership.
I don't buy into any "privilege" movement, it seems to be denigrating to those who feel someone else is privileged. I love what Donald Miller posted today on twitter, particularly the end of his post:
Click here for the link to Miller's post if that image was too small to read: "Victims love to call Heroes "Privileged"
I couldn't stand Hillary Clinton, so this post isn't about gnawing sour grapes because Trump won. I'm interested in our nation finding some healing from our massive division. So..., what would work better for Trump, if he wanted to united America, again? Drop the word "again" from his slogan, and simply say "let's make America great, together"
I doubt Trump would take advice from someone of my station in life, but if I could give him advice that he'd listen to, that would be my piece of advice, forget about the past and look forward to a future we all can participate in.
Sadly, when you polish off the golden age, you find it's only a pile of pyrite.