The “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. Where is “America’s Model Democracy”


Three years into the presidential administration of Donald Trump, one might ask if he has kept his commitment to ‘Make America Great Again’. These four words, comprising his 2016 campaign slogan, are based on the false premise that the United States was ever ‘great’, which can be defined as “of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average.” We will look at a few facts.

  • The early colonists exploited the Native Americans in savage ways. This resulted in one of the largest genocides in world history, and the oppression of the descendants of those who survived continues to this day.
  • The ‘founding fathers’ created a government wherein only rich, white, male landowners could vote.
  • The U.S. grew in prosperity by sending emissaries to Africa and kidnapping the indigenous men, women and children of countries there, bringing them across the ocean in conditions not fit for a dog, and forcing them to work long hours with little pay, buying and selling them like livestock, and savagely punishing them for the smallest infractions.
  • Once slavery was abolished, savage discrimination against people of African descent continued. Lynchings, for such ‘crimes’ as talking to a white woman, were common through the 1950s. Today, people of African descent are routinely killed by white police officers for such ‘crimes’ as walking while Black, driving while Black and shopping while Black. Additionally, whites often call the police to report people of African descent who are trying to enter their own homes, have a picnic in a public park, or who are committing other such heinous crimes.
  • The only nation to ever use nuclear weapons is the United States. As World War II drew to a close and Japan was on the verge of surrender, the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities that had no military or strategic importance. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people died horrific deaths. And today, U. S. politicians have the temerity to believe they can determine which countries can and cannot have nuclear weapons.
  • During WWII, U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were arrested and placed in concentration camps. Many lost their homes and businesses. Government officials often refused to issue birth certificates for children born to these citizens. They were kept in dismal conditions for years.
  • The U.S. has been at war for at least 223 of its 240-year history. Just since the end of WWII, it has invaded or otherwise destabilized at least 35 other nations, and caused the deaths of at least 20,000,000 people. Today, despite the Iraqi Parliament vote that the U.S. leave the country, U.S. spokespeople have said they have no intention of doing so.
  • The U.S. incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other nation, many of them in for-profit prisons. Six hundred, fifty-five of every 100,000 citizens in the U.S. is incarcerated.
  • In its attempt to stop immigration from Central and South America, the U.S. is now arresting individuals and families at the Mexican border, separating children from their parents and keeping them in cages. Reports of abuse are high, and extreme overcrowding is the norm.
  • Government officials have worked hard to keep Muslims from entering the country, and much of their military violence is committed against mainly-Muslim nations that have in no way harmed or threatened the U.S.
  • The U.S. has very recently assassinated a top military leader of another nation. One can only imagine the U.S. response if a U.S. military leader were to be assassinated by a foreign nation.
  • The U.S. uses economic sanctions to force ‘regime change’ in countries whose governments it doesn’t like. During sanctions against Iraq, an estimated 500,000 innocent children died because of them. The Secretary of State at that time, Madeleine Albright, when asked about this, said that those deaths were worth it, because they helped achieve U.S. geo-political goals.
  • The U.S. has sanctioned Cuba for nearly 70 years, with a brief, partial respite during part of the administration of Barack Obama, without succeeding in the goal of ‘regime change’. But unlike current sanctions against Iran, the U.S. hasn’t threatened other nations with sanctions if they continue to trade with Cuba.
  • The U.S. governs not according to the will of the people, but according to the dictates of lobby groups and financial donors. For example, while the majority of U.S. citizens, according to every reputable poll on the topic, supports reasonable gun control, Congress will not even consider any such legislation, not wanting to risk losing contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA). Also, despite the fact that the United Nations has issued more resolutions critical of the Israeli occupation of Palestine than it has against any other nation for any reason, the U.S. continues to give that prosperous, apartheid nation more money in foreign aid than it gives to any other nation, not wanting to offend wealthy pro-Israel lobby groups. And under Trump, U.S. aid to U.N. departments that assist the suffering Palestinians has been eliminated.
  • In a democracy, one assumes that a person who gains the most votes would win the office for which he or she is running. Not so in the U.S.; in 2000, Vice President Al Gore won 500,000 more votes than Texas Governor George Bush, but Bush became president. In 2016, the corrupt former First Lady, New York senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won nearly 3,000,000 more votes than Donald Trump, but it is Trump who ascended to the presidency.
  • In order to run for national office with any chance of victory, a candidate must have access to millions of dollars. Candidates often finance their own campaigns. This prevents countless honest, qualified people from seeking office, thus enabling those who only wish to further enrich themselves and their associates to be elected. There are few exceptions to this unwritten rule.
  • Government officials work hard to increase difficulties for impoverished minorities to vote, by limiting the number of polling places in poor communities, and demanding forms of identification that many of the U.S.’s poorer citizens don’t have.

Where is the greatness in any of this? How can anyone look at the dismal record of the U.S. and say with a straight face that this is a model democracy?

No, Donald Trump has not made America great; he has simply perpetuated its inherent ugliness.


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Articles by: Robert Fantina

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