The “Great” Divide

Out of great confusion I went to great lengths to untangle the great mystery of which definition of “great” Donald Trump is referring to when he dons his red “Make America Great Again” hat. 

Yes I got all critical and consulted my dog-eared dictionary (which is great big, and red) and still I can’t figure which “great” definition our Commander-in-Tweet is referring to.

Does the Donald mean “notably large in size”? (Unlike his hands…have you seen them!?) Does he mean “a generalized term of approval”? 

At 36%, he’s got the lowest approval rating since Nixon said bye-bye. 

Could he mean “full of emotion” (after daydreams of a gilded Trump sign on his border wall between camp members, or between former “Dreamers” and the only land they have ever known?) Or could he be talking about some other delusion that projects beyond his thin orange skin that is “Markedly superior in character or quality”?

Okay, I’ll stop feigning ignorance and acknowledge, for my President, that the segment of America that his pasty-white ass was swaddled into 70 years ago, was actually great (for him). The filthy-rich father that suckled him on a golden teat, was great (for him). The privileged society that promoted his pomposity, his bombast, his flims, flams, flairs, and fables, was great (for him). The banks that serially prostituded him line after line of credit despite bankruptcy filing after bankruptcy filing, were great (for him).

Could it be that our shallow President just misses the great American days when his greedy segment of America judged him solely on the color of his money, and not on the content of his character?

No matter what time period we look back on this great experiment we fondly call “America,” certain groups of Americans were suffering greatly. 

America was not great for American Indians in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries while America systematically exterminated and displaced them. It was not great for them in 1830 when the United States Congress legislated the “Indian Removal Act.”

America was not great for black Americans when, over the course of 150 years, it structured much of its economy on enslaved black backs. It was not great for them when, prior to 1870, the census of America counted them as three-fifths of a person. It was not great for them during the “Jim Crow” 20th Century, that arguably has never ended.

It was not great for Filipinos between 1899 and 1902, when America killed and starved a quarter million of them.

It was not great for Americans of Japanese ancestry between 1942 and 1945 when America imprisoned them – men, women, and children – in internment camps.

It was not great for underprivileged American teenagers and young men in the 1960’s and early 70’s who were drafted and forced to horrible deaths and disfigurements in the jungles and rice paddy’s of Vietnam. 

Donald Trump got out of service because of claims of ingrown toenails. 

And finally, when has America ever been great for American women? Prior to 1920, women couldn’t even vote! Well into the 1960’s, women couldn’t work outside of the home after marriage. 

Hey gal, go get me a cup of coffee while I watch the next episode of “Mad Men” (!)

If you were alive in 1973, nationally televised normalized sexism was on your TV when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs’ ass in prime time. Regardless of your moral or ideological stance, it was not great for women that a gang of white-haired white men made federal domain of their uteruses in 1974. Sports fields were not great to women prior to Title 9. I could go I about how great it is that women’s median income – for exactly the same work – is 2/3rds that of men. (And for those of you inclined to make the argument about women’s time off for child-bearing, I will happily give you a sex-ed tutorial to illustrate men’s complicity and benefits in that arena).

My point is simple and straightforward, and easy to corroborate: Donald Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” hat is an insult, a marginalization, a middle finger to some American somewhere in America. And for someone who is supposed to be the President of all Americans, it is ignorance on full display.

P.S. Donald Trump’s Manhatten was stolen from the Manhatten Indians in 1626.

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