The Donald: Make America Great Again... Like in 1963

  • Written by  Marco Cáceres

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”. That’s very interesting. It implies that at some point in recent history America ceased to be a great country. Given that the Donald is not fond of President Obama, perhaps he believes that America ceased to be great during the past seven years under Obama. Given that the Donald has not said kind things about President George W. Bush, it’s likely that America ceased to be great during the Bush years. That means that, at the very least, America hasn’t been great since 2001.

But let’s take it a step further. Perhaps the Donald believes that America ceased to be great during the eight economic boom years of the Clinton administration. You know, when the Internet was invented, the federal government balanced the national budget and ran budget surpluses for several years and actually started paying down the debt. I mean, he couldn’t rightly admit that America was great under President Clinton because that would be admitting that the country was actually well led by a Democrat. Plus, he may be soon running against Hillary, so to admit that America was great under her husband just wouldn’t do. Nah, wouldn’t do a’tal.


Probably, America ceased to be great after President George Herbert Walker Bush left office on January 20, 1993. The Donald has said nice things about the first Bush, so yeah… the last time America was great was in January 1993. That’s a quarter of a century since America was last great.


But what if the Donald didn’t think America was all that great under the first Bush, it’s a sure bet that he must’ve thought America was great under President Reagan. I mean, Reagan is like the greatest American President ever (at least for Republicans), so the Donald would have to believe America was great under Reagan, right? Well yeah, that’s a no-brainer. I mean, it’s Ronnie, right… he’s like… like… God. So America had to be at it’s super duper greatest ever then, right?


In 1988, the Donald appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah asked him about the possibility of running (him, not Oprah) for President. The Donald said he had no interest in running for President, but that if things got much worse, then he might have to give it some consideration. And that if he did decide to run, he thought he would probably win. Oprah started out by asking him, “You took out a full page ad in major US newspapers criticizing US foreign policy, what would you do differently, Donald?” Here are the relevant excerpts from the Donald’s answer…

"I’d make our allies pay their fair share. We’re a debtor nation. Something’s going to happen over the next number of years with this country, because you can’t go on losing $200 billion, and yet we let Japan come in and dump everything right into our markets and everything… that’s not free trade.


If you ever go to Japan right now and try to sell something, forget about it, just forget about it. It’s almost impossible. They don’t have laws against it, they just make it impossible. They come over here, they sell their cars, their VCRs, they knock the hell out of our companies, and, hey, I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people. I mean, you can respect somebody that’s beating the hell out of you, but they are beating the hell out of this country.


Kuwait, they live like kings. The poorest persons in Kuwait, they live like kings… and yet, they’re not paying. We make it possible for them to sell their oil, why aren’t they paying us 25% of what they’re making? It’s a joke. I do get tired of seeing what’s happening with this country. … I really am tired of seeing what’s happening with this country, how we’re really making other people live like kings, and we’re not. … I think people are tired of seeing the United States ripped off.


I can’t promise you everything, but I tell you one thing, this country would make one hell of a lot of money from those people that for 25 years have taken advantage. It wouldn’t be the way it’s been. Believe me."

 It definitely sounds like the Donald. Except back then he was whining about Japan and Kuwait, not China and Mexico. Back then it was the Japanese who were beating the hell out of us, and now it’s China. Back then it was Kuwait that should pay us a quarter of their oil profits, and now it’s Mexico that should pay for building the wall. It’s all typical Donald-speak. It’s repetitive and it’s boorish. You’d think that someone who takes great pride in “knowing a lot of words” would know a lot more words.


It clearly sounds like the Donald didn’t think things were going so well during the 1980s. I mean, for God’s sake, the guy took out full page newspaper ads criticizing US foreign policy. But remember, the 1980s were the Reagan years. That’s supposed to be one of the Golden Ages of America, and certainly with regard to foreign policy. Everybody was happy and doing well back then. Everybody on planet Earth respected us and didn’t dare mess with us (… well, there was that little thing with the marines in Lebanon). Cause we were tough back then. Ask Grenada. We said what we meant, and meant what we said.


My gosh, we won the Cold War, defeated communism, our economy was surging, everybody in Congress was getting along just dandy, no problems with our budget deficits, our trade deficits, our national debt. It was… wonderful. Right?


But Donald didn’t seem to think so. As a matter of fact, he even said that for 25 years “those people” (I guess he was referring to the rest of the world) had been taking advantage of America. He even said that if it were him running the show (as opposed to Reagan?), “It wouldn’t be the way it’s been.” And you can take that to the bank.


It suggests that perhaps the Donald didn’t think America had really been great since 1963—the year JFK was shot. Donald was 18 at the time. Yeah okay, a piece of America definitely died that year. Lost innocence and all that. But that’s the last time America was great?

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