“Make America Great again,” a great election slogan but a little harder to identify when it was so great that we want to go back to that time. The easy answer might the time of Ronald Reagan but then again he was only able to roll back a few of the socialist programs that had been installed in our country since the 1930’s and the receivers of government handouts were growing.
John F. Kennedy ‘s ”City on a Shining Hill” and “Ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country” seemed like a great time but much too short to judge. Unfortunately it was followed by Lynden Johnson’s ”The Great Society” the program that condemned so many millions to a life of poverty and dependence on government handouts. It took away the incentives to work when you could get almost as much or maybe more by become dependent.
Our greatest time could have been just after World War II when we helped win the war and became a super power, but maybe not the best because we had already started our slide into socialism under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Maybe it was the birth of the 20th Century when the American worker produced the majority of goods produced in the entire world with only 6% of the world population. However, that was also the time of monopolies and Robber barons. Workers were mistreated and shared very little of the wealth produced.
The 1860’s were not so good either with the Civil War and even further back was slavery (which was corrected in the Civil War) and then there was the war of 1812 when the British burned Washington D.C. to the ground. What about 1776 when we declared independence and defeated the British, which was then the strongest army in the world? That had some good points but the Articles of Confederation which laid out the structure of government were so weak that the country was about to collapse.
Then there was 1786 when some of the best and brightest gathered together in Philadelphia to write the constitution; they put aside partisan differences and put together the wisdom of the ancient Israelites’ and the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Europe which believed in man’s right to govern himself. They took some from the Romans and some from the Greeks and some of the best ideas of western civilizations from; Adam Smith, Cicero, John Locke, Montesquieu and other great thinkers. They believed in man’s right to freedom was a gift from their creator and denied the divine right of kings which ruled Europe.
Because there were so many religious groups represented, they insisted that government not select a single church but insisted that all schools teach the basic tenets of religion along with reading, writing and mathematics. They felt the moral principles taught in the Bible were so important that they must be included in basic education.
Adams, Franklin, Jefferson and Madison all supported local self-government and warned of the central government trying to rule it all. They provided for “States Rights” so that Washington wouldn’t run everything. They insisted on the tenth Amendment which states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
They believed that government’s job was to provide equal rights not equal things. Then they wrote it all down to insure their direction was clear; the freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom to have a firearm to protect their family and the constitution and against all enemies both foreign and domestic. They warned against the “Welfare State” where the government would try to take care of everything by spreading the wealth trying to create equality.
It was a good time when men stood together, put party difference aside to create the greatest government the world has ever known. Can America be great again? There is a chance but we need a few patriots to put aside their party differences and stand together for America once again.