There was a time when America was great. Not just because of its actions, but because of its dreams. In the middle of the greatest depression the world has ever known, we dreamed of a better society that offered a strong middle class, a security net for the elderly and a childhood for all free of hunger, fear and ignorance.
In building that New Deal for all, we constructed great bridges and dams, electrified the nation and came back from a crushing military attack to become the world’s first super power. In the decade that followed, we split the atom, sent millions to college, built a national highway system and journeyed to outer space.
In the 1960s, we began to lose our way. We started by asking an entire generation to dream of what they would do for their country and we ended by beginning to lose our faith in our government and other institutions. The 1970s started with a president resigning for ethical lapses and ended with voting out one of the most moral leaders we have ever had. In the 1980s, we were taught that our government was the enemy and that greed was good. Since then, the “one nation, united” of our Pledge of Allegiance has devolved into the “me” generations with some tribal warfare thrown in.
America can be great again. But it will not come through a slogan. It will not be built on a message of us versus them. It will not sit on a great wall keeping the rest of the world at bay. It has been a very long time since we had a leader who challenged the status quo by challenging us to dream big and to make those dreams come true.
We can only be great again, by dreaming big and doing big. “Little” Denmark has free health care and free college for all. “Little” Denmark has a $25 minimum wage and a 35 hour workweek. “Little” Denmark is rated the #1 country on earth to start and run a business and the people of “little” Denmark are the happiest on earth.
If we want to be great again, then America must first dream of and then find a way to have free health care for all Americans and free college for all who want to go. We must have a living minimum wage and a work/life balance that truly supports the value of families being together. We need to be the best country on earth to own and operate a business while helping all our people to be the happiest anywhere. In the same vein, we need to dream of and then rebuild our century old infrastructure. We need to upgrade and offer the fastest Internet to the greatest number of our citizens. Can we not dream of and become the greenest economy and the green technology leader of the world?
Simply saying we are great does not make it so. In far too many ways we have slid into mediocrity and labeled it exceptionalism. The American people have shown before that they can and will live up to or down to the standards set for them by their leaders. Big dreams are never easy. Neither is changing the status quo. Only if we demand and support a leader who dreams of and fights for an America that is the best, may we once again be able to dream of and become the greatest nation on earth.
Submitted by Craig Donovan