St. Louis, MO—
Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” has been effective with voters who feel they have been left behind by the globalizing economy, but its vagueness has confused some voters who aren’t sure to which exact era the slogan refers.
“I just can’t quite figure it out,” explained Trump supporter Ronald “Bubba” Raddler, a resident of Chesterfield. “Because, to be honest, America’s greatness is kind of a relative concept throughout US history. I suppose a lot of white Baby Boomers probably think America was great back in the 50s as they see it represented on television reruns of their favorite childhood shows, but no one would agree that was the best time period for black Americans. In fact, if I were black, I think I would believe that to make America great again we’d have to magically transport the country twenty or thirty years into the equality-focused future. Certainly no black person would want to return America back to any time before the 1980s. And, of course, in a racially neutral perspective, probably no women want to return to any time period before the 1980s either. I mean, to be fair, the federal government still doesn’t even recognize equal pay for equal work with women here in 2018, so the ‘again’ part of Trump’s slogan is a little suspicious for women. In fact, really the only people I can imagine would gain from America being returned are white males. And Christian ones, because the country is growing more secular now, but the Christian faith kind of had a dominating hegemony on the nation’s culture throughout many of the last several decades. Now that I think about it, if Trump’s goal really is to return America to some nostalgic golden age of America, minorities of any sexual orientation, religious or ethnic stripe—and women—ought to be a little concerned.”
Other Halfway Post-interviewed residents zeroed in on the television-related imagery of MAGA’s conception.
“It appears to me that when people say ‘Make America Great Again,’ they are referring to television shows from the 50s and 60s like The Andy Griffith Show and Leave It To Beaver,” said Rebecca Meyer of St. Louis City. “And that’s misleading, because, of course, these television shows offer rosy depictions of social life in the post-war era that were never meant to be historically documentative, you know? Because, objectively, life was much more dangerous back then than it is now. Crime in, like, every statistic is lower in 2018. It’s not even really that close. And the ironic part is that life was so good economically for white Americans back in the 50s overwhelmingly thanks to wildly liberal social initiatives passed by the Depression-era and post-war Democratic Party. Trump supporters who love the 1950s apparently have no idea how much the social ideals and programs they loathe today were what made American life so great for whites back then. I mean, come on, if America actually wanted to return to the 1950s style of living, our entire economy would have to be flooded with socialist policies. Back then only the father worked, and the mother didn’t need even a part-time job. Think about the wage and salary increases needed to be able to facilitate the family values Baby Boomers claim they miss. And back then the top tax rate on businesses was like 80 and 90%. That’s what gave American workers such a good deal in their employment. Companies were forced to spend their profits on their workers because the tax on profits was so high. It’s not like today where the tax rate is so low that CEOs just pocket the profits as rewards to themselves for squeezing greater productivity out of their workers, you know? So when nostalgic Baby Boomers watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show where the town’s biggest crime problem is Otis, the town drunk, conveniently locking himself in jail for the night after a binge, it doesn’t mean that all of America was just like the fictional town of Mayberry. It’s kind of a testament to Baby Boomers’ age and pretensions that so many of them erroneously think all of America was like Mayberry. And you know what’s exclusively missing from The Andy Griffith Show? Successful black people; Mexicans; the entire LGBTQ umbrella; religious non-Christians; workers struggling in the independent contractor and gig economies; etc. I like Trump and appreciate that he’s signing traditionally conservative policies, but I’m not going to pretend, like so many other Trump supporters, that America’s past is better for all Americans than it was.”
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.)