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.