By J. Stewart Cook
Well one hundred days have passed with Donald Trump reigning as President of the United States of America. The question of course, did he “Make America Great Again?” Perhaps we will have to wait for his mandate to be completed before one can ask such a question. Nevertheless, we all know that there have been some “great” accomplishments since he has become President.
There is no doubt that the phrase “Make America Great Again” has been analyzed to the Nth degree by anyone and everyone. That being said, let us take a quick look at the general sense of the phrase. I think we can all agree, looking back in history, the 1950’s were the best of times. I’m not sure if the President was contemplating those years, however, I would bet anyone’s 1952 Chevy that he did give thought to those so-called “Happy Days!”
So why the title, “Lost in the Fifties Tonight.” Somewhere between the 50th and 60th day as leader of the country, or half way through his first one hundred days, there must have been some milestones met and major accomplishments. And here it is. For some reason I picture the President sitting in the Oval Office on the 50th night, all by himself, stretching back in his chair, legs on the desk, turning on the radio next to him for the latest “Fake News” and then WHAM. On the air is not the news but one of the greatest artist’s and songs of all time…”Lost in the Fifties Tonight” by Ronnie Milsap. Now, anyone who has heard this song cannot help but get a tear in their eye or a pull at their heart! So there sits the President “in the still of the night, call on the memories, so real, so right, lost in the fifties tonight.”
Not that America was “not” great at any given time, however, there is this continued perception that is has lost some of its “greatness.” It was always the envy of the world and countries would look up to America for guidance. We’re not only talking about loss of “greatness” but economic loss and social loss. We are no longer “singing from the same song sheet.” We are all walking to our own beat! Individualism weakens the state. The “collective” only strengthens it. The new “kid on the block” is no longer the “All American Boy” we once new. Donald Trump can certainly attest to this! And your day-to-day Miss America can tell you where to go “on a dime!” The young men and women from the “Happy Days” era have lost so many of the qualities which made adults so proud of their children. Say as you may, the Trump children try hard to espouse these once venerated qualities. I’m NOT talking about “equality.” I’m NOT talking about “human rights.” I’m NOT talking about “political correctness.” However, I AM talking about good ‘ol “morals and values.”
One does not have to “undo” the things of the past in order to Make America Great Again! We certainly don’t have to go too far back to see the latest erosion of America’s “greatness.” Social policies and change have undoubtedly had a major impact on human conduct in the USA. Individual freedom may be gainful, however, it opens the door to self-authority and governance. I am now in command and do not answer to anyone else but myself. I may say as I like and no longer suffer the consequences of answering to a “collective.”
Perhaps one could say that the President was merely basking in “nostalgia,” knowing that America would never be like it was in the “fifties!” Was it truly possible to Make America Great Again? Was it simply a political move to garnish votes? Was it to capture the older voters? The older generation enjoys reminiscing about the past. Things were better then with a lot more opportunity than today. What about the “youth” vote. It was no longer enough to simply say, “in my day or when I was young” as catch-all phrases to win them over. It was now a case of “joining” them. That’s right….”TWITTER!” No matter what you say, social media always grabs the attention of the young generation. The President saw the benefit and maximized its potential.
Some things in life cannot be improved upon. I personally question the need to ever having to “Make America Great Again.” As it is said, “in the grand scheme of things” I don’t think America ever lost its “greatness.” Donald Trump and President Trump, like most Americans, new “change” was necessary. He capitalized on this need for “change.” Was it not in the movie “Shrek” that Shrek himself turned to the “Donkey” and said “change is good donkey.” It’s not a question of “Making America Great Again,” IT’S MAKING THE NECESSARY “CHANGES” FOR THE “GOOD” OF AMERICA!
As the song finishes, there’s a knock at the door and the President calls out “c’mon in.” It’s Barron, a sleepless night for the young lad at the White House and wanting to see his Dad. Down comes the President’s legs and a jump for Barron onto his lap. He looks at his son and along with Ronnie he ends the song…”In the still of the night, Hold me darlin’, hold me tight, say so real, so right, Lost in the fifties tonight…