Making America Great Again: The Donald Trump Fallacy // Lauren Weisberg

Photo from http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1839273/trump-campaign-mistakenly-tweets-image-nazi-soldiers-helping-make-america

Welcome to New Hampshire.  Live Free or Die.  Now, you probably don’t know too much about the Granite State.  One of the things that makes it famous is that it is a major political stop on the campaign trail of almost every politician interested in a presidential run.  I have lived in New Hampshire for a couple years, and the upcoming presidential elections will be my first here.  Long-time residents enjoy the stream of politicians that flow through the state pre-primaries because it gives them the opportunity to hear the politicians’ views and plans first-hand, which is an opportunity that I, too, am now taking advantage of.  So when my cousin asked me if I wanted to go see Donald Trump, I said yes. 

Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”, which as far as slogans go, is pretty catchy.  However, the America that Trump is striving to recreate is 1950s America (explicitly stated at the event).  For someone of Mr. Trump’s status and privilege, returning to the 1950s would be fantastic.  White, ultra-wealthy, and heterosexual.  What a time for the privileged!  But what about the rest of America, Mr. Trump?  What about the Black people in our country who were suffering with segregation and fighting, sometimes with their lives, for their rights? Who were experiencing violence and massive racism everyday just because of the color of their skin and the history of our nation?  I am not sure they want the 1950s back.  Not to mention all of the racial and ethnic minorities who were treated in a reprehensible fashion in the 1950s United States. What about women?  I know that you claim to “cherish” and “respect” us, Mr. Trump, but if you want to return to the 1950s, these claims are a lie.  In the 1950s, women were not safe, in the home or in public because rape and sexual assault were prosecuted even less than they are now.  Women faced sexual harassment and virtually impenetrable glass ceilings in the workplace.  The LGBTQQ+ community did not exist.  If you told people you identified with any of these groups, you would have been targeted, often violently, and faced a life riddled with personal and professional barriers.  So when you say that you are going to “Make America Great Again”, Mr. Trump, I have some concerns.

Now, I am not particularly politically savvy.  I have strong political views, particularly around gender, racial, and all types of equality, as well as social reform.  But I am in the field of psychology. The way I understand politics is a reflection of my interest in human behavior and interaction.  Many people think that Mr. Trump is an idiot.  Let me assure you, he is not.  He, and perhaps his political team, have created a persona that allows him to say what everybody wishes they could believe.  He approaches politics with the gumption of a jingoist teen.  Why should the Syrian refugee crisis be our problem? Let’s just get rid of them!  Deport, deport, deport!  Abraham Lincoln said, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”  What would you want America to do, Mr. Trump, if you were a Syrian refugee?  Send you back to the hellish reality you came from?  If you were a racial minority in the United States, would you want the injustice ignored?  If you were a young woman on a college campus facing abysmal sexual assault statistics, would you be okay risking your safety if you went out at night?  Mr. Trump is ignorant of the responsibilities that we hold as human beings to care for other human beings.  It is a heavy responsibility to bear.  It is our duty to carry it, but Mr. Trump offers an alluring fantasy.  Drop the responsibility.  You do not have to take care of other people, take care of yourself!  Unfortunately, throughout history, this tactic has failed.  What often happens is we wait too long to step into an unjust situation, and are left playing catch-up and doing damage control. We should be trying to prevent a bad situation in the first place through level-headed negotiation and policy.  So the America that Mr. Trump offers, one without responsibility for others, is truly just a fantasy. 

When Mr. Trump says, “Make America Great Again”, he is talking about the propagandized, white-washed version of the 1950s that depicts American life as carefree and unfettered by the worries of the world.  What Mr. Trump is not telling the American people is that the version of America he is selling never existed.  There is no great America to return to, and we need a president who will strive to make America great for all of the people that live here, and all of the people that want to despite our flaws.  The United States has always had potential, but we need a president who is ready to move forward, instead of one that is stuck in the past. 

Written by Lauren Weisberg



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