To even begin to think that this president, or for that matter, any president, could, in the course of one term or even two, actually make America great again is simply preposterous, or easily grossly short-sighted. To believe that millions of jobs, the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice, a wildly successful stock market or even the abolishment of abortion would make America great, is equally short-sighted and at best folly.
To believe that the construction of a wall; the elimination of health benefits to millions; the destruction of regulations that were formed to protect our water and consumers against ruthless business practices, and the elimination of America’s international agreements would make America great is easily a foolish notion with little thought as to its consequences.
America did not become great in a few years, 10 years or a generation. It became great during numerous generations that taught all of us to respect life, to live with integrity, to embrace humility, to respect honesty, to accept individual differences, to admire courage, to help others, to live morally, to avoid lying, cheating or stealing; to respect authority; follow laws; cheat no man; and abide by our constitution.
What made America great was not a president, but generations of law-abiding citizens teaching values by word as well as example. What made America great was a simple awareness that we are all dependent on each other and can only be successful through our cooperative efforts to seek what is best for everyone and not just a privileged few. This process took centuries, wars and recessions and moral conviction, patience and unrelenting effort on the part of all citizens.
We have lost our way, and while it is noble to want to regain what we have lost, it is folly to think that it will take a president to make us great again. Instead, each one of us is required to look introspectively and honestly at our thoughts and behaviors and to alter our current course of action.
Stop using social media to embarrass and incite our fellow Americans. Stop tweeting and forwarding emails that do nothing to bring us better understanding. Stop lumping a large segment of Americans into one category and assuming they all believe alike and are trying to force different values on others. Stop arguing without listening and quoting news bites as though they were factual and true. Stop dividing family and friends with political arguments that simply glorify your own opinion without listening and evaluating the ideas of others.
We all want America to be great. However, this cannot happen until we decide to embrace our past ideals and start to work as one to make it happen. A House divided against itself simply cannot stand and right now it appears that our house is dangerously teetering.
Robert A. Hayek, Ph.D.