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A lot of my batch-mates and friends from the school time have moved to the USA in search for a better future—and it's a great step towards a rewarding life. However, whenever I have a conversation with almost any of those friends, I sense the hint of pride in their tone—almost obnoxious, narcissistic pride. It's a good move to move to a different country, but that does not mean that the people you left back in your home country, or the people who live in some other country are somehow beneath you. It is not healthy, quite frankly.
I have been an admirer of history (both as a subject and in a nostalgic, dreamy way), and that makes me look back to President Trump's 2015 election campaign slogan. He kept saying "(Let's) Make America great again!" Throughout modern history, the USA has maintained its image as a controversial land. For this very reason, I question myself often, what does Mr. President mean when he says 'Make America great AGAIN!'? Now, I have not learnt American history in schools (as Indian schools only taught Indian history, and did not focus much on the World history, just like all the other education systems in the world who did not feel the need to teach world history in depth), but I know a considerably good amount of knowledge of history that is being referred to here.
So, I kept asking myself, when was this time that Mr. Donald Trump and his supporters are always reminiscing about. I looked back all the way to the 1490s. It started as a mistake, when Mr. Columbus thought he had reached India (or the Indian subcontinent, to be vague). We are all aware and not at all proud of the death and destruction that followed in the following years. Inca, Aztec, Mayans, and especially Diego de Landa cannot be forgotten. I told myself that he might be referring to this time, but I was wrong!
Then, I moved to finding my answer in the next big problem of the time—slavery. I spent hours and hours reading and getting frustrated at the history of 'the colonization and slavery'. I never get any closer to the time period that could be labelled as 'great' between the early 1500s and the late 1800s. Of course, the fight for independence (from their own colonial rule that had practically made half of Europe prosper) was a victory indeed! I still could not find my answer.
So I moved onto the next possible period, where I was hoping to get my answer to the mysterious question. After 1776 (more specifically after 1793—Eli Whitney's cotton gin invention), things worsened in the South. I was not satisfied after this that these could be the Golden days of the USA. My frustration of not getting to the root of this slogan was increasing, the closer I was getting to today on the timeline.
Finally, Donald Trump revealed in an interview with the The New York Times when he thinks America was the greatest! I opened the article as soon as I could, and finished it in under three minutes. I was desperate to know the truth. His answer was 'late 40s and 50s'! I could not believe what I had just read, so I read the article again, and then referred to the history books again.
I am sure Mr. Trump values the entrepreneur spirit and the revolutionary inventions of science. However, Japan (and even Russia) would disagree that this exact time was the time when America was great. It is an excruciating account, how over the course of 500 years, America have displayed the characteristics of a 'great' nation (or land), and while, their GDP, and the nuclear weapons, and the moon landings (alleged), and the CIA might be their achievements, I am still finding my answer among the 10 million+ illegal immigrants!
(PS—The time period from Mr. Bundy to Mr. Avery has not been great either—both the instances made the government look bad!)