Recently I’ve been wondering more and more about what it means to “Make America Great Again.” This phrase is frequently used in presidential campaigns, particularly in one campaign that has become alarmingly popular in the past year.
But instead of making this about politics (which unfortunately everything and its mother has become entangled with in recent times) I will try to stray away from my political beliefs and instead discuss what the phrase means to me.
I am studying abroad in Spain this semester and I am taking an introductory course to Spanish culture and language. It is difficult to adjust to a new living situation while simultaneously missing the comfort of Chapel Hill, but I can’t help but love it.
Starting over in a new country. Learning what makes that country so great. Learning a new language. Sharing my culture, while accustoming to theirs. It is awesome. And it has allowed me to see the world through an entirely new lens. There is so much outside of Chapel Hill, and North Carolina and the United States to see and to learn and to understand. There are so many struggles that we cannot begin to imagine. So many traditions we will never be capable of understanding. But out of respect and curiosity we should at least try.
To make America great again is to accept other cultures. It is to encourage diversity and equality and love. To me that is what makes America great to begin with. Freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and an abundance of social justice reforms.
While I believe there are many changes our country is in need of, I also believe we are more fortunate than we may realize. It’s time we Make America Great Again through a mutual understanding of respect and love. Politics aside, we deserve better than this.
It breaks my heart to see this phrase used in direct correlation to racism, misogyny and hate. Open your eyes America, stop drinking the Kool-Aid and realize what you are supporting.
To Make America Great Again is to not put down others, it is to help one another be the best we can be. So if you buy a hat or a shirt or post a Snapchat with these words, I sincerely hope you are not doing it with the mentality that America would be a better place without immigrants or women or different ideologies than your own.
Step out of your comfort zone and try to view the world through a different lens. That is how we can Make America Great Again.