What Does “GREAT” Mean?

American “greatness” is exaggerated. Yes, we were great .. WWII was great not just because we beat the horribles, but because we were so generous as victors.
America was also great in 1775 when our founders pioneered the modern, democratic state.
So .. cool! But, America was pretty despicable from the 1800s through WWII. From Jackson through Wilson, the US was an imperialist aggressor, conquering land from Mexico, Spain and .. of course .. the injuns. One has to look hard to see another example of such “greatness.” .. Perhaps Imperial Russia?

The Russian example is worth thinking about.  Was Imperial Russia great? Their serdom led to Stalin.  I suppose we should be happy that slavery only led to the civil war? 

Then came WWI. The war we came in belatedly and tried to take credit for the victories of our allies. Oh, and then we failed in the joint invasion of Russia and helped.

Meanwhile, we have Trump’s effort to make world trade kowtow to America.  Trump seems to think our consumers are a big advantage.  That was true.  China’s middle class is about to pass ours in size and  these newly rich folks have bigger needs. If you add in India, Korea, Japan, and the EU, the US is small.

Moreover, China, Inc is playing the long game. Trump is chortling about the short term effect of a 3 trillion boost to an economy that created a debt that will endure.

Our less than greatness is true even if Trump does make a trade deal. To challenge China we need trade alliances. Here is a nightmare. Imagine China in trade alliance with Mexico! Mexico has become an efficient manufacturer. Imagine China exporting Chinese cars to Brazil and Mexican oil to China!

I wonder if the MAGA crowd are confusing Great America with Great Britain?  Were we an imperial successor to Queen Victoria?  And now?  Will the world’s greatest military make the American consumer dominant? 

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