Here is how I understand Make America Great Again, the slogan popularized by the 45th president of the United States of America, beginning in his unprecedented presidential campaign.
First lets identify what it actually is, a slogan. So let’s dispense with people attempting to take it entirely literal with the ‘Oh when was America ever great’ or ‘Oh so you admit America isn’t great now’ may work in some salty circles but doesn’t have any salience to a slogan, let alone a political one.
Let’s try this elsewhere. Burger King – “Have it your way.”
Are you saying I can’t have it my way anywhere else in the world?
KFC – “Finger licking Good.”
Are you saying we have to eat all the food with our fingers, even the Mac n Cheese or Mashed potatoes and gravy? How about people without fingers?
Dr. Pepper – “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Nike – “Just Do It.”
You do it, don’t tell me what to do you product!
Google – “Don’t be evil.”
Hmm, hadn’t considered it an option until you brought it up, one second let me google it and find out just how I can be.
Washington Post – “Democracy Dies in Darkness”
Haha, you are the Washington Post, have you read you recently?
Back to the topic of MAGA, what i’m saying is don’t be Cathy Newman.
It is a rhetorical trick currently used by many who dislike Trump. Recall Obama’s Yes We Can slogan. ‘What things do others do in other countries that Americans cant?’ ‘Oh so you admit we can prove racism is over by voting in Obama?’ Not everything is binary, there can be a spectrum between great and dismal, insignificant, horrible or whatever else they want to persuade you of.
Now on to MAGA. Again, I learn from things around me sports being one of them. With the recent signing of LeBron James, one can say the Lakers are being made great again. It does not mean they stopped having some of the top selling jerseys and merchandise, selling out the arena or high broadcast ratings over the last 10 years. But now there is a return to having the sort of activities that created and established the Lakers as the premiere NBA franchise. Just because they have been making moves to get better than they were for the last 5-6 years, does not mean they were horrible then.
A more personal example will be your individual health. Shall focus on physical fitness here. If you were fit in the your youth, had an active lifestyle, worked out on the regular for the athletic team(s) you participated in etc. You then enter adulthood and find you have less time exercising, no more scenic bike rides on warm afternoons. More time devoted to sitting in traffic then sitting in your office, then sitting at home as you order your delivery food. You put on 25 pounds and drop 25 pounds on your maxes on bench, squat and deadlift.
You realize things have changed since you switched from regular travel to competitions for travel to conventions, your priorities changed from playing in the game on the court to being at the game sitting courtside.
Something makes your realize you can have the benefits of both, you dont have to play but doesn’t you can’t. You decide it is time to make yourself fit again, which coincedentally would also improve your non-athletic performance. Depending on prior fitness levels, genetics, personal happiness, and more during those off years, you could still have been fitter than 95% of the people who have never worked out, let alone any that never approached the dedication you previously had to fitness. Your body, like your mind retains memories. So you even if you’re body was not a wreck, or somehow injured or crippled by some accident, you can accurately state you are making yourself fit again. “Healthy mind in a healthy body.”
So what does MAGA mean to me?
Well I have been unsure of where I’d want to live or how due to a myriad of reasons, some out of my control. But recently I have come to understand how much I need to have a home-base to build from. Can continue traveling and expanding my experiences, but want somewhere to for example send back and or store all the things I find elsewhere. Without a ‘home is where the heart is ‘ then everywhere can be elsewhere and may as well be anywhere. I left the USA over a decade ago thinking no part of the state of the States I’d seen could be that base, now find myself trying to negotiate the process involved in making it back with the option for permanence. Immigration can be a trying but many others have, are and will continue to attempt the process by various means. Being able to think “Home isn’t a place…It’s a feeling” that, yes I can live here and think this was a great decision, in a great place with great things for my future, is what I think is behind MAGA.
I’ve got some bad news and some good news; the world is a small place but there is mroe than enough room for all of us. Win-win situations do exist and it is why we are here, it is central to why the USA became the exceptional place that it is. “We are all in this together.“
I recently have been discussing the fears and warnings of an impending if not ongoing of American Civil War or other similar “all good things come to an end” sentiments. Something for sure is going on leading to unrest and dissatisfaction among people residing in what may be one of the best places and times to have been alive in. Having taken a significant interest in American politics over the last few years bouncing in and out of the country, I can confidently say that in no small part due to the effort of people who were not comfortable with just depending on past success, things are nowhere as bad as some claim them to be. I may have my socio political preferences, my tribe if you will, and consider some to be innately harmful to the maintenance of civilization, but do not think this improvement is due to exclusive efforts from any singular side. “No pain, no gain.”
These improvements should not be expected by just repeating what you did in the past, “time and tide wait for no man.” Going but back to the physical fitness analogy, you are older and the effect of external forces must be accounted for. You may need to do more to achieve the same results you once maintained. May need to include things like selectively controlling and limiting your intake, but chances are you also have more control over your schedule and of course increased access to information to better define and reach your needs and find out that some things you did in the past may now have been proven to have been harmful to your success.
So there is work being done. Some whether you think it’s a minor nuisance or fear the worst but want to avoid it or think there isn’t enough if anything being done, I think step 1 is to identify what exactly you mean by great and how exactly you can independently achieve it.
This would be right now without changing besides your mind.
How would you define a greater tomorrow and what can you do to get it without requiring anyone else to do anything, then build on that. If you can define greatness then you can go about convincing others of it’s greatness and having them aide you in achieving it, and even more importantly, avoid the people who are in direct opposition to you being great.
I am an advocate for the division of labor. No need to spend a day working on something when someone is willing to do it for you in half the time. When we build this sort of cooperation we are stronger and better off. “One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph.”
Just as you shouldn’t have workout partners that think there is health at every size or no actual thing as objective fitness. No part of my fitness requirer you to be less fit and a great America doesn’t require the destruction of other countries, but instead a personal valuation of both ones physical and mental well being and that of the culture of the location you choose to be a part of. As my fitness goals may not be the same as your’s, greatness in the USA may not be the same for all, but dont see why it be a mutual beneficial goal for all that care about those United States of America.
It wont happen overnight. I have likened the MAGA process to be like a decision made on the deck of a massive ocean liner to correct course. It wont turn as simply as you could walking down a street. Many people on board the ship may not even notice any change depending on where they are and what they are doing. As it may not be smooth sailing at all times, chains that were once built and used to chain people under the decks and create the very real divisions that have existed in the country, can now be built to bolt down things onto the ship, and when need be, keep it anchored to a solid and stable bedrock.
Hope your fourth of July was MAGAnificent
Shall, Leave off with one of the most American songs I know of, bet you sing along even if you don’t know the words
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