General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can you please describe what Trump's great past America was?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (23805points) 2 months ago

MAGA is hinting that life was better when Trump was younger. How did he describe it?

Starting in General, then maybe moving to Social after.

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20 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know, but I think he was thinking of 1950s television. Network TV was just coming in with a wide reach, and family sitcoms depicted a kind of idyllic vision of a life and society that we never really had. Problems were trivial and could always be solved by a wise dad.

Of course, he never had the ordinary life that for most of us was normal.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Pre-80’s recession America. Before all the outsourcing wrecked industry. That was his target demographic. Those in the economically depressed post-industrial areas, particularly the rust belt and old coal mining towns. The areas Hillary skipped and cost her the election. That’s the nostalgia the phrase is trying to inspire as a new future in America. A future where all that stuff is back for the most part. You know, “made with pride in America.” That sort of thing.

seawulf575's avatar

Donald Trump was born in 1946. In his early years there was still a lot of national pride following WWII and the overthrow of the Axis powers. Society was still about working and earning a living, making your own way in the world, and supporting a government that (supposedly) worked with and for the people. People had self-esteem and took responsibility for their lives.

canidmajor's avatar

It was a cishet white man’s paradise.

chyna's avatar

trump was born into a life of privilege. He didn’t have the same values as middle and lower class Americans had.

Dig_Dug's avatar

I wonder if he not thinking of the Civil War era! Sectionalism, Protectionism, States’ rights, Slavery all that fun stuff before civil rights and child labor laws and ya know that silly liberal junk we have now.

Jeruba's avatar

@chyna, yes, that’s exactly why I was thinking he might have got it from TV, which has apparently always had an important place in his life. Think of the shows we had then: Donna Reed, Leave It to Beaver, Mickey Mouse Club, and more in the shining-moral-virtue vein, as well as all the cowboys and cops and other enforcers of conventional mores. (Guessing that Eddie Haskell was his private role model.) He did not have a normal childhood, so he might well have thought those TV lives were normal.

In any case, whether this speculation is right or wrong, I don’t think his notion was based on anything real.

jca2's avatar

Life was great for the young Donnie T. He was under his daddy’s wing, riding around to jobsites in limos with dad, the son of the boss, going to nightclubs at night, rich, privileged, and with lots of beautiful women that he would just grab by the pussy (his words). Of course there’s nostalgia and good memories about that.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it was back when black folks knew to use their own water fountains, ride in the back of the bus and go to their own “separate but equal” schools. Back when LGBTQ+ kids would either kill themselves or keep things in the closet. Back when you could grab a woman by the pussy and blame her for it if she tried to make a fuss. Back when the top marginal tax rate was 90% (wait… ignore that one). Back when the US made historic investments in infrastructure, education and social programs (wait, ignore that too…).

flutherother's avatar

One thing I can tell you for sure is that the days of America’s greatness were the days before Trump became a politician.

Forever_Free's avatar

There really is no time context placed for the MAGA mantra.
Trump is not the first politician to use it as a campaign slogan, so don’t think he is a genius. He just copied others.

Republican senator Alexander Wiley employed the phrase in a speech at the third session of the 76th Congress ahead of the 1940 presidential election: “America needs a leader who can coordinate labor, capital, and management; who can give the man of enterprise encouragement, who can give them the spirit which will beget vision. That will make America great again.”

Similar phrases were used by Barry Goldwater in 1964.

“Let’s make America great again” was famously used in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.

The phrase “Make America Great Again” is considered a loaded phrase. It is a loaded phrase because it doesn’t just appeal to people who hear it as racist coded language, but also to those who have felt a loss of status as other groups have become more empowered.
To back this thought, during the 2016 electoral campaign, Hillary Clinton suggested that Trump’s version, used as a campaign rallying cry, was a message to white Southerners that Trump was promising to “give you an economy you had 50 years ago, and move you back up on the social totem pole and other people down.”

mazingerz88's avatar

He’s a racist opportunistic douchebag who would stop at nothing to get attention and money. This was before and after he discovered he can also get votes. Not hard to figure it out.

What would make America great again is for voters to start supporting politicians who really care about present day Americans, unprovoking but instead healing divisions. In their struggles, we now know many Americans would rally behind a dangerous clown. That made America seem small not great.

Jeruba's avatar

And it was/is Putin’s goal to make Russia great again.

Entropy's avatar

Romanticizing the past is neither new nor uniquely Republican nor uniquely MAGA nor uniquely Trumpish. Most people remember the past through the lens of nostalgia, creating fictional versions in their head.

That’s not to say NOTHING was better in the past. For example, politics was less polarized back then. Not that it wasn’t polarized at all, just that there were alot more issues where broad bipartisan consensuses existed. Sometimes those consensuses were good (trade) and sometimes they were bad (drug war). But they existed. What can either side agree on today?

NoMore's avatar

A 1950s I love Lucy type of Utopia that never existed. Where dad came home from work, and the wife had to fetch his slippers and cook supper for him and the young ‘uns, then bathe them and get them to bed, while he reads the paper and relaxes. In a three piece suit and smoking a pipe, before he helps Big Sis solve her Big Problem of a stain on her prom dress. Then Boyfriend pops in and tells him, Gee Whiz Mr Jones , you sure are smart! Mrs Jones was too dumb to help with that!” To canned laughter and applause from the fake audience. Those were the days.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Um, I think the idea is that we have reached a point in history where things like owning a home, working normal hours being enough and solid retirement prospects are slipping out of reach. That may still be a reality for many of you here, but it’s certainly not for the latest generation currently coming of age.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park But back in those wonderful days, those aspirations were always kept out of reach for many.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@janbb As opposed to almost everyone young now, things are different for them. I’d also disagree that is was kept out of reach for many. It was certainly much harder for many, but not out of reach.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I guess you’re not aware of redlining or the fact that Black GIs were kept from getting mortgages from the Fed lending agencies after WW2?

But I’ll agree with you that things are harder now for the white middle class than they were.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@janbb I’m well aware of all that. Again, say what you want about Trump but I don’t believe he was saying we should bring that stuff back. He is appealing to people’s desire to be able to generally afford things again.

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