This is an actual honest question that I keep asking, and that I never get an answer to. I hear it all the time, “It’s time to make America great again”. First of all, I’m of the mindset that despite it’s flaws America is already pretty great, so what does it mean to make it great “again”.
If the average person was to talk about when America hit it’s prime. When America really blossomed into the great country that we know it to be, it wasn’t during the frontier time when people were dying in droves trying to cross the wild lands. It wasn’t during the time of the old west when gun slingers could mosey on in and shoot up the place. It wasn’t during the Civil War when brother was killing brother. It wasn’t during the roaring 20s when mobsters started bootlegging their booze and causing havoc in the streets. It wasn’t during the Great Depression when people were jumping off buildings so their families could have the life insurance.
The time when America seemed to really shine was about WWII. The amazing men and women who stood up against the evils of hate and destruction. The young people of that time are known as “The Greatest Generation”. They lived through the depression and came out the other side with a sense of pride and humanity. They fought and died to protect the lives of others. To protect the rights of others. They came home and everything changed. College grants were given. The housing market opened up in suburbs. They had babies who became the Hippies of the 60s and 70s who understood that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Ah, America was great. Americans understood that “With great power came great responsibility” and that it was important to fight for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way!”.
There is a young man who has taken on the thankless task of interviewing the Veterans that are left from WWII. He has created a documentary and believes that it is important for their legacy to be remembered. He believes that we will all be better people if we meet these incredible men and women who were part of saving the world from the Axis of Evil…. that’s what they were called. Because it was understood that they were in fact evil. That killing people by the millions for their religious belief or their disability was in fact evil. He wants to make sure that their stories live forever, and that they didn’t suffer and die for nothing.
Today there are millions more people who are suffering in other countries. Not just Syria or the nations that we hear about because they happen to do business with us, as in the case of ISIS have turned their attention globally. There are many countries in which people are dying everyday. Either through starvation, or raids, or bombings… millions of innocent men, women, and children who are just as important as American men, women, and children but happen to have been born in a different geographical location.
What do you think makes America great? Do you think that we are great because we can all get the newest iPhone? Do you think that America is great because we have the fastest internet service? I believe America is so great, and has always been so great because we were founded on the notion that we are all equal. We were founded on the notion that we should all look out for each other.
If we want to keep America great we have to remember this. We have to remember the comradery that came out of WWII. We have to remember the hippies who said “make love not war”. We have to remember our founding fathers who said all people were, “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. We have to remember our Presidents who said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
A lot of people take this last one to mean that no one should be given a free handout… but that’s a misinterpretation. What it means is that no one person should think that they are better than the whole. That in order for this country to succeed those who have need to take care of those who either do not have or can not have for themselves. That it is our job as Americans who have become strong and powerful to take care of the weak and needing.
You can use Christianity or just Humanity as your understanding of this statement. A good Christian, or a good person, helps those in need. They don’t hoard greedily while others suffer. They don’t judge others who may think or feel different from themselves… or look or love differently either.
People say that this country was founded on Christian ideals.. and that we need to keep God in our laws and our schools. Ok, well, God and Christ said to love thy neighbor. To not judge lest ye be judged. To give unto others.
What makes your America great?