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#38
Don't make a slogan an objective or assume that a politician will achieve it, especially if it has glaring ambiguity. Donald Trump makes the slogan the focus and he gets to decide what it means. People may love the slogan because they think that they know what it means -- but Donald Trump is its arbiter.

So what did you like about the past? In my case, not white racism in which a WASP elite got all the opportunities and others got the responsibilities. Certainly not the heterosexist male chauvinism even if I am male and straight. The absence of scientific and technological achievements that we now take for granted? of course not. Will anyone miss polio or smallpox? Not in the least. If I must take a long-distance trip, I prefer the Interstates even if they are mostly bland and monotonous -- and not the old blood alleys. Seat belts and collapsible steering wheels? I certainly don't want to be impaled on a steering wheel or get thrown into a windshield or a tree. It's a good thing that we have Social Security and Medicare so that older people don't simply work until they die in industrial accidents. Workers completely under the thrall of corporate overlords as they were when labor unions were either absent or impotent? Hell no!

So what was different that was better? In some ways life was easier with more certainties. The opportunities were still for the taking. Real estate was cheaper, and commutes were not so long. But we have about twice the population that we had in the 1950s, so we have more competition for jobs, real estate, and first-rate education. Urban and suburban sprawl is ugly.

So imagine a Klansman disgusted with homosexuals having marital rights, open miscegenation in plain sight (Heidi Klum -- really disgusting if you are a white racist), influential Jews and 'papists' corrupting America, blacks not consigned to farm labor and domestic service if as adults and if as children condemned to segregated education that prepares youth for nothing other than servility and toil, a fast-growing Mexican-American population, South and East Asians acting as if they are the intellectual and commercial superiors to white people, working people in industry not living in destitution despite toiling 70-80 hours a week.... I can just imagine 'greatness' as the dreams of the American economic elites of the 1920s.

Monopolists having control of the economy and the government? America worked its way out of that about a century ago. But that is the dream of the cultists of Ayn Rand and much of the mainstream of the Republican Party.

We need not seek to impose some idea of greatness. We need to return to some old decencies. We need to recognize objective reality as a barrier to radical ideas that have never worked before and never will here. We need only be good and accept the value of rational thought as a tool for problem-solving. We need to divest ourselves of cruelty, superstition, and intellectual laziness.

As G.K. Chesterton put it, before you tear down a fence make sure that you know why the fence is there. I see the most intellectually-superficial President ever, one intent on radical changes in American life even if for objectives that most people associate with corporate conservatism and a nostalgia for an America in which life was easier (because there were fewer people and thus less dog-eat-dog competition). The middle-class dream of factory workers being able to live in places with congenial climates and own bungalows with two-car garages is probably gone forever solely due to the economics of a population twice as large.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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Messages In This Thread
Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-01-2019, 06:44 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-01-2019, 10:19 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-02-2019, 06:41 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-02-2019, 11:55 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-06-2019, 04:00 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-07-2019, 09:39 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-07-2019, 11:07 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-08-2019, 09:13 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-08-2019, 10:01 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-08-2019, 10:15 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-08-2019, 06:00 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-09-2019, 01:29 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-10-2019, 12:36 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-08-2019, 05:30 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-01-2019, 01:26 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-02-2019, 07:12 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Bill the Piper - 05-02-2019, 07:03 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-05-2019, 09:59 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-06-2019, 09:34 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-06-2019, 05:30 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-07-2019, 05:29 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-06-2019, 10:25 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-06-2019, 01:47 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Hintergrund - 05-14-2019, 08:55 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by taramarie - 05-09-2019, 01:38 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-09-2019, 07:51 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-15-2019, 01:38 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-15-2019, 02:32 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Hintergrund - 05-18-2019, 07:24 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by sbarrera - 05-26-2019, 10:59 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-27-2019, 09:53 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Kinser79 - 05-30-2019, 10:45 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-30-2019, 12:10 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-26-2019, 02:59 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-27-2019, 06:25 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-31-2019, 01:22 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-30-2019, 12:21 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-30-2019, 02:51 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-31-2019, 07:56 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-30-2019, 05:19 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 05-31-2019, 09:24 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-31-2019, 02:12 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 05-31-2019, 12:23 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Eric the Green - 05-31-2019, 01:47 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Hintergrund - 05-31-2019, 07:13 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by Hintergrund - 06-01-2019, 09:17 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 06-02-2019, 01:14 AM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by David Horn - 06-02-2019, 01:36 PM
RE: Compare this 4T to others - by pbrower2a - 06-02-2019, 03:25 PM

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