America has always been “great.” Recently our citizens are facing a radical conservative ideology with a very strong dose of authoritarianism that is saying that we need to be “great again”. What does that mean, “great again”? Does it mean we were not great during the American Revolution, when the progressive ideals of freedom and liberty were being expounded by Washington and Jefferson? Perhaps our country was “not great” when Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman insisted that our “original sin”, slavery be abolished demanding tolerance or when Susan B Anthony sought to expand voting rights for women struggling for equality? I’ll bet the phrase refers to the time when The Reverend Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks marched to celebrate diversity. Was this when we were truly “lacking in greatness”? Then there was the time when Mother Jones and Cesar Chavez fought for the dignity of all human beings. Was this struggle “not great”?
Great American political leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt saved us from a nation dissolved, excessive, unbridled markets, and created the concept of common wealth for the common good.
America has always been “great” because ordinary citizen have always stepped up to demand progressive ideas like, sharing the common wealth, empathy, responsibility, tolerance, and diversity. These are the beliefs, convictions and values that have inspired Americans from the beginning, they are the progressive ideals we have somehow lost sight of recently but must embrace if we are to endure as a freedom- loving nation. Unfortunately, we have deviate from the progressive values that have already made this nation “great”. Children remain in need offending our obligation to basic human dignity. Government endorsement of discrimination against various minority groups, is mocking our commitment to diversity, tolerance, and equality. Gaping holes persist between minority groups in health, education, prison reform, and economic power. There is a global climate crisis looming in the future yet it fails to draw our attention.
Its up to us, the citizens of the United States of America, to express and expound the progressive values that have historically made America “great”. We must articulate our values throughout the nation so that progressive political leaders will have the backing they need. Progressive America has always been “great”.