Early in the Republican Presidential primary process, it became clear that Republicans who supported candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were offended by Donald Trump’s slogan Make America Great Again. They really believed that continuing the same government policies with different management was all that was needed to make things better.
President-elect Trump’s slogan was a combination of Ronald Reagan’s aspirational Morning in America theme and Pat Buchanan’s nationalistic America First creed. Like Reagan, Trump believed that America’s best days lie ahead and that we shouldn’t settle for a “new normal” of lower living standards. President Jimmy Carter delivered his infamous “malaise” speech in 1980, suggesting that children should no longer expect to live better than their parents, and Reagan countered that with his optimistic message.
Buchanan, a former Nixon speechwriter, launched several Presidential campaigns as a Republican and later as the Reform Party candidate. He challenged the George H. W. Bush foreign policy in a 1992 primary, stating that removing Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army from Kuwait was not in America’s best interests. He rejected Bush’s globalist worldview. Trump has made the America First concept a major campaign theme.
I was a guest on an Irish national radio show three times before the Nov. 8 election. I was always the only Trump supporter on a panel of four others who wanted to rip Trump apart. On my second appearance, the host said, “What does Make America Great Again represent? Does it mean restoring slavery and keeping women in the kitchen?” I was stunned by that question but calmly responded.
Here are some ways that President-elect Trump will Make America Great Again:
Restore American industrialism. We recently observed the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Immediately after the attack, American shipyards and factories produced thousands of ships, tanks and aircraft. We couldn’t do that today. Trump wants to change tax and regulatory policy to revive American manufacturing, which would produce millions of high-paying jobs
Overhaul our failed federal bureaucracies. Trump referred to the Common Core education policy from the start of his campaign. He wants to restore state and local control of education. He has also been a vocal critic of the Veterans Administrative, which pays hefty bonuses to administrators while veterans wait months for routine medical procedures. He has also cited unrealistic regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency as a reason that American manufacturers leave the country.
Expand the American labor force. The recently-published 4.6% unemployment rate is very misleading. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also publishes a statistic of those who are unemployed, settling for part-time work or have given up looking for a job – that figure is 9.3%. There are also millions of Americans who have opted to draw Social Security benefits before the age of 65 due to the lack of economic opportunity. Trump wants to get millions of Americans back to work.
Repeal the Affordable Care Act. The medical care industry accounts for nearly one-sixth of the American economy. The ACA has driven up health insurance premiums and deductible payments. It has forced doctors to treat more patients for less money. My doctor retired because of that. Trump wants to bring free-market principles to medical care focused on more competition among insurance providers, patients choosing the insurance coverage they want, and up-front pricing for medical services so that patients can shop for the best deal.
End our culture of political correctness. Many times during the campaign, Trump made a controversial statement, and political analysts counted him out. Obviously, the voters agreed with him. He has rejected the politically correct notion that humans are causing climate change and the policies which are increasing electrical power rates.
Bring back wealth creation. The current median household income is below the 2005 level. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing ads for reverse mortgages because so many have inadequate retirement savings. Trump wants Americans to get bigger paychecks, pay lower taxes and achieve economic security.
I am so excited about America’s future. Let’s Make America Great Again!