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When has America been great?

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 16 2018 at 10:29pm
I want to start this by saying I love this country and would not trade it for any other! My family has fought for this country in most of it's wars so when I ask this question I'm not trying to run my country down! It's the word "Great" I have a problem with! I think the United States of America has done some great things and I think we could truly become a great country and society! When were we great in the past?

Were we great during the first 246 years we allowed slavery?
Were we great during the next 75 years of Jim Crow?
Were we great when Andrew Jackson removed native Americans from the East on the "Trail of Tears"?
Were we great when we sent small pox infected blankets to reservations, or at Sand Creek or Wounded Knee?
Were we great in the 19th century when the "Irish need not apply"? How about in the 1940's when we suspended Habeas corpus and interned Americans of Japanese decent and stole everything they owned?

When were we Great????

If you believe this country has been great in the past you also believe in Washington's, "I can not tell a lie!" and Santa's list!

The United States of America could become great but not like this!

To truly be "Great" we must abide by the words of Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus! It's what America should strive to be!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 17 2018 at 2:35am
America is a great country.

No country on Earth's huge surface has ever existed without performing atrocities at some time in its past. NOT ONE!!!

No extant country gets everything right either. NOT ONE!!!

We are human beings. By that I mean intrinsically. nasty, violent, dishonest, greedy, selfish and truly great at self delusion. Happily at the same time, we strive (well most of us) to climb above our baser nature. Great nations do the same.

America has great intrinsic values. Does it sometimes get it wrong? Oh boy, yes! Trump is a case in point. But America keeps trying io improve the lot of its people. Trump will pass through the rearview window of history. America will remain. America will retain its values. America will (hopefully/probably) learn from its mistake and refrain from repeating this error. For example, Germany is a civilized country now. It has a few neo-nazis, but the vast majority of its people learned better and say: "Never again!"

In the long term, the residual anti-Trump sentiment may improve the country more. A burnt child dreads the fire after all.

Santa is real, he just inhabits the world of mind - not matter.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WillobyBrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 17 2018 at 3:31am
Arirish, I am an old man of 74, born at a time when the British Empire and the German Empire were tearing each other appart in a war, that was a product of a previous war, started by two men, whose only desire was to play soldiers with real men.

Forget what the history books told you. The real cause of the first world war was George V and the German Kaiser, two cousins playing games. The horror of that lead to the second world war.

We had slavery before the USA existed. We also turned on the Red man after he helped us/you exist in our early colonies. More recently, we stabbed our two greatest friends in the back by joining the EU. New Zealand and Australia whose lamb, cheese, butter, fruit, etc. kept us alive during the war and up until the 70s. They both lost most of a generation of young men in the first world war and the second world war, fighting for the Empire"!

As I am being horribly bitter, because my parents had taken me to New Zealand at 2 1/2 years old and dragged me back to this war ravaged, poluted, filthy, violent, bullying mess of a nation, that hated Irish people whom had been brought up in New Zealand and whose mother (who with her black hair and slant eyes was thought to be Japanese because they could not tell the difference). I have been kept in exile from my homeland all my life and cannot return, as free travel was stopped after we joined the EU.

Now, lets pick on the others:

King David comitted genocide against 8 city states, killing every person, farm animals and even pets. He reduced them to ruins. Most of my friends now and those who helped me most in my life up until now, are Jews. I love them dearly and would put my life on the line for them.

An Islamic person saved my life recently, by stopping the progress of stage 4 cancer (stage 4!).   Another one replaced my abdominal aorta when it split unexpectedly, yet factions of their people are currently commiting the worst atrocities on the planet.

I could go on and on. There isn't a nation that has not done something wrong and evil; Australia against its Aboriginals (although they seem to be growing up now and listening to those wonderful and ancient people).   New Zealand treated the Maori like crap, until they kicked it out of us and the white man who had invaded them had to sign a treaty: which we also tried to cheat on. But fortunately, we all look at "Mount Aspiring" and take it as a symbol of climbing towards higher things, which also fortunately goes well with a can-do attitude.

Finally, I would like to say, in defence of America, your can do attitude is strong, providing you also carry the disadvantaged with you. You are, after all, built on caring for the "huddled masses". I have a lot of "Yank" friends and unfortunately, I lost a lot because of the Vietnam War, black white and mixed race, I still refer to them as "Yanks" and they still call me "Kiwi" That is because of friendship not disrespect.

I also had a Russian wolf-hunter as a friend and ex soldier. So, don't give up on the US, Arirish. Just remember, Nations are made up of people. They all have a brain (even if they deign not to use it sometimes) they all have the ability to move and the ability to use their hands to work for good or evil. Unfortunately, they all have an arseh*le; at the moment your nation is a little bit sick and is being controled by its own one. Norovirus always cleares up after a short while. So, the assh*le relinquishes contol again in time.

I hope it gets better soon for you, Arirish.

All the best. Bernard.
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arirish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2018 at 12:36am
Thanks for your thoughts and wisdom! Please know I have not and never will "give up" on this country or our great allies! I guess I didn't make my point clear! My point is, if we're going to "Make America Great Again", you have to tell me when you thought we were great,and when and why you don't think we're great now! Under which President did it happen? Was it under the black, Muslim? Was it under the deferment Bush? Was it before or after Bill's affair? Was it before or after the voting rights act? These people claim to be the Party of Lincoln so I assume it was after him!
This is one of the greatest counties yet we're not perfect! Our migration policies are and always have been a mess! We don't want the German Catholics (they're not Protestant), the Irish (they're all lazy drunks),the Italians (they all belong to the Mafia), the Haitians (they all have Hiv/aids), the Hispanics (they're lazy rapist and murders and are taking our jobs)!

My Grand parents were Irish, Scots and Scots Irish. They left the British Isles to escape persecution only to land here to face more of the same! It took three generations for us to meld! After WWII one of my mother's brothers brought home an Italian bride. Through chain migration they brought her elderly parents over! They never learned English. Aunt Angie spoke English and Italian and their kids only spoke English! Three generations! Over the last 20 years I've worked with and along side many Hispanics and African migrants! They all want the same thing my ancestors wanted, a better life for their families! Given a chance they'll help build a greater America! What's wrong with that?


All countries and families do good and bad things!
Some of my Scots ancestors were cattle thieves! Some of my ancestors took part in the Ulster Plantation! Some of my ancestors took part in the Underground Railroad! One of my ancestors belonged to the Molly McGuires! One of my ancestors was part of the Irish mob. Most of my American family served in uniform!

I am and my kids are who they are because our ancestors came here and built a new life! They came through New York harbor, past the New Colossus who says:

'Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

In other words:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your "*****hole countries".







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2018 at 2:33am
It is that very attitude that underlies the greatness.

I can think of only one of your Presidents whom I actively dislike. Every other one, despite deep (occasionally very deep) flaws, held fast to those principles, so even if the full array of good stuff only appeared after their terms ended, they still look like great men in the rearview mirror of history.

Maybe even Trump will join them.   Somehow, I doubt it this time.

As for the future, America is a young country; most nations that young are less civilized. So you are off to a good start. Of course there are problems. There always are. Keep asking those questions and hope/encourage others to ask them as well, then the greatness will continue.

I have a few:

Tax: Okay I think within reason - but what do you spend it on?

Education: Yes please, but are you conditioning our young or teaching them to think?

Are you helping our poor/sick/old/disabled/nuts?

Are you helping the lazy too because they hide in the above list?

Are any groups left out of the safety-net?

Are we fair and just?

Are you keeping us safe?

Are you erroding our freedoms?

Is the country solvent financially?

Are we looking after the world around us?

Then comes the fun: some of those goals are mutually antagonistic, so where does the ballance lie?   As far as I can tell - in the middle - but juggling the two sides is difficult enough to mean greatness lies in the aspiration, the achievement is a distant hope. At least America strives for greatness. That is all we can ask for and far more tham many countries' inhabitants get.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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