Making America great again means taking American values seriously, not laying waste to our middle class, our cities, and the homes of societies worldwide who also seek liberty.
Politicians bare their teeth and snarl incoherently about “making America great again.” They have a point, albeit unknowingly: when Mason, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams agonized over the proper way to construct a political edifice in which to house–securely and for the long term–the values they were simultaneously defining for their harshly post-colonial “real world,” they knew whereof they spoke in conceiving of a “great” America. A “great” America would be an America guarding the people against the poor judgment of fallible rulers and of the equally fallible people themselves: majority rule with minority rights, specified powers to the central government with the rest reserved for lower levels or the people, balance among branches of government, freedom to form parties with constraints to minimize domination by any single party, no standing army unless temporarily unavoidable, no domestic use of any army that had to be stood up, and no war without the authorization of Congress. The great America they were designing was intended to be a field of dreams for the people to enjoy and on which to create as desired, with government at all levels limited to providing such services as deemed necessary.
The very opposite of the rigid war machine that now operates for its own purposes, that original vision of a great America was for a cautious, flexible, supportive peace machine. Modern thugs rant about restoring a “great” America that will free (from oversight) the big banks bailed out by the very taxpayers from whom they stole, build walls around this immigrant nation against immigrants, steal oil from helpless countries that our war machine has already bombed flat, or empower lackeys to repress inconvenient minorities demanding the very same liberties Jefferson and Adams once demanded, and, yes, these modern thugs do have a point: America’s greatness has indeed diminished.
“Free banks, not people!” “Wall out those seeking freedom!” “Bomb minorities demanding independence!” These modern thugs serving the military-industrial-financial complex with their upside-down message would have us live in a backwards world, a world designed to destroy, not restore, American values.
What solutions could be funded with such resources as have been wasted already this century by the self-indulgent U.S. elite! What secure banking system for family savings could be designed with that multi-trillion-dollar bailout! What aid to global populations seeking justice, what a marvelously effective and fair immigration service could be designed with the billions that a Great Wall of China around America would cost! What a magnificent post-hydrocarbon energy system could be designed with that three trillion dollar war! How many friendly societies around the globe might rise up to replace the lackey dictators who teach the world to hate us by imprisoning whole societies aspiring to liberty!
In time with the crescendo of the legions’ march, the melody of American values is being been drown out. America will not find greatness by copying Rome.