Boomer Opinion: Is America Great Again?

The news just keeps piling on. At a faster rate than any baby boomer has ever seen before. In this Boomer Opinion piece, BoomerCafé’s co-founder and executive editor Greg Dobbs, an award-winning journalist who has covered news for decades, sees just one reason why.

So, Team Trump, how’s that “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat working for you now? If you bought into this man’s vacuous vessel of pointless promises, it must be starting to fit a little tight.

Therefore, as we head into 2019 … and careen toward the second anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration … let’s figure out why. Which won’t be hard. The only hard part is figuring out where to start.

Normally I would have chosen the American economy, but then the president threw us a bombshell overseas: ISIS is finished, we’re pulling out of Syria.

Except ISIS is not finished — just waiting underground to push back into its safe Syrian haven once we have lifted our last boot from Syrian soil. And once that happens, Russia solidifies its foothold in the Middle East. President Putin said of his early Christmas gift, “Donald is right.” I thought the point was to Make America Great Again, not to Make Russia Great Again.

Just for good measure, since this also strengthens Syria’s tyrant-of-a-president Bashar al-Assad and thus his scheming ally Iran, it’s likely to Make Iran Great Again too … and put Israel in even more peril than before. It also will likely feed our steadfast allies, the Kurds, to the dogs. Altogether, it’s a perfect storm of stupidity from the president.

ISIS soldiers

But don’t forget, he has assured us, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” Well, maybe with the departure of four-star General Jim Mattis from the Defense Department, following the departure of four-star General John Kelly from the White House and the departure of three-star General H.R. McMaster before that, Trump does indeed know more than whatever generals who are left.

But now, back to the economy. When he started his tariff wars with friends and foes alike, Trump tweeted that it would Make America Rich Again. It hasn’t. Sure, for a while he was hawking positive economic statistics, but by and large our economy actually started looking better— the unemployment rate, the stock market, you name it— under Barack Obama. Trump only built on the bedrock that his reviled predecessor left behind.

Anyway, you don’t hear him hawking so much any more. American businesses are on edge after Trump started these reckless (and largely unproductive) trade wars. The stock market has tanked. And the deficit? Thanks to the president’s selective tax cuts (selecting the rich as much as anybody), the deficit is at a record high. Which sets our future fiscal strength on a path toward a record low.

Greg Dobbs

Health care? The president and his party have been eager to axe Obamacare since the day it passed. Now, thanks to a partisan federal judge (hey, that’s something else Trump has done for us, making it okay to bad-mouth our judges), the whole shebang is on the garbage heap. As if cutting insurance for citizens with pre-existing conditions, and making it harder for poor and middle-class families to afford coverage any more, Makes America Great Again. It doesn’t. And despite a ton of talk, Trump has come up with nothing to make it better.

Meantime, illegal immigration is not and never has been the existential threat the president has promoted. Sure, there are bad apples, but immigrants also have helped Make America Great, even illegals from Latin America who roof our homes and pick our lettuce. Nor are they the ones who bring the bulk of drugs into our homeland. Yet to get his fatuous $20-billion wall, President Trump has been willing to distract (and reportedly dishearten) the military from its main mission by giving them a meaningless mission on the Texas border. He has been willing to blow up the deficit. He even has been willing to shut down the government. There are more suitable ways to spend our money and control our borders.

What’s more, despite the spurious rhetoric, illegal immigrants are not and never have been responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes committed in this gun-crazy country. It might help Make America Great Again if the president and his lackeys would look, instead, at who commits the crimes (Americans), and the weapons they use (guns), and how they get them (lax laws).

If environmental issues ever scored higher amongst the main concerns of Americans, I might have started there in this survey about how Trump Isn’t Making America Great Again. Maybe I’m missing something, but when it comes to conservation and pollution and every kind of environmental concern, the Trump Administration has taken us backwards. Pulling us out of the otherwise globally supported Paris Agreement on Climate Change is only an asterisk. I’m almost surprised this administration doesn’t put up signs saying “Please litter.” And let’s not forget the president’s passion for “good clean coal.” It is a passion unredeemed. It was never in the cards; figures show that U.S. coal consumption in 2018 is the lowest in almost 40 years.

Of course another campaign promise that would Make America Great Again was to “drain the swamp.” Let’s see: Flynn, Manafort, Cohen, Zinke, Price, Pruitt, and a bunch more. Yep, he’s draining it alright. After filling it in the first place. Remember when candidate Donald Trump said a Hillary Clinton administration would just be one scandal after another? ‘Nuff said.

Then, when reviewing the ways the president hasn’t Made America Great Again, there’s the rest of the world. With my own background covering the world over so many years, it’s near and dear to my heart. Which is why, Trump’s policies and personality put fear in my bones. Whatever leading role we have long played in the world is diminished. True, Trump isn’t the first president whose endeavors have eroded esteem and Made America Less Great Again. For different reasons and to different degrees we also can blame Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton before him. But those predecessors arguably tried things with noble purpose, and failed. Trump revels in confrontation and fails to consider the consequences.

And we’re talking about confrontation with friends, who he has alienated right and left. About the only world leaders he hasn’t confronted are the despots and dictators who seem to think just like him. Should I bring up the president’s proud proclamation that “We fell in love,” about the brutal boss of North Korea, who in reality hasn’t done squat to earn anyone’s affection?

But look, I don’t want this whole picture to be a downer. So let’s look at something positive. Trump promised to Make America Great Again by making American kids safer by combatting schoolyard bullying. No, wait, my bad. That was Melania.

The awful fact is, we are living in a whole new realm of reality. From the inane notion of “alternative facts” early on in Trump’s presidency, to the alarming alternative universe created by Team Trump. It was best articulated earlier this month by one of his acolytes, Utah Senator Orin Hatch, when he said of lawyer Michael Cohen implicating the president in his crimes, “I don’t care.” Nor, apparently, does Trump. It is a whole new realm of dishonesty, when a president doesn’t just lie, but doubles-down when caught.

So the message to Team Trump is, your “Make America Great Again” hat might start fitting so tight that you can barely breathe. I’m sorry about that. But I’m even sorrier for the rest of us who suffocate with you.

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14 Comments

  1. U can take your pro-Dumocratic rhetoric boomer cafe and add it to the obstructionists pile of crap u worship. Let our President do his job and get out of his way. MAGA

  2. What an insightful article, and I totally agree with all of it. America was already great until the mass destruction from this inane autocrat. The world is in disbelief how a liar and con man is now sitting in the Oval Office.

    1. Louise is right. When we traveled through four countries for over two months this year, the most frequent question from locals was usually, “What’s up with that Trump guy? Why is he acting like the free world doesn’t matter?” etc. In Europe, most people read the newspapers. They don’t have 24/7 talking heads (unless you count the American programming on SKY which carries Fox News and BBC). People there discuss the issues based on a deeper knowledge. And yes, they argue, they have their own problems. But at least they don’t seem as inclined to buy into alternative facts.

    2. “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 15 August 2018.

  3. Right on. Thank you. We need to all work to make sure he and his fellow Republican liars and parasites are not re-elected. The issue of climate change alone should propel us to organize. What will we say to our grandchildren when they are suffering from prolonged drought, fires, increasing temperatures, flooding, massive population migration etc. when they ask us what we did to mitigate this crisis when we still had a chance to turn the tide?

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more! His values, morals, roll-backs, egocentric and idiotic tweets and ideas have made the last two years a nightmare for the USA. He may very well be the worst and most inexperienced President our country has ever had, not to mention his childish antics. It’s not only time to invoke the 25th amendment and impeach, but imperative before he ruins our country even further.

  4. The vitriol in the first post above exemplifies just why ‘Party Politics’ are counter productive, and serve only to divide. Each party vilifies the other, and nothing much gets done for the people who work and pay taxes to keep this country going. If our politicians were judged solely on their own merit, and not on their ‘party’, things would be very different. How can we make our country great when people can’t stop hating each other simply because of an archaic political system based on ‘Parties’? Without political parties, people could start ‘hating’ who they should — the corrupt, lying, thieving, individual politicians who would then be exposed. And without a party system, they couldn’t hide their corruption behind a ‘party’ wall any longer!

    As for Trump, He built a financial empire based on exaggeration, lies, bullying, cover-ups, bribery, fakery, and skirting the laws. He was successful in that dog-eat-dog world. His word, and his alone, was law. He is not a politician, and is operating in the political world the only way he knows how to. People hungry for change from the stagnant political system that has evolved in Washington, DC have embraced him as a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, successful corporate moguls can have very dictatorial personalities that in the world of politics can backfire in the face of the entire country. And this is what we are living with right now. The United States of America is not a Monopoly Board, but that is how it it being treated these days.

  5. That’s right, Julie! It’s not about politics… It is about “that man!”… the mafia-like casino-magnate crime boss/reality TV “fake”, his sexist hyperbole, his bigoted propaganda, and the political blackmail he used to “entertain” his way to the White House.

    And it’s heartbreaking that ANY American actually fell for his treasonous “brand”!

    Thank you, Mr. Dobbs, for laying it all out so well. Mr. Mueller has taken down two other crime families and he will get this one too! Just pray that it happens before he completely destroys our beloved nation!

    1. Gywn, I totally agree of your assessment of “that man” but I have to disagree with you saying it’s not about politics. Partisan politics is a huge part of the problem, look at all the things that have come out of the mouths of those who support “that man” including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, and how they have allowed Trump to basically do what he wants based on an uninformed whim. These last two years have been a nightmare.

    2. gywn: A definition of “bigot”, if you will accept Mirriam-Webster as accurate?
      Definition of bigot. : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic [or political] group) with hatred and intolerance.
      I submit that you fit that description fairly well. There are such on both sides of the aisle. The Supreme Court selection circus brought out many bigots. As far as Mr. Mueller, his job is to find collusion. I await his findings. (None so far, just run-of-the-mill political wrongdoings. Also found on both sides of the aisle.)

      1. Denver,

        Your latest comment on BoomerCafe begs a response because you are so ill-informed about Mueller. You stated no results from the Mueller team, “None so far, just run-of-the-mill political wrongdoings,” is what you wrote. A simple Google search shows that you are simply wrong. You might take a moment and read this article — https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/20/17031772/mueller-indictments-grand-jury

        Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos was charged with making false statements and went to jail.

        Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort is in jail on multiple counts.

        Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is charged with conspiracy.

        Michael Flynn, Trumps national security advisor, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

        13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign.

        And, the list goes on and on. The Mueller investigation has yielded significant results and has exposed a shocking level of corruption by the current administration in the White House.

        1. Mike;
          I didn’t say “no results at all.” I was referring to the search for collusion between the President and the Russians. None so far. Shocking level of corruption? Happens all the time, every administration. Watergate was a shocking level. Politics and corruption go hand in hand, no matter which party is in power.

          You list Vox as your source. Vox’s review on Media Bias/Fact Check is good for using factual sources and never having failed a fact check, however they also state: “In review, Vox looks at the issues from a progressive liberal perspective and there is also an anti-Trump tone in their reporting. Therefore, the majority of stories are pro-left and anti-right.” So, the truth but not maybe the whole truth.

          I went to Wikipedia and searched “political scandals”. A veritable laundry list of shocking corruption. A Dem congressman from PA under Obama’s administration, convicted on 23 counts and sentenced to 10 years. Under GW Bush, Cunningham scandal named after Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) US Representative, pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005, to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. Sentenced to over eight years. The list goes back to George Washington. The list goes on and on. The current administration has no corner on corruption, it’s as old as politics.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

  6. I agree, Greg. And I agree with the previous comment calling this era “a nightmare.” Among the president’s worst failings is his refusal to attempt to unify us — “his” people — ALL Americans. He has successfully vilified anyone who disagrees with him, as if the First Amendment didn’t exist. A real leader of a great democracy would work 24/7 to bring unity and a sense of belonging to his country’s people. But Trump seems to take pleasure in creating chaos and animosity between us. I have never felt anything so divided, so hateful, and so volatile as what I’m witnessing here now. On a local level, I have friends who are not speaking to each other, and we can’t even bring up the subject of politics without fear and anxiety — so we avoid it, and we consequently tend to avoid people who disagree with us. Shame, shame. I hate that I’ve grown so resentful.

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