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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Why Calling America ‘Great’ Triggers the Left


When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized upon the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” he could not have more shrewdly marked the battle line where the election and the next four years of his term would be fought. Resonating with Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan “Let's make America great again,” “MAGA” was perfectly calculated to galvanize Americans on the right who were fed up with eight years of predecessor Barack Obama apologizing for our country, denying American exceptionalism, alienating our allies, and empowering our enemies. It also was the perfect phrase with which to expose the seething hatred leftists feel for this country and its supporters. Trump won the election, no matter what the sore losers of both left and right insist, and two and a half years after he was swept into the White House by heartland patriots (which is exactly why the coastal elites want to eliminate the electoral college), his slogan continues to trigger the rage and animosity of America-haters.

For example: last week in an interview with MSNBC, a question about American greatness prompted a rant from Obama-era attorney general Eric Holder. "I hear these things about 'Let’s make America great again' and I think to myself, ‘Exactly when did you think America was great’?” he said on the network. “It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled…

“You know, America has done superb things,” Holder continued. “It has done great things. And it has been a leader in you know, a whole range of things. But we are always a work in process and… looking back, ‘Make America Great Again’ is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best where we look at the uncertain future, embrace it and make it our own.”

The rant was a direct shot at Trump, his MAGA slogan, and American citizens who believe in this country’s exceptionalism. It highlighted the fundamental divide between the leftists who are determined to override human nature in pursuit of their utopian vision of human perfectibility, and conservatives who understand that people are fallen beings who can be both flawed and great. For the left, on the other hand, Americans cannot be great because we aren’t yet perfect; not only that, we aren’t merely imperfect but evil because we came by our unparalleled power and prosperity through the exploitation and oppression of others. Thus, we will never be truly great until we atone for those sins by diminishing our greatness.