In 2008 half the population embraced “Hope and Change” because both were in short supply. In the eight years that followed, hope withered and not all the change was for the better. With this year’s presidential election, half the population embraced the opposing party’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” apparently blind to the irony that both slogans spoke to the same thing.
It’s past time we faced some difficult truths. The political machine desperately needs you to keep overlooking how they’re incapable of producing the kind of greatness our country needs. They get away with it because our culture clings to the notion of the president improving things for us as a way of avoiding our own responsibility. Greatness isn’t a commodity packaged and shipped from the White House. It’s something you and I create in our communities.
The “Greatest Generation” was thrust into the position by world events, but their greatness came from rising to the occasion. We can be this century’s Greatest Generation. You and I can each work hard, be charitable, create jobs (or at least be entrepreneurial), practice our faith, help our community, oppose injustice, keep learning, and treat others civilly and fairly.
The country has a short memory, but as recently as this past August a part of our country rose to true greatness. Remember? In the aftermath of a deadly flood in Louisiana which destroyed or damaged more than 20,000 homes and businesses, neighbor helped neighbor in a massive rescue operation while the government struggled to respond. They did so without expectation of reward and without regard to race, age, sex, education, or income. Even after the rescue, with thousands of people left homeless, neighbors who had almost nothing gave to those even less fortunate with regret that they couldn’t do more.
That, my friends, is what makes America great and it can’t come from Washington.