Campaign slogans live on long past Election Day. President Obama will always be associated with the phrase “Yes We Can!” and “Hope.” Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is rather confusing to some and opened the GOP candidate up to much criticism, but it’s a memorable phrase and one that will be associated with the Trump campaign long after the nightmare of this election season is over.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, however, has a better idea.
Let’s Make America Smart Again
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) November 4, 2016
No one knows when Trump believes America was “great,” although from the sound of it, it was when white men ruled without pushback from women or people of color.
It’s hard to imagine these days, too, when America was “smart,” especially considering what we’ve all witnessed from the Trump campaign and its supporters for the past year and a half. Haven’t there always been people who watched Fox News and were easily manipulated? Weren’t there always people who stubbornly refused to acknowledge facts and science? Haven’t there always been people like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck?
Of course there has, but Americans also invented the internet, the Hubble telescope, and were the first to land on the moon. We harnessed electricity and paved the road for paleontology. We pioneered the field of genetics and made impactful discoveries that led to the theory of evolution. These are just a few of the moments when America was “great” in our history.
A denial of science by those willing to buy into the conspiracy theories that say that climate change is not real and that scientific theory should be considered unproven nonsense is not new, nor have people with similar thoughts been difficult to find throughout American history.
It is the televised and widely available bullhorn of conspiracy theorists lending legitimacy to this school of thought that is somewhat new in this country. “News” pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, conspiracy theorists and climate-change deniers given national platforms, rely on their viewers’ fear of what they don’t understand. Legitimizing these alternate and ignorant schools of thought are right-wing politicians dependent on campaign donations from oil companies and polluters who need reform to protect the environment to lack support in order to continue racking up the dollars.
How do we “Make America Smart Again?” We start by acknowledging facts and pushing back against the voices who want to keep us in the past. The leader of that alternate movement’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again” as if the wealth of knowledge we’ve gained from our history and our progress is a negative instead of a positive.
We can start making America smart again by ensuring that Donald Trump never gains the legitimacy he needs by becoming the leader of the free world.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube