MAGA – Make America Great Again.
This rather tired slogan seems to imply the America was once great. I am not sure when this was, but it hasn’t been great for some time.
This slogan was first used by a Republican senator, Alexander Wiley, before the presidential election back in 1940.
It was also trotted out in presidential campaigns by Barry Goldwater in 1964 (unsuccessful), Ronald Reagan in1980 (successful) and by Bill Clinton in 1992 (successful).
So, we must conclude that America has not been great since some time before 1940. Ronald Reagan must have failed to make it so, or Bill Clinton would not have had to include it in his campaign. Clearly, the US was not so great after Bill Clinton’s presidency or Donald Trump would not have made it a key cry in his campaign. And Trump, after four years in office, is still asking for your help to “fulfil our promise to Make America Great Again”. Your help seems to be in the form of a cash donation; it’s difficult to become president on the cheap.
No, for at least the last eighty years, America has not been all that great. But, all is not lost. A quick glance at some of the world’s “greats” shows the United States to be in good shape.
The US is the world’s second greatest polluter, with about 5,400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. China makes the top of the list with more than 10,000 million tons of carbon dioxide.
The US has one of the greatest divides in wealth distribution. The top 1 percent holds 42.5 percent of the national wealth.
The United States has the greatest number of imprisoned people in the world. There are currently more than 2.12 million people in prison. Monaco manages just 8.
The US News website has a Best Countries ranking to show the world’s greatest countries. The United States falls into 7th place, beaten by wartime enemies Germany (4th) and Japan (3rd).
The people of the US are the greatest consumers of sugar. The average American uses 17 teaspoons (70 grams) every day. That’s about 25 kilograms of added sugar every year.
Despite their sweet tooth, Americans are also great salt eaters. On average, they eat some 3,400 mg each day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends than 2,300 mg per day, about 1 teaspoon.
The US was the scene of the, almost, greatest earthquake ever recorded. On the 28 March 1964, a magnitude 9.2 quake hit Prince William Sound, Alaska. Only Chile, in 1960, managed a greater, magnitude 9.5, earthquake.
And the US is home to some of the world’s greatest mysteries – Where is Jimmy Hoffa? The union leader disappeared in Michigan, in 1975, and must be presumed dead. But who killed him and where is his body are ongoing mysteries. Searches by police and forensic anthropologists have failed to provide an answer.
And, what is probably the greatest American mystery, who killed President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, President JFK was shot in Dallas, supposedly by Lee Harvey Oswald. But before Oswald could stand trial, he was fatally shot by Jack Ruby who himself died, a natural death, not long after.
And today’s greatest mystery has nothing to do with America – does anyone read my blogs? It would be great to know.