Was America ever really great? | The Tylt

Was America ever really great?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the latest politician to walk headlong into the unending discussion of whether America was ever really great. Many, like the governor, argue President Trump's popular "Make America Great Again" slogan whitewashes the nation's past hostility toward people of color, women and the LGBT community. Others say nostalgia for America's past greatness and the drive to reclaim it are patriotic and deserve respect. Was America ever really great?

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Was America ever really great?
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While the history of the United States features incredible accomplishments and exceptional citizens, there is also a great deal of darkness in our past. Here's a brief overview of the nation's tumultuous history: 

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In his recent campaign speech, Gov. Cuomo stated definitively that America was not great in the past. Per the New York Times:

“We are not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”
..."He has it on his hat: ‘Make America Great Again.’ What does that mean? We’re going to go back to a time when America was great. Right? ‘Great again.’ The whole concept is, it’s retrospective,” Mr. Cuomo said. “When do you want to go back to, Mr. President? What was the great time that you want to take us back to, when America was great?”
Mr. Cuomo went on to suggest that Mr. Trump wanted to return to a time before gay marriage and the women’s equality and environmental protection movements and “before these new immigrants started to come across the border.”
“That’s when America was great, in his head,” Mr. Cuomo told the crowd in Manhattan.
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President Trump swiped back at the governor using his favorite medium, Twitter, saying the Cuomo was "having a total meltdown!"

The president clearly disagrees with Gov. Cuomo's statements, but the New York Times points out Cuomo himself did not always feel that America was not formerly great. 

When he ran for governor in 2010, Mr. Cuomo said in his announcement video, “Together, we can make New York great again.”
#AmericaWasGreat

After Gov. Cuomo's speech, a spokesperson, talking to TIME, actually walked back his statement. She claimed the governor did not mean to say that America was never great, just that the painful parts of the country's history must also be acknowledged and the problems rectified. 

“The governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality,” Cuomo press secretary Dani Lever said in a statement. “When the president speaks about making America great again — going back in time — he ignores the pain so many endured and that we suffered from slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism and marginalized women’s contributions.”
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In an essay for the Huffington Post, Ralph Nader argues while the history of the country is undoubtedly complicated, the historical America that Donald Trump longs for is one that was innately unfair to certain segments of the population. 

Would Mr. Trump prefer America return to the days of slavery, Jim Crow and labor exploitation in unsafe factories, mines, foundries and plantations? How about the late 19th century when “Robber Barons” monopolized one industry after another? Is he longing for the days when women were second-class citizens and couldn’t vote, until securing this right less than 100 years ago, only to still be paid lower wages than their male colleagues for performing the same jobs and faced with consumer and educational discrimination?
....What a speech Trump could give were he to explain what Making America Great Again means to him. He could explain his desire to go back to the prosperous Sixties when big corporations and the rich paid much higher taxes, didn’t dare pay their CEOs more than 30 times the average wage in their companies and had to comply with a higher real minimum wage. He could wax nostalgic over the larger relative infrastructure budgets of the federal government, or the days when student debt was small or non-existent compared to the huge student debt load now imposed on this younger generation of Americans.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Was America ever really great?
#AmericaWasntGreat
A festive crown for the winner
#AmericaWasGreat