The recent election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States has left the country in something of a strange state. It seems that so many people didn’t expect Trump to win that his victory has shaken the very core of the American society, and the reactions from the public and the media are still creating conflict within vast segments of the country. A lot of the conflict seems to arise from the fact that people have no idea what Trump is going to do when he takes power.
During his campaign, Trump continuously made numerous promises that seem like they’ll be impossible for him to enact. He promised to put up a wall between the United States and Mexico, and he promised Mexico would pay for it. He promised to deport all undocumented immigrants, which would constitute roughly 11 million people and cost over $20 billion to the taxpayers. Trump even called for a Muslim registry, which would force all Muslims to identify themselves, whether legal US citizens or not. Such grandiose and unconstitutional claims are not surprise coming from Trump, who has famously ignored the rules in order to get what he wants.
The continuing theme of Trump’s campaign, and the slogan for his supporters, is ‘Make America Great Again’. While that simple phrase is all well and good on its own, when used as a motivator for social change, it can be a bit confusing. One pundit recently pointed out how asinine the slogan truly is. Jon Stewart, who gained fame as the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, did an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS that provided some enlightening philosophical thought experiments.
Stewart claims that the country is no different, at least on a fundamental scale, than it was when it elected Barack Obama. The argument that has existed in America since it was founded has essentially been centered around presidential elections, as that is the only real outlet for the masses to express their desire for social change. The election of Trump, argues Stewart, is simply the next line in the discussion regarding what America really is meant to be.
The issue of Trump’s win in relation to the Republican party was also discussed during the interview. Stewart expressed the idea that Republicans seem to think that Trump’s victory is a victory for them as well. Many members of Congress feel that way, at least, but they may end up regretting their devotion to the pseudo-Republican that is Trump. Stewart sees Trump not as the answer to the Republican’s prayers, but as a sign that both the Democrats and the Republicans are losing control of the government because they are losing the trust of the people.
Stewart continued with what might have been his most poignant point of the interview. He commented on Trump’s slogan, and wondered why nobody ever directly asked Trump what exactly makes America great? During the entire campaign, he only brought up the issue once himself. During an interview for the New York Times, Trump stated that he thought the late 40s and 50s were an ideal time within America because the country was ‘not pushed around’.
While that, again, might sound like a decent answer, the truth behind it could be much scarier. Who does Trump think is pushing America around now? Does he feel that way about social groups within the country looking for fair changes to the one-sidedness of society? If not, what other metrics does he use to judge the greatness of America, and when exactly did America develop the need to return to greatness?