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Make America Great, Like It Was — When?


#1

Make America Great, Like It Was — When?

Jill Richardson

The holiday season is a time for nostalgia. We watch It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story, engage in time-honored traditions, and even sing songs about sleighs and sleigh bells.

Honestly, when was the last time you rode in a sleigh?

I’ve eaten a roasted chestnut (purchased on the streets of Chicago, so I don’t know if there was an open fire involved in the roasting process), but I haven’t gone for a single sleigh ride in my whole life.


#2

Trump is the poster child for the enfant terrible, and if the term narcissist hadn't been created, he would have made it a requirement of any textbook on politics, history, or psychology.

"Trump’s “Make America Great Again” sloganeering — combined with his anti-Muslim, anti-black, and anti-Mexican rhetoric — makes it apparent that he and his followers don’t see the ugly parts of our nation’s past as problematic. But it’s wrong to whitewash history."

It's not so much white-washing; it's that all Trump can SEE, process, and respond to is a projection of his own image and likeness. He thinks women SHOULD greet their husbands with a cocktail and be home keeping house at all times.

He's a cross between Ward Cleaver, Hugh Hefner, and Attila the Hun.


#4

indeed! jill richardson's point that trump speaks of a mythical "america the great" when every white man was king in his castle and his little woman gratefully waited on him hand 'n foot is spot on. no coincidence is it that our word "husband" and husbandry share the same root. in this myth hers was to obediently maintain his house, prepare his meals, wash and iron his clothes, give him sexual release and provide him with sons// the attacks on roe vs wade and women's health centers are all part of returning to this mythical state. whenever i catch a viagra or similar ad on tee vee, i think about the hobby lobby decision. i've heard that these eternally forever young, age 14, pill is covered in most insurance policies.
the following comes from today's democracy Now! headlines:

SC Lawmaker Floats "Invasive" Viagra Bill to Protest Abortion Curbs

A South Carolina state lawmaker has pre-filed a bill restricting access to Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications for men in order to make a point about increasing restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. The bill requires men seeking Viagra to undergo a 24-hour waiting period, submit a notarized affidavit from a sexual partner, be examined by a state-licensed sexual therapist and attend outpatient counseling sessions. South Carolina State Representative Mia McLeod said she made the bill as complex as possible—in order to prove a point about restrictions on abortion.

Rep. Mia McLeod: "I purposely tried to make it as invasive, as intrusive, as hypocritical and unnecessary as possible, to make the point."

Similar attempts to restrict Viagra access in Ohio and other states have so far been unsuccessful.


#5

for some reason part of rep, mia mcleod's quote didn't post?

Rep. Mia McLeod: "I purposely tried to make it as invasive, as intrusive, as hypocritical and unnecessary as possible, to make the point."


#8

"Make America Great, Like It Was — When?"

Lets ask Native Americans.


#11

Context is critical.

When describing a nations past and waxing poetic on some Golden age one must be full cognizant of ALL of the factors that might have gone into creating that so called Golden age.

Notwithstanding the very good points the writer makes on the plight of women and of minorities , there many other factors to consider such as......

Resource extraction as a component of wealth.

The Americas , unlike much of Europe was ripe for plunder. The amount of treasure the Spanish crown extracted from Latin America as example made Spain a world power and tremendously wealthy. They too had that " golden age".

In Canada and the USA , entire forests were being cut down, new sources of coal and then oil and mineral wealth being found and exploited. Great swathes of land being expropriated and turned into farmland. The wealth from all of this then flowed into the hands of the few who than invested in the mills and refineries and manufacturing plants. There is no "going back" to this time thus the desire to go abroad so as to steal the resources of other lands.

A second unique condition was WW2 where the industrialized nations of Europe bankrupted their treasuries and saw all manner of infrastructure destroyed. This left the USA with no rival as a center of manufacturing wherein 50 percent of world GDP was the US economy. There is no going back.

Another telling factor was the false prosperity created by having the US dollar as the worlds reserve currency. History has shown countries that see their currency as a reserve currency know short periods of tremendous prosperity as they can print up money at will to buy the real assets of other nations. Eventually they print themselves to penury and then see their currency and economy suffer a collapse. In historical terms a given reserve currency has a lifespan of about 100 years before it replaced by another and the US dollar closes on that.

Spain and Holland Portugal and France along with England all had about a hundred year run where their currencies the Worlds reserve and all of them had Golden ages when it was.


#12

You know, we could bash Donald Trump all day long, and it would all be understatement. I am not complaining, though: somebody needs to do this work, and it is hard to work up the interest.

I believe that the article actually slides by something interesting here, however. The thing is, there really is something to this "America the great" stuff, though surely it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, and nothing to do with beacons on hills or a world safe for democracy or anything much like that. The economy was far, far different in the 50s and 60s and thereabouts. Among other things, for all the very real racism and sexism and general xenophobia that I think would shock many contemporary people to confront, money was distributed a whole awfully lot more equally than it is now. People of moderate means paid cash for medical care. Education was cheap enough that people could graduate from a university and then spend a few years doing charity work abroad before settling down.

If I am, let's say, a fairly stereotypical white male of low-to-moderate income and moderate to zippo education, say born in 1980, it is quite conceivable that I know that my father was able to purchase a home on a single income in, gee, 1973 or 1983. I may also know that the same thing is not happening in the same way today. Of course, if I start to imagine that Donald Trump will help me with any of this, then there's a question of ignorance slipping into this. But hang on. I may read that white males have unjustly taken power and autonomy from women and minorities. What is it that I am supposed to have power over, exactly, while I don't own my shirt?

I do not mean to suggest that any of this reduces the impact of racism and sexism: it does not, and it does not excuse it. And I do not mean that it is anything but natural that women and minorities who have managed to buck systemic difficulties and find whatever they regard as success in one way or another should be primarily concerned with their respective glass ceilings.

However, it strikes me that when we leave the issues of income inequality out of the picture, we create a picture that leaves the larger body of the oppressed to Rand Paul or, the educational system and reasonable good sense failing, to Donald Trump.

Again, this doesn't mean that it makes sense for people worried about income inequality to ignore racism or sexism either. But the success of the rich in dividing the poor along these lines does merit some examination in this.


#13

right you are, but remember income inequality follows women and minorities throughout life. makes a big difference in that monthly ssc check! i worked as a sales rep and then a small retail business owner so don't have that problem.


#14

I listened earlier to Democracy Now... and thought that State Rep was ingenious to pull this off!

Back in l975 I produced a photo-essay that was shown at University of New York (Albany) gallery. And the photos, which ran the gamut of images taken from London fashion windows, to black and white shapes of trees... all had captions.

Your comment reminds me so much of one of those captions. It was placed under the image of a little girl mannequin looking UP at a little boy... as if her entire life aspiration was to become all those things for "her guy."

One of my late teen summers I took a job as a sleep-away camp counselor and they always had a summer talent show. I had my bunk do a total mockery of that song, "I enjoy being a girl." It's such a paean to the helpless female who only lives for validation from a male.

ugh.


#15

"Donald Trump’s campaign slogan — “Make America Great Again” — plays on
this idea of some imagined time in the past when things were better,
simpler, than they are now. "

Yes Donald, in the past things were better and more simple; but no, you can't rejoin the British Empire.........


#16

Remember this?


#18

My mother is a direct desendant of the person who founded Bandera ,TX USA. She was born in Brady Tx, but wasn't able to attend school because of acute hostilities towards mexicans in the "American great days ". The poor woman never was able to realize her potential.


#21

Well sure. It is a good generalization to say that women and minorities are the principal victims, much like it is a good generalization to say that the poor are the principal victims. And this will work more often than not partly because one is usually speaking about the same people. And sure, if it is not obvious, let's repeat it. But hopefully this does not feel contradictory to anything that I said above, and hopefully it does not lead to the impression that poverty among white males is a thing so terribly apart from the systemic oppression of women and minorities.


#24

Interestingly, both China and the old Soviet Union were just as certain that they were the greatest, richest, most productive, most moral... just as much as Americans believe this about the US.

Great in what respect? The US could fit into the back pocket of Canada or China, and we've fallen FAR behind on everything from education to scientific development. The US has remained engaged in wars almost constantly for the past century, usually by choice. The last one won? We were participants in the winning of WWll, 70 years ago. Today, the US is militarily and economically drained out.

The "standard of living" rating tells much about this country. From FDR to Reagan, the US implemented policies and programs that took the country to its height of wealth and productivity. When Reagan was first elected, launching the initial campaign against our poor, the overall quality of life was rated at #1 -- far from perfect, but much better. By the time Obama was elected, this had already plunged to #43, and we can no longer adequately compete in the modern world market. The US has been growing a hell of a poverty crisis, this generation lacks the courage to legitimately address it.


#25

We used to determine jobless rates by adding the number of people receiving UI with those on welfare. We got rid of welfare, therefore those statistics. We have no idea how many are jobless, destitute, nor are Americans today particularly interested. And that's tragic.


#26

Today's liberals are afraid to address a critical factor in America's former era of great success (which was actually fairly brief): From FDR to Reagan, the US implemented a range of policies and programs that took the country to its height of wealth and productivity. It was far from perfect, but much better, and progress was possible. When Reagan was first elected, launching the initial campaign against the poor, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1. (Bill Clinton brought the "war on the poor" to fruition in the 1990s, and liberals ignore/avoid the impact on the overall economy.) By the time Obama was elected, the US had already plunged to #43, and we can no longer adequately compete in the modern world market. We maintain the agenda that has kept the US on a downhill slide.

A challenge: In real life, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people. We already tried over 30 yrs of merely calling for job creation. What do YOU think we should do with the jobless poor? (Note to middle classers: Even if there are jobs, it's impossible to get a job without a home address, phone, bus fare, etc.)


#27

It's a movie, "The American President". It's worth the watch. Not perfect, but will make one think.


#29

That was the slap in the face to me also-Totally uncalled for and inappropriate...Makes me wonder about political motivations for Killary...


#30

I suppose you have missed that whole inequality thing.


#31

Yup, that really bugged me. What the hell did Bill Clinton really do to make our nation better? His "I feel your pain" degenerated into a shameful series of "triangulations" that hurt millions and emboldened Wall Street and the MIC. Hillary will be the same if she somehow is elected. The Clintons and their ilk are the real problem we have to move away from - establishment shills masquerading as agents of needed change. Just remember that Hillary had the gall to state that she wanted to be our "champion"! Who in their right mind could possibly believe that after her record?