Let’s Make America Great Again
You know what? The Trump supporters are right. We need to Make America Great Again. We’ve lost track of what made this country so brilliant in the eyes of others. What made us the most successful, delightful bunch of lunatics on the planet.
We’ve gotten soft. We’re no longer the sort of hard core badasses we once were. We forgot that the best stuff is outside of our comfort zones and that we make our own legacies. We’re lazy louts that forgot that as a group, nobody else can do what we’ve done.
We are scared of mean people instead of being the sort of heroes we grew up watching in action movies. Do you think that the likes of John McClane or Harry Callahan would have put up with TSA screenings and border walls? Hell no. They’d practically invite ISIS in just so that they could get a daily workout before breakfast.
Real Goddam Americans recognized that what made us better was that we were a melting pot. We were so friggin welcoming that France sent us a landmark to put in the harbor. They were a mix of people that learned and celebrated each others cultures, who broke down walls with parades, pizza, tacos and gyros. Great Americans were a nation that recognized that no matter the heritage, the blood of fallen heroes was the same and owed it to them and their families to remember that. Theirs was a big tent that welcomed all. If someone came to America wanting to make a better life for themselves by working hard, or needed to find a safe haven from war, then Great Americans let them.
Great America is a land of liberty and choice, with 12 ESPN channels, 20 styles of Levi’s, and 31 flavors of ice cream. (Don’t even get me started on the varieties of Oreos.) So, how you decide to pray, or who you want to watch a sunset with, is nobody else’s goddam business. What makes Great Americans weird makes them wonderful.
They are a people who were generous almost to a fault. Who recognized that there, but by the grace of God, went themselves. They have no pride to be gained by denying the needy, but great satisfaction in knowing that, were they in the same position, they would know how much those simple acts of assistance mean. They knew the meaning of “helping hand”, that poverty and illness were not things to be ashamed of, but to be overcome. That they were no stronger than the weakest among them, so they owed it to their country to make sure that none went hungry or without help.
They were a people so fascinated with science and education that they built rockets to go the moon, TV, telephones and dozens of other things that are cornerstones of the modern world. If they were told something was bad, they laughed, rubbed their hands together, and took it as a challenge to come up with a better solution. If someone had the ignorance to deny what was clearly demonstrated, they laughed at him and then taunted them with the fix that was “impossible”. They built universities and colleges that were some of the best in the world, because that’s how they could continue to do awesome things. Not knowing the answer meant new discovery, failing gave more answers, and if you were wrong, you admit it and go with the right answer. You keep learning until you understand, then you teach others.
When those in positions of power twisted or broke the law for their own benefit, Great Americans stood up and took a stand. They faced down guns and dogs because they were right, and history proved them so. They marched and shouted for those that had no voice. They would not stand silent when others were being bullied and they wouldn’t stop until all were treated equally.
They looked at the beauty of the land and saw it as sacred. The biggest badass to ever hold office set aside magnificent tracts because he knew that once lost, it couldn’t be reclaimed. They suffered and did without, but that’s what you do when something is worth more than your greed. Great Americans were explorers and pioneers, who knew the value of home, but yearned to see as much as they could. To soak up new experiences, or lend a hand, or just say hello.
They didn’t always win, but they always learned and they strove to make the world a better place, for their kids and for complete strangers. They sacrificed short term gains for long term goals, because those are the ones that last. Plus, even if they lost the battle from time to time, there was a good chance Springsteen would write a song about them.
Great Americans are not afraid. Great Americans get their hands dirty doing hard jobs that nobody else has the desire or guts to do. Great Americans lead by example. Great Americans piss off the opposition by being even more welcoming, honorable and respectful than the heel dragging cowards, because that way, they get the best people. Great Americans argue, but compromise for the greater good of all. They rewarded hard work, but not at the expense of others.
And, yes, there were assholes among them, and mistakes were made. Folks who didn’t understand, tried to corrupt or just hated what made America Great. But they failed, because the folks making America Great were smarter. Great Americans forged allies not enemies. The Great Americans didn’t piss off folks, so they had more voices and votes than those that did. They stood together, and had no problem getting folks to cover their backs.
What’s more, we have history to learn from. We can do all the Great things, all at the same time, now, and do even more. Because we’re America Goddam it, and overdoing things is what we do.
So, yeah. Let’s do it. Let’s become a nation of Great Americans. Let’s become the heroes we should have been all along.
America, we’re better than what we’ve become. We’re better than hate and anger and ignorance. We’re better than dismissing each other because talking and thinking and changing one’s mind is too hard. Know how it feels to be a Great American? It feels good, man. It feels good.
Our manifest destiny is greatness, and by whatever you hold dear, we can absolutely become Great again.