Now We Know What “Make America Great Again” Actually Means
Donald Trump’s vague campaign slogan has been somewhat of a mystery amongst many, but it’s now been revealed.
America is great. America has problems.
The two facts are not mutually exclusive. Your mother is probably great, but she probably has a few problems as well. Same with your partner and children where applicable.
For months, “Make America Great Again” has rang in my ears as a peculiar notion. “Again”?
I couldn’t figure it out. Most of my lifetime in America has been pretty doggone great. I was born in the ‘80's, and the worst things I can remember are, chronologically: AIDS, the first Gulf War, the L.A. Riots, World Trade Center Bombing, Oklahoma City Bombing, the Unabomber, Columbine, 9/11… then everything that came after. Wars, recessions, the Tea Party, batshit crazy legislation, Citizens United, and so on.
See, before 9/11 the horrible things afflicting this country were relatively isolated incidents. Since 9/11, though, we’ve been stuck in a hellish Groundhog Day of hearing the same stories over and over. For about two years, all we heard about were laws prohibiting gay marriage, only to see them fall like dominos. The recession was pretty terrible too. I spent a few days a week in part of 2008 in the lobby of a blood plasma center. I heard some stories there, believe me.
But even then, when things seemed terrible and people had all sorts of sob stories about positions they should never have been put in, America was great.
Babe Ruth struck out nearly two times for every single home run he hit. He was great. Just like America.
But that’s just my subjective take on it. And that’s the point. The greatness of America is subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder.
And Donald Trump doesn’t think America is great. And I finally know why.
Trump’s great America is the America of the early 20th century. He wants to return to the values of that era. Not because it will make things better for everyone. No. Trump just wants his entitled-rich-white-man perk package back.
Think about the fifties, that’s generally the idyllic time that the GOP platform reminds people of. The post-war prosperity, the expansion of America into the suburbs. All the old American dream clichés.
But those clichés represent the common man. Trump is not a common man. He doesn’t want any of that nonsense. He wants to live the way other rich and powerful white men were allowed to live back then.
Racism was socially acceptable. A racist joke told amongst powerful people wasn’t a sign of impending scandal, it was a sign of camaraderie amongst “us” at the expense of “them”.
So how would a racist like Trump have behaved? Well, there’s always Walt Disney as a reference. Disney died in 1966, prior to the peak of the civil rights movement. Some of his films include blatant stereotypical depictions that, while not appropriate at all, were a product of the time. I won’t go so far as to say that Disney himself had any ill-will at all, because that is up for debate, but he wasn’t a raving racist like Trump.
It’s not a matter of him not being polished. He doesnt misspeak. He believes the things he says in the fiber of his being. Trump wants his anachronistic racist beliefs to be socially acceptable again. To him, that would be great.
Sexism was acceptable too. The Dick Van Dyke Show ran from 1961–1966, which is noticeably NOT in the fifties. Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) was a stay at home wife and mother. Sally Rogers, of of Rob Petrie’s (Van Dyke) coworkers is a writer for a comedy tv show, but she is single and desperate to find a husband. However, she has a strong personality and often scares off potential suitors.
Friends, that show was about as wholesome as they came (funny, too!) and it fairly accurately represents the common experience of women in that era. If you were married, you stayed home. If you weren’t you had some form of employment, but usually not a career, and you were expected to get married.
That’s the common experience. What would Trump have experienced? Perhaps something more reminiscent of “Mad Men”? Affairs with women in his employ, afraid to say “no” for fear that their meager job prospects might be lessened.
Folks, sexual harassment in the workplace didn’t become illegal until 1964, and it still happens to this day. Imagine what Trump would have done before it was banned.
Picture his dick getting hard as he gropes or kisses any subordinate woman he pleases and suffers absolutely nothing for it. Because, to him, that would be great.
Trump wants his money (he’s not as rich as he believes he is, but that’s besides the point) to equal power the way it used to. Orson Welles made a little movie about how money and power were one in the same, perhaps you’ve heard of it: Citizen Kane. Kane, of course was a a fictional surrogate for William Randolph Hearst. Hearst controlled the largest network of newspapers and magazines in the country. He also served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He failed to win the offices of Mayor of New York City and Governor of New York.
His newspapers popularized yellow journalism — the click bait of the day — and there was little concern for truth or ethics in his idea of journalism. Welles interpreted Heart’s philosophy with the line “They’ll believe… What I tell them to.”
William Randolph Hearst had such power because his father had invested in a silver mine on what would become known as the Comstock Lode. Money was power back then.
It still is, but the modern world is making the playing field more level. Trump doesn’t like these tech billionaires and nouveau-riche who didn’t get their millions via an inheritance the way he and Hearst did.
Going back to when money was all the power one needed, in Trump’s mind, would be great.
That’s what this man wants, and that’s how he would govern as president.
“Make America Great Again” just means he wants to undo the civil rights movement (literally, repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which contains those pesky sexual harassment laws), and purchase unlimited power.
This is not a politician. This is not a candidate. This is Citizen Trump and he doesn’t represent anyone but himself and his own interests.
I’m terrified of this man, but at least I figured out what his slogan means.