Let’s make America great again – the right way

After listening to the State of the Union address, I think that Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown) has the right idea. He left the chamber during the speech saying, “I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake.”

President Trump constantly boasts about how he is “making America great again.”

If we really want to make America great again, we should start by remembering what made it great in the first place.

Greatness comes from a President who uses his influence to build problem-solving coalitions, not one who uses Twitter to divide the country.

Greatness comes from a Congress that respects itself and the people by passing only the laws necessary to protect our rights, our persons, and our property; not one composed of a cheering section for the President on the one hand, and a faction dedicated to frustrating his every move on the other.

Greatness comes from a Supreme Court that keeps political and philosophical preferences out of its decisions and limits itself to interpreting the Constitution narrowly according to the Founders’ intent.

Greatness comes from the wise use of military strength to defend our borders from foreign powers and terrorists – and only after diplomacy has failed to persuade others to cooperate with us.

Greatness comes from the prudent use of the government’s revenues for the most necessary purposes; and not from spending trillions of dollars more than it receives on popular but unaffordable programs that enlarge the national debt and hasten our economic collapse.

Greatness comes from prosperity generated by a free market equally open to all who want to compete, one where private enterprise creates opportunities and upward mobility for our people, not from policies that hoard the wealth of the already rich and ignore the rest of us.

Greatness comes with a border open enough to welcome those who seek our opportunities, but solid enough to insist on their obedience to our laws and respect for our customs.

Greatness comes from people who rely on themselves and their communities to solve the great social problems of our time; who volunteer to help and persuade others to become productive and caring citizens before calling on government to force cooperation through tax policy and the use of police powers.

Greatness comes from people who learn to think for themselves, who have the courage to get out of their political cocoons; and who use the media to find solutions to problems instead of talking points for endless debates.

Greatness comes from a people who are bold, creative, and purposeful; who find strength in both men and women, and in our diversity of races, ethnicities, religions, lifestyles, and opinions (including those with which we disagree); and leaders who do not boast of their own accomplishments, but are proud of the free society they have helped us build together; and who are eager to share it with the world, but would never try to impose it on those unwilling or unready to receive it.

Greatness comes from a people who have learned the principles on which our country was founded, who will trust their own efforts and are suspicious of the government’s – and if all else fails, will have the character and fortitude to exercise their right to alter or abolish the government, and to institute a new one “laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness” (Declaration of Independence).

I’m all for making America great again – if we do it the right way.

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