America’s Fear and Fatigue

“Make America Great Again” sounds danged good to me

By Diane Smith

You know what I like about Donald Trump? His slogan. “Make America Great Again” is brilliant.

In the years since 9/11 we’ve been barraged with reminders of our physical vulnerability. We’ve removed our shoes, watched for unattended backpacks, and heard countless media reports of changing threat levels. Then, after the economy crashed in 2007, average Americans were pushed to the financial brink. Hardworking folks had to worry – more than usual – about lost business, devalued homes, and corporate layoffs that cost employees their healthcare and savings. Added to those giant events, we’re now dealing with regular reports of Middle Eastern strife and blood-curdling acts of global terrorism.

So, “Make America Great Again” sounds danged good to me.

Too many Americans are scared and exhausted from being overworked and inundated with bad news. Our children are worried for their futures while our elders work into their 70s. Countries led by bad actors are intent on destroying the USA and the U.S. Congress is sputtering.

I’m not a Trump supporter. I believe he is “temperamentally unsuited” for the Presidency of this country I love so much. But he’s onto something. I too want to feel confident again. I’d like to believe we have a plan for dealing with global and domestic terrorists. I want our economy to grow and create wealth for people who aren’t trust fund babies. I want a government that works well. I’d like to have enthusiastic faith in the future.

Maybe that’s asking too much. Maybe the times we’re in just don’t allow for that. But here’s what I know. Insulting America’s intelligence with proposals built on bad math or nonsensical reasoning isn’t helping. Asking Americans to simply lower their expectations isn’t a winning strategy. Telling Americans that bad stuff happens and we should learn to live with it isn’t the American dream.

We are the greatest nation on earth. Yes, we have our problems; some of them are deeply troubling. All the more reason why we need leaders now whose ideas lift us, that understand our fear and fatigue but appeal to our better selves. We need a leader who isn’t auditioning for his/her next job but who is 150 percent devoted to devising and executing on strategies that work for all Americans and our future generations.

So, I’ve got to give the Donald his due. He’ll never get my vote. But “Make America Great Again” is still a great slogan.

Learn more about Diane by following her column here or visit American Rural at AmericanRural.org.

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