Schmidt Wrote: Understanding our government would be a helpful first step. And then voting intelligently.
That's the most thoughtful description of our current predicament I've ever read.
I've spent many hours pondering when America truly was great and my conclusion (at least in my humble opinion) is that it never really has been. My other conclusion (again, in my humble opinion) is that no country or empire in the history of human civilization has ever been great.
Was America great when black people were bought and sold like chattel or when our ancestors stole Native people lands and slaughtered innocent men, women, and children by the hundreds of thousands? Was America great when Jim Crow laws made it so black men, women, and children could be killed with impunity? What about when we passed laws that made it so only white people could take advantage of government stimulus dollars during the Great Depression? I can go on and on.
America has never been great because America, like every other country and empire before it, is made up of fallible human beings. There have been many great Americans who have helped bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice, but for every two steps we have taken forward, we have taken one step back. The same can be said about every other empire.
In the same breath, I know there are tens of millions of great Americans living in this country who truly do want to make America "great." I see them at school board meetings and soup kitchens; on the street and behind closed doors. What makes America and every other country great is the people who devote their lives helping make someone else's life better.