America Is Great. Donald and Hillary Are Not Great

I don’t believe America can be made great again. And I’m certainly not With Her. America is already great. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are not. In fact, they exemplify everything that’s wrong with America, which is actually a very short list.

Here’s what’s wrong with America.

  • Our politicians think far too much of themselves
  • We are far too hung up on celebrity culture and Hollywood
  • Hollywood
  • Race hatred

That’s the list. Everything else wrong with America is just the wicked fruit from those branches. Race hatred is last on the list because you actually have to go looking for it to find it, but politicians who think far too much of themselves (#1) have elevated it to a much more strident position.

Gun crime? Look no further than thug life, the music and sports scene, and who our youth venerate as heroes. We are far too hung up on celebrity culture (#2). Stop having the movie of the month featuring Matt Damon or Tom Cruise shooting a thousand people without having a second thought; stop glamorizing gang and thug life in music and sports culture. Then you’ll see a whole category of problems start to shrink.

And Hollywood is a dysfunctional hive of hypocrites, who worship money, youth, beauty, and mostly themselves, yet act like they care about everyone who can’t get within 100 feet of them because we’re the “little people.” The whole lot of them can self-deport to Uzbekistan for all I care.

What’s good about America? That list is far too long to publish. But here’s some of the better bits.

  • Our police are not corrupt
  • Our government is self-correcting
  • Our businesses work for good growth
  • Our citizens are hard working
  • Americans are generous to a fault

Justice

If you want to see a corrupt police force, move to Turkey. Want to disappear without a trace? Cross a Turkish police chief (and not have bribe money to get out of it or a U.S. diplomatic passport). Even in 2014, Tayyip Erdogan had two dozen police officers arrested when they plotted to overthrow him. And a few weeks ago, the military and police almost succeeded.

American police are the envy of much of the world, because America is a large and diverse country with thousands of local police forces and, contrary to what the press plays up (see Wrongs #1 and #2), they know our police do a fair job at keeping the peace and safeguarding justice. If you believe BLM talking points are true, then far more innocents would be locked up than actually are.

We may lock up too many people (I happen to think we do) and keep them in a warehousing/custody-based system that doesn’t prepare them to re-enter society, but our justice system is to the greatest degree not corrupt at the tip of the spear: the local police force. Having a national police force would open us to corruption far more than the local, state, and federal system we have now.

American justice is great. Not without problems, but as a system I challenge you to find a better one.

And that leads another “good” point.

Citizen Government

Our federal republic is the best system of government devised by man on planet earth, ever. It recognizes the failures of human nature and the fallen nature of man. A benevolent dictatorship may be better, but only if the dictator is God. Our problem is that many of our top officials think they are God, or at least they play God.

And in case you asked, that’s bad. It’s bad for Donald Trump to say “only I can fix.” That’s got to be the worst statement a candidate for president can make. The statement in itself gives away the opinion that in Trump’s eyes, our system of government isn’t good enough, and He must be added to it to fix it.

What a jackass Trump is to say such a thing, and what a complete God-complex he must have to think it.

American government is self-correcting because most government is local. For a country as large as America to turn our ship of state takes many years, sometimes a generation, but we can actually make the turn. Look at most of Africa. Look at Russia. Look at Mexico. They can’t make the turn as easily, or quickly, or at all.

America’s government is a wonder of the world, and other countries haven’t tried it not because they don’t think it works, but because they don’t have to courage to try or the right citizens to care. This is why it was foolhardy first for G.W. Bush, and then for Barack Obama, to try to “export democracy.” Whether we install it by means of war or we foment it by supporting “regime change,” it doesn’t work.

But it does work here. American government is great.

Real Business, Hard Workers

It’s not the Apples, Microsofts, Texas Instruments, General Electrics, Fords and GMs that make America great. It’s the small companies that in 10 years could be the next Google or Apple. It’s the new ice cream shop down the street. Or the company that makes trailer hitches. Or the architect, or medical services company.

The biggest problem of which Eisenhower warned us wasn’t the military-industrial complex. It was the second threat: the technological revolution and government’s role in it.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Ike warned us about people like President Obama, who say “you didn’t build this” (see Wrong #1). Obama, Trump and Clinton all buy into this class system. They give lip-service to “upward mobility” but they really want to play God and choose winners and losers through government power. “I alone can fix” is not the answer. Neither is the nanny state Clinton would install, or the prosecutorial attitude of climate change warriors.

Making Goldman Sachs, or Apple, or Ford, into boogeymen does not solve any problems. It just feeds into Wrong #1. These companies are run by people who maximize their own personal wealth like everyone else. They respond faster to government initiatives and rules than the government responds to problems. Any politician who thinks government can out-react business is foolish.

Americans work hard, but big business run by immoral fatcats screw small business. Donald Trump consistently throughout his career (and touted in his book “The Art of the Deal”) underpaid, arm-twisted, and outright screwed small businessmen and tradesmen. That’s how he achieves his “under budget” results. That’s bad American business.

The guy who details your car, or the Mexican immigrant who might cut your lawn, or the Pakistani doctor who might treat your child, or the sheet-metal mechanic who fixes F-15 jets: That’s good business.

Americans are third in the world for worker productivity. We love to work. American business is great, and greater if government would stop pretending they have the answers, and stop making rules to let vainglorious jerks like Trump screw the little guys. (Hint: Trump won’t fix that.)

Generous Hearts

In the CAF World Giving Index, America is number 2. Only Myanmar is ahead of us–and probably because they’ve only just won that kind of freedom. American individuals gave a total of $268.28 billion to charity in 2015, 71 percent of total charitable giving. The largest chunk of charitable giving is to religious organizations (32 percent).

Even as Americans’ devotion to religion declines, giving still goes up. We are a country of giving hearts. Jesus said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Our generous hearts, in giving financially, helping others, and volunteering time make America almost unique among large diverse countries.

Donald Trump has only given a pittance of his wealth, a decimal place of one percent–way below the 2.1 percent of GDP the country as a whole gave. Hillary Clinton’s family foundation accepted money from foreign companies and magnates, then magically those same companies and magnates got favorable deals through the State Department. That’s not really charitable, no matter how much money the Clinton Global Initiative spends on AIDS prevention.

While the average American is generous to a fault, which makes America great, the candidates running for president are parsimonious with their charity, preferring to give to political candidates with an expectation of something in return. They are not great.

Donald and Hillary Are What’s Wrong

Trump and Clinton represent what’s wrong with America.

She’s a self-entitled, elitist politician who thinks she deserves to be president by dint of some birthright. Clinton believes herself above the law, because she’s been treated that way. Martha Stewart must have shown great restraint to not bake those poisoned brownies to send to Hillary in celebration of her FBI case being closed.

He’s a self-entitled, elitist businessman who thinks he can “fix” America by the force of his own will. We already have one of those “by my will” people in the Oval Office, and it’s not working. Trump is also a celebrity who buys into the celebrity culture.

Actually they both do. Liberal Hollywood is positively gaga over Hillary. And Trump collects celebrity pastor endorsements like QVC collects B-list product hucksters. They both sell fear of losing “what’s yours” to “them.” They both encourage vengeance, divisiveness, and conspiracy. They both paint the picture of a failed America.

It’s not America that’s failed, it’s them.

Four men were killed in Benghazi under Clinton’s watch at State, and Trump was slammed by Ambassador Stevens’ mother for “opportunistic and cynical” use of his death when he tweeted “If you want to know about Hillary Clinton’s honesty & judgment, ask the family of Ambassador Stevens.”

Dealing with the same awful 9/11 in 2012, Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who was also killed in the attacks, blamed Clinton, speaking in Cleveland.

“I blame Hillary Clinton personally,” she said. “She lied to me and then called me a liar,” she added amid loud boos from the crowd.

Both Clinton and Trump are jerks for having this discussion.

We know what happened in Benghazi. We know who is responsible. Start treating us like grown-ups, please. But they won’t because they’re just like Hollywood. We’re just a photo-op on the way to somewhere (or someone) more important.

Unless Donald Incinerates The World, We’ll Still Be Here in 2020

The best hope for America is that our strengths far outweigh our weaknesses. We may suffer (and likely will, this is not a Pollyanna unicorns and rainbows message), but this too shall pass. America will survive it, and if we don’t survive a four-year presidential term, I guarantee the world won’t be worth an outhouse hole to live in.

In other words, short of a nuclear holocaust, which even Trump would be hard pressed to start, though he seems cavalier about it, America will be around in 2020, and we will still be great. Perhaps by then we’ll throw Hillary and Donald–the bums who peed in our Cheerios–out in the ash-heap of history where they belong.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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