"Make America great again."
There's no question who coined the phrase in this generation, but Mr. Trump is not the first to talk about America's greatness.
Nearly two centuries ago, in 1831, two gentlemen visited the then-fledgling United States, sent on a mission by the French government to check out the criminal justice system. Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont spent nine months here, visiting both urban cities and rural villages. Mr. de Tocqueville chronicled the trip in Democracy in America.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.*I think he had a point, don't you?
What makes anything or anyone great? Isn't greatness linked to moral excellence, virtue, kindness, honor, and benevolence?
Jesus dialogued about the essence of greatness with his followers. "Whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant" (Mark 10:43). Service to others makes up the foundation of goodness. On this true greatness is built.
America can only be great when its citizens individually choose to take up the cause for goodness . . . in the ordinary-ness of every day with our families and neighbors, in the workplace, and in the marketplace. You and I can make a difference.
*Going Somewhere by George Grant (Nashville: Cumberland House, 1999), page 185.
**This post is not intended to be a political statement.
***First and last photo from bing.com/images.