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How is America great? Again?

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s Christmas week. Merry Christmas. This is the obligatory Christmas column.

OK, neither Bill nor Susan Britt told me to write a Christmas column. But I’m going to just the same.

I despise Christmas. I hate what it’s become. It’s like a Donald Trump holiday. Get everything you want, but don’t pay for it. Or pay for it later, if you’re not Donald Trump.

My favorite Christmas present ever came to me when I was 6 or 7 years old. My parents got me an army. The U.S. Army to be exact. A hundred or so little plastic soldiers, all green. Some were holding rifles. Some were lying down with machine guns. Some were posed throwing hand grenades. I loved that tiny army, and we tore through the enemy without a second thought.

So here’s what worries me. Now, Trump has that army – a real, flesh-and-blood army, of young men and women that he can deploy at will. At his will.

My tiny army was plastic. Trump’s real army is not. But I worry that Trump will treat his real army like I did my plastic one: Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes.

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A few years ago, one of my close friends lost her son in Iraq. He was a Marine, and on his third deployment in President George W. Bush’s mistaken war on that country. A sniper shot at Nick, and the bullet ricocheted off his rifle and struck him in the neck.

As unacceptable as Bush’s war on Iraq was, I worry even more with Trump at the helm. The so-called billionaire has no experience with war or with much of anything except putting his name on buildings.

My soldiers were toys. Trump’s soldiers are men and women we all know.

At Christmas, we celebrate peace on Earth. We enjoy the calm, the stars, the moon, and cold evenings.

In this last Christmas of President Obama’s presidency, let’s look toward a new era of love and respect. Let’s give Trump a chance to show he’s not just a reality star on a big TV show.

I think my parents trumped me a few times. I’d ask for specific presents – a TV for my room, a shortwave radio so I could listen to radio stations from overseas.

They always came through. But with the cheapest TV or shortwave radio they could find. I loved them for it, but always thought I was shortchanged. Yeah, I was ungrateful, but only because I didn’t know how much they had to sacrifice to get me the cheap versions of what I wanted.

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Trump doesn’t have to do anything on the cheap. And I’m hoping he won’t. He wants to make “America Great Again.” I don’t really know what he’s reaching for, or even if he believes that slogan, but I’d love for America to be greater. Still, we cannot ignore what we have been, what we are.

America is a great country, no doubt about that. But we’re not the only great country. There are many out there. We’re not superior; we’re just in the bunch.

My toy soldiers destroyed armies of many other nations. But that was a game, played with toys.

This Christmas, let’s don’t think we’re superior simply because we’re America.

If America is great, it’s because we don’t look at ourselves as superior. We look at ourselves as an example for others to follow. Let’s be that example.

Let’s get off our high horse. I don’t mean we should be on the low horse, if there is a low horse. I mean let’s understand that we are of the world, and the world is of us.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected].

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Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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