“Make America great, again,” “Better together,” – These are the two current slogans of the 2016 Presidential race of the Republican and Democratic Parties, respectfully. I still haven’t decided which way to vote and the slogans aren’t helping. I usually avoid discussing politics in my blog, because I am no expert. Although, I do talk about God a lot in my blog and I am constantly finding out that I am no expert there, either. Today, though, I would like to react to these slogans without endorsing either party. My thesis is basically that I am offended by both.
To me, a battle cry of “Make America great, again” implies that America is not great, now or hasn’t been for awhile. I take exception to that. Granted, we still have lots of problems we need to work through. We have enemies around us and within our borders. Actually, we have always had problems and enemies. We also have strengths and we still have friends and as always, we have admirers.
I was watching a television show last night, Americas Got Talent. If you are not familiar with it, you need to know that amateurs and professionals perform before a panel of judges who determine who has performed well enough to continue to compete until all but one performer is left and awarded 1 million dollars and a show in Las Vegas. There is a lot of talent from pro and amateur, young and old alike. But what impressed me last night was not just the amount of talent. I was impressed by the number of people who are from outside the U.S. desiring to make it in America, proud to have become American citizens and feeling great about it and working hard to take advantage of this opportunity. The panel of judges this year are mostly American citizens, if I’m not mistaken – one from Canada, one from Germany and two from England. I think most of those folks think America is still great. Politics and Presidents are important, but have only a small part in that. I think a better slogan would have been “Keep America great” or “make America even greater.”
“Better together” is offensive because it leaves too many unanswered questions. It’s too vague. Because it’s too vague, I feel the slogan writer thinks I won’t recognize that fact and support the cause because I agree that often we accomplish more when we work together. “Make America great again” does the same thing. It’s slick advertising. They play on the emotions. Republicans and Democrats are trying to blame the other for what problems we do have. I wish they would work together to keep America great.
The problem I have with both slogans is that they point to government as the solution. That has never been the case. One might argue that “Better together” implies that government and the people working together will accomplish greatness, but that isn’t true, either. Another could challenge me that “Make America great, again” means that voting for Republicans who support less government is not pointing to government as the solution at all. When I listen more carefully, I hear “vote for me and I can make America great, again” as the slogan.
America is great. I got a little concerned about that in the last few weeks with police shootings and a sniper killing several. I know there are vast neighborhoods and the number is growing that are not safe and good people live in fear. I know the number of homeless is outgrowing the number of shelter spaces. I know there are still unwanted pregnancies and starvation in America. I know there are problems. I also see teachers, school systems, pastors, churches, concerned citizens, private agencies and even politicians who work to calm the fears, redirect the hate to positive energy and fight prejudice, poverty, disease.
These slogans are the wrong words and they place the power in the wrong hands. Take the millions to build a wall of isolationism and spend it on communities and community programs and education. Let the local village decide what the children need to learn. Less government, not necessarily – I would like to see less government arguing and more government listening. I would advocate for less government telling us what America needs and more government asking us what we need. I think we stay great when governments’ hearts are with the people – all people and not so much with one party over another.
It seems like every time I’ve voted in any election, federal, state or local, someone always cries that it’s time for a change. They usually mean a change of parties, a change from partisan to bi-partisan, a change from corrupt to honesty or political to public. I think they miss the real change needed. I believe we need a change of heart and government is not in that business, nor do we want it to be. The needed change must come from the citizenry if we are to keep America great.
No matter what the slogan, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump is going to keep America great, together or not. Each of us, doing our part with the talents we’ve been given and developed ourselves and with the help of others can keep America great. That could mean a change of heart. Less time finding the best entertainment and more time supporting our community and helping our neighbor. It means a change of heart. Instead of hoping the other side is going to change, take the first step toward changing your own heart or habit or attitude.
I’m not preaching. I know many of you are doing what I propose. I know thousands volunteer. I know from experience that helping others, using my talents working beside other volunteers, I’ve changed for the better. If you volunteer or work for an agency, organization, church, school that helps to improve our communities or keep them safe. I thank you. I wish to thank the police, fire, rescue, hospital staff, teachers, youth workers, pastors, social workers – all of you who have made it your life’s work to serve and protect us. Thank you for doing your part to keep America great.
Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump, please join us, because together we can keep America great.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.