A Question of America's Greatness 👍

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

On the road to greatness

During a speech yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo of NY took on President Trump’s MAGA slogan by stating that America “was never that great.” He added: "We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone...".


Opponents react

Cuomo is a vocal critic of Trump and a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. His comment was quickly seized upon by Republicans and right-leaning news outlets. Marc Molinaro, a Republican challenging Cuomo for governor in 2018, said America, “with its imperfections, has always been great.”

The right rejoiced at the governor’s poor choice of words. It’s further proof, articles from the right argue, that Democrats are not patriotic and are out of touch with regular, America-loving Americans.  Articles point out that the soundbite is a ready-made campaign ad that will surely help Cuomo’s opponents in the 2018 gubernatorial race and in the 2020 presidential race, if he runs.

The left puts Cuomo’s comments in context, stressing that the governor was mocking Trump’s campaign slogan and making a valid point about the need for further progress to ensure that America is a great country for women and other groups facing systemic challenges. Articles acknowledge, however, that saying America “was never that great” is not a good look and he probably shouldn’t have handed that ammunition to his opponents. 

Is this a big deal?

Not really. Cuomo makes a fair point: “Make America Great Again” is a slogan that harkens back to some mythical time in American history. That kind of backward-looking rhetoric does not make sense to populations who have historically been persecuted in America. However, it’s worth pointing out that in a 2010 gubernatorial campaign ad Cuomo said: “Together, we can make New York great again.” 




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