American greatness



The Trump campaign has moved from the slogan it employed in the lead-up to the 2016 election, “Make America Great Again,” to a new one for 2020: “Keep America Great.”

The old slogan “Make America Great Again” assumed several things. The first was that evidently, America was great at some time in the past. So, when exactly was that? The second assumption the slogan made was that at some point America ceased to be great. So, when exactly did that occur?

The new slogan “Keep America Great” assumes that America must have become great again sometime during Donald Trump’s presidency, which leads to a final question: when exactly during Trump’s presidency did America go from its status of not being great to being great once again.

The truth is, of course, that America’s greatness should never be conceived of as being accomplished, but rather, as a work in progress.

American greatness, indeed, is an unending, challenging journey that never allows us to rest on our laurels. At times in our history, we have strayed from our path toward our aspirational goals, making their attainment seem to be an impossible dream.

At others, when we have aimed our efforts with true precision toward that unreachable lodestar, we have made advances in our pursuit of forming “a more perfect union.” But we are never finished.

As a friend of mine put it: “There’s no such thing as “getting there” because “there” is a fantasy; there’s only the next step and the step after that.”

At any point in our nation’s history, it is not for us to declare whether or not we have lived up to our creed “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is for our Creator God, and perhaps history, to judge, not Abraham Lincoln or George Washington or Franklin D. Roosevelt or Thomas Jefferson or Theodore Roosevelt. Not even Donald J. Trump.


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