Often we hear the slogan by Trump’s base, “Make America Great Again” yet they do not know what it actually means, they only say it because he says it and made it his campaign promise. On a podcast episode recently as well as on a recent blog post on this blog I talked about how nothing he has done makes us great and now I will point out how we fix our problems with actions, not cute slogans.
I will list the three things we can do as a country to make our country great and help others, rather than hurting them. Of course, it takes a lot to fix our issues and Barack Obama did amazing things while he was president, but we need to take drastic steps to fix our problems and I will briefly outline those in the following points, I do this because we cannot just repeat slogans but rather we must work together to heal our nation, Obama did his best but Trump has reversed much of that hope and change, but we can get it back and even go further.
Homelessness and Poverty
Every single day tens of thousands sleep on our streets and starve while the fat cats on Wall Street make out like bandits. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the right does not seem to care. If we start to care about our most vulnerable as much as we care about the rich then we will be great but a country cannot claim greatness while ignoring millions of poor citizens who suffer greatly.
Besides those who are homeless and sleep under our bridges, underpasses, and hovered in doorways in cities all across America there are many who live in weekly motels, in shelters, and other temporary living situations. These people who reside in the motels and shelters are technically homeless and are often one paycheck away from sleeping on the streets once again. Further, there are many who have apartments and other permanent living situations who make so little on minimum wage that they could become homeless at any moment and who barely get by.
The minimum wage on a federal level remains under $8.00 an hour and despite efforts by the Obama administration to raise those wages the GOP fought him for eight years and now with Trump as president it does not appear to be changing anytime soon. There are cities and states across this country who have taken it upon themselves to raise wages and that is a start but housing and food remains outrageous. There are those on the right who claim raising wages will raise the cost of living but that happens anyway. Even in places that have not raised the wage for years, prices continue to go up.
We must raise wages for everyone so there is no low-income class but so that everyone is middle class and up. No more of the rich getting richer while the poor in America suffer. We also must provide health insurance for everyone free of cost like other countries in the developed world do, nobody should be denied care because they cannot pay or be unable to afford their meds because they have to choose between that and feeding their families. Healthcare should be a right and we can do this if we would only get our priorities straight and stop spending trillions on unjust wars and giving tax breaks to the wealthy.
Another thing we must do is to have more low-income housing and provide free housing for those who cannot afford it. Just like healthcare, housing should be a right afforded to all. I believe food should be a right too but of course the right wingers call that “mooching” and “freeloading” but they lack compassion for people, so that is their view. We can fix our homeless problem and end poverty if we really want to. All we have to do is have that Christian love and compassion that we claim to have. Jesus would do these things to help those in need so we should do the same. Besides wages being low, disability income and food stamp benefit amounts remain low and we need to raise those for people to be able to survive.
Housing, food, clothing, and healthcare for all. THIS is the American way and fixing it is part of what would make America truly great, to ignore these people who are poor and call them lazy makes us less great and shows that we are not a caring nation. We can do better in every area and this is one of the issues we must fix and must fix it now, it is the right thing to do and if we do it then and only then are we great.
End Violence and War
Americans seem to love guns and war, it seems to be an obsession with many in this country. We start these unjust wars that kill scores of innocent women and children all of the time and for what? It is not for freedom like we claim, it is for profit, oil, and occupation. It is not about freedom or anything noble much of the time. Yet, we are bloodthirsty it seems and this also can be seen with our obsession with firearms. We have an epidemic of gun violence that is unlike anything in the developed world and yet nobody wants to change it or most of the time even talk about changing it.
The war thing is something that may never change because we seem to believe we must be the world police and that we are freeing people by bombing innocent women and children but here at home we can end our gun violence problem and violence overall by doing a few things. Yes, all violence is a problem but since over 68% of U.S. murders are done with guns then that is where the focus needs to be. There are two ways to end the problem of violence and one of them relates to the poverty issue mentioned above. If people have happy lives, if they have money and love then they will not kill people since most of the U.S. killings have to do with love/sex and money. Second, we restrict access to the most deadly weapons and guns are what are used in most murders and massacres here in America.
We can be a peaceful nation again, both here at home and abroad by stopping the killing of people in these wars and stop the violence here at home by providing people with opportunities, education, and restricting access to the most deadly weapons, which are these high powered rifles and high capacity magazines. I am sure that people will say that I am a dreamer but I believe we can achieve this if we try. War and the sale of guns are big money so this is why they may never change, it isn’t about “freedom” or “protection”, it is about money and that has always mattered more than human life in America, sadly.
Lastly, it is the issue of civil rights. Now, I know that the gun people will say that owning a gun is a civil right but I wholeheartedly disagree with that because guns take away the rights of others. The civil rights I am talking about are LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, rights of Muslims and immigrants and so many more who are discriminated against in Trump’s America. When we protect the rights of the vulnerable groups then we become great but when we ban people based on their religion or where they are from, when we deport people and tear families apart, deny refugees, take away people’s rights because of how they identify or who they love, and so on then we are FAR from great.
Also, animals rights are important. It is an issue I do not discuss much but animals are abused daily and neglected and as someone who has rescued them it is dear to my heart. We must protect the rights of humans and animals alike and make sure that nobody is bullied, abused, discriminated against, or neglected in this country.
There are many who want us to go back to the days of segregation where LGBTQ people, Mexicans, African Americans, Muslims have no place in America but we cannot let that happen. We must defend the rights of all these groups and more and fight for the diverse, open, and accepting country that we are known for and by doing this we will make America great. We had this under Obama but are losing it with the fascist “president” holding power and trying to make us into a dictatorship, we just cannot let it happen!
This is just a start but by focusing on these three areas we have a chance to be a great nation but if we fall short on even one of them then we are not great and never will be. This is who we are, to fight the good fight for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I believe we can be great and I have faith that we can do better, hope you do as well!
I will be taking a break to work on my next book but as always , Resist and keep up the good fight!