Letter to the editor: Make America Great Again?

OKEECHOBEE — Remember the rallying cry of the Republican Party at the last election?  President Donald Trump, then a candidate said it over and over again at fund raisers and political rallies.  “Make America Great Again”. His message was to take the country back, from the liberals and their agenda to make this a welfare state where everyone was controlled by the government.  He was protesting the idea of a socialist economy and proposing that we become the great, capitalist country that we once were.

But when I look at this country, what I see isn’t so great.   The term ‘political correctness’ has taken on a life of its own, in our country.   You can’t be caught saying anything negative, about anyone, ever, or you will be shamed, publicly for an extended period.  The current shaming, at the national level, is credited to a political aide, who said, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”  This comment about Senator John McCain, and his opposition to a political issue in Washington DC.

The interesting thing about that statement is that it is, correct.   Senator McCain, IS in fact, battling brain cancer and will most likely die.  He can’t care, after he is dead.  That is another fact.  However, this one quote, spoken in a face to face meeting and overheard, has been universally despised by the liberal media for more than a week. You can’t turn on a television and not be told how egregious this comment was.  What that statement was, is insensitive, in poor taste, or tactless, but it IS correct.

I’m an old guy.  Into my middle 60’s now and I remember when America was great, or at least a lot greater than it is today.  I remember when everyone wasn’t so darn touchy.  You could say what you meant, mean-spirited or otherwise and not be demonized by everyone around you.  When I went to college, to a small school in northwestern Michigan, we did not have ‘safe zones’ where you could go to cry and get a hug when you were feeling bad about the world around you.

Kids then were tougher.  The world was a place to explore and play in, without mom or dad standing over you making sure you were safe. I worry about my grandchildren as the world is suddenly seems so much more dangerous than it was when I was a kid in rural Michigan in the 1950’s and 60’s.   I really believe that the world today is quite a bit safer than it was when I was a kid.  There are a lot more law enforcement now than there was then, they are better equipped and have greater techniques to find and put away the bad guys.

The difference is REPORTING and the amount of media that we are exposed to.  EVERYONE now carries a phone with a camera that will capture any small thing that takes place in this country, and with the advent of social media, it can be broadcast to the entire city, state or country, depending on what has been captured.   The media is everywhere, and everyone is armed with a video camera and the ability to edit a scene to support their point-of-view.  Every small issue can become a national tragedy and a lot of people are looking for their 15 minutes of fame.  We are bombarded with news, fake news, comedy that makes fun of the news, and what passes for entertainment but is supposed to be news, and most of us can tell what is real and what is fake.   There has always been bad news out there, and people who are breaking the law, or ignoring what is good for the society, but now, it is broadcast via the media, nationally.   There is very little good news to be found in the national media, as good news does not seem to increase ratings for those news outlets, so they focus on the sensational.

Once you get away from the national new outlets, and look at the local sources, you can see that in small pockets of America, we are being ‘great again.’   Regardless of what is pushed at you on your computer, or on the nightly news, there are people in this great country of ours that are looking out for each other.   In small town America, we care for our neighbors and look in on them.  We cut their grass, or wash their house when they aren’t able.  We raise money for the less fortunate and support them in their illness, we provide funerals and burials for those that can’t afford them.

So, the rallying cry, “Make America Great Again”, should really have been, “Make Big Government Great Again.”   It’s the government on the state and national levels that has lost its way and stopped taking care of the people who make up this country.   It’s big government that is for sale to the highest bidder, and run by large corporations who want their own way in this country.  Its big government that wants to bend us to its will, and make us a part of the socialist machine, where we depend on handouts for places to live and the food that keeps us alive.

As far as I can tell, America IS Great, as long as you look locally and stay away from the national news outlets that make up stories to try to bend you to their way of thinking.  It’s DIFFERENT than the great America that I grew up in but, perhaps no less great, when you look close around you.

Tom Timmons

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