Back When We Were Great

Donald Trump talks a lot about how his supporters “just want this country to be great again,” a line he repeats so often that he might as well slap it on a bumper sticker (here’s a representative example.) What he seems to be saying is that at some point in our past we were great but we are no longer great and our lack of greatness sucks and has caused much consternation among people who buy the bullshit that Trump is selling.

However, I have yet to find anyone who has asked him when, exactly, this “great” period was. What era of American greatness would they like to return us to? Anyone?

Is Trump talking about back when we had Jim Crow laws and women couldn’t open a bank account without their husband’s permission? Is he talking about when Reagan was president and we were trading arms for hostages and ginning up war in the jungles of Central America?

Is he talking about all of those times when our CIA was overthrowing democratically-elected governments in countries populated by brown people? Is he talking about when our economy was inflated on the hot air and promises of hedge fund managers and Wall Street rip-off artists?

What is this fucking great time when we were all awesome that is so much better? Someone please tell me. Can you point to it on a calendar? In a history book? Or is it just some mythic time before we had a black president and a dysfunctional Congress and a general lack of comity in the public square?

Dying to know.


Filed under 2012 presidential election

12 responses to “Back When We Were Great

  1. Kathleen

    That time when the incredible whiteness of being ruled without having to live close to or work with “The Hued”. And use the “N” word without being tagged as racists. White people have an inalienable right to use the “N” word but Obama took it away, along with their guns and religious freedom. O tempora, o mores!

  2. Bob K

    I think it’s defintely either 1950 or 1850, depends upon whether I’ve been taking my meds or not.

  3. Gotta be before I was born, ‘cos I sure-as-fuck ain’t seen any of it…


  4. He’s talking about the time when his listeners were about 10 years old and didn’t know about all the problems in the world.

    • evodevo

      Yes. This. People are always harking back to the good old days, usually when they were growing up and didn’t have to worry about where the rent/mortgage pymt was coming from, unintended pregnancies, illness, family strife, social strife, international strife, etc. etc. Children live in their own world for the most part, ignorant of adult concerns. Some don’t of course, and children can pick up on “vibes”, but are usually not cognizant of their cause. Most parents keep them that way out of a sense of “protection”, and that’s why it’s most peoples’ “Golden Age”. Now, in the Third World, it’s a different story.

    • You’re probably right. Let’s see, I was 10 in 1972. I remember student uprisings in the USA, anti-war protests, IRA bombings in Ireland, Nixon, and Vietnam War body counts on the evening news. Good times, good times.

    • Mike G

      This. Repuke ideology is infantile. They want to return to the blissful ignorance of childhood with a strong daddy figure.

    • Bitter Scribe

      The flipside is that old people tend to conflate the deterioration of their own bodies with a general deterioration of the country/world. Now that they’re worse, everything is worse.

      (And no, I’m not some smug millennial. I just turned 59, and if I ever get that way myself, somebody please just shoot me.)

  5. America was at its greatest when you could take your dogs anywhere and it wasn’t a crime to let them off the leash. And the summer of 1974 when the La Jolla beaches had a once-in-a-lifetime visibility of seventy-five feet plus and I was a young and powerful aquaman!

    Of course, Trump is tapping into this idea that Obama somehow destroyed our country.

    I think that American conservatives went off the deep end when Rush Limbaugh first gained national prominence. FOX news was the final nail in the coffin. I just hope and pray that a reasonable conservative voice will emerge someday soon before it is too late. I could live with a Desi Arnaz look-alike in the Oval Office. Republican women! Free yourselves!

    Take heart. Democrats should regain control of the Senate this time around. Do the PUMAs still love Hillary like they should eight years later? Somehow I just don’t think she can win because Clinton hatred is very strong. The biggest snow job ever pulled on the American people.

    I’m going around telling everyone I know that Trump can’t possibly win the nomination. Am I really going to have to be a monkey’s uncle on this?

    • You’re probably right about Rush and the great rise of the American … conservative.

      From an outsider’s perspective, I’m of the mind that as much as any western civilization wishes to hold to the concept of a democracy, leadership actually possesses liberal conceits in order to see a betterment of the conventional person’s life. The conservative “We’ve always done it this way”, or the deference to the ‘Good ole days’ doesn’t possess the reflective capacity to be inventive and to author genuine improvements in the quality of life.

      It may be that the business mindset that America prides itself in (with some important vindication) has rubbed off onto the general social assumptions, where the customer is always right, but at the same time, those same customers want inventive new products to better their lives. Inventive? Not from the conservative mind. It’s for this reason I’ve suggested that America needs to cultivate its liberals. Here’s an article from the Huffington Post on this subject.

      It will need to be from the fearless minds of liberals that America’s social assumptions will evolve. Think of them as the social entrepreneurs that improve the lives of Americans.

  6. Narcissist that he is, I rather imagine he’s talking about back when he thought he was young and studly and no one made fun of his hair. His frame of reference will always be “Trump” — in the third person. That’s when America was grreat.

  7. A.J.

    Maybe they mean Clinton’s eight years of peace and prosperity and all our military came home alive from their successful mission?

    Could happen….