“Make America Great Again!”, Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, would make you erroneously believe that America’s best days are all behind it and that the country is fast becoming one of those has-been global powers like the Great Britain.
Well, like all empires before it, the U.S will fall someday too, but not in my lifetime, I am sure. Far from from the limping weakling that some believe the U.S has turned in to in recent days, America is still the greatest nation on Earth.
Its greatness can only be aptly captured in superlatives-it still has the biggest economy and more importantly, as President Obama reminded everyone when he addresed the UN General Assembly this week, the mightiest military ever.
The U.S was first to send a person to the moon and it seems it will be the first to send someone to Mars too. And so as the presidential campaigns drag on here and I keep experiencing more American cities, I ask my self of Trump´s slogan: make America greater than what?
We have been to several cities now and in each of them, the other not-so-prosperous side of the US has been laid bare. Tens of beggars and homeless people in the streets of Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, New York and so forth, are testament enough that the proverbial American Dream remains that- a dream-to some.
These men and women in the streets have been chewed and spit out by the unforgiving capitalist machine.
These hapless men and women are either the products of U.S political design or products of the man-eat-man capitalistic system that the U.S has closely embraced and which Mr Trump embodies.
In addition, consider this fact: America has the highest prison population than any other country in the world. How exactly did this vanguard and world democracy, freedom, human rights, globalization and free trade become a jailor of so many of its ownpeople?
Most of these people behind bars are African-Americans and Latino’s- two ecomomically disenfranchised groups which are caught up in a vicious circle of crime and state recrimination which they cannot get out of.
And so I wonder, when Trump says “make America great again,” does he have in mind that man huddled in a street corner somewhere begging for a meal? Does he think of the millions of his compatriots languishing behind bars, most of them for minor crimes?
In my view, addressing these issues, and spreading America´s wealth in a way that benefits that everyone-Black, Latino, Arab, Asian, White- will make American even greater. That is if only the capitalist machine can accept such a proposition.