“Make America Great Again”

 

I never much cared for the slogan, mostly for the obvious reason that I think America remains great and has never not been great. I never much cared for the hat, either: I don’t wear hats, and I’m not a big fan of Trump the man, however much I like his performance in office.

But it seems to me that there’s a serious problem in need of a serious solution, and wearing the iconic orange red cap is, oddly enough, a useful tool for solving it.

The problem is that, in the real world (as opposed to here on Ricochet or on Fox News), conservatives are well-nigh invisible. The zeitgeist, as portrayed by the news and entertainment media and most of our institutions, is progressive. Most normal people — people who aren’t political wonks of one sort or another — can go through the whole week without hearing a conservative opinion expressed; they can go a lot longer without hearing one expressed well.

I’ve taken to wearing the hat because it sticks out like a sore thumb, and it communicates, more quickly and effectively than anything else I could wear, that I’m a conservative. It doesn’t say what kind of conservative I am, nor does it reveal whether I’m a hard-core Trump fan (I’m not) or just a guy who is sick to death of conservatives being treated like they are a social disease (yes, that’s it). But everyone who sees it will be able to conclude a few things that I want them to know:

  1. I’m a conservative;
  2. I’m not going to be cowed into silence by the prevailing winds of political fashion; and
  3. if you’re a conservative as well, you aren’t alone.

So I’ll be polite, thoughtful, happy to talk about it with anyone who’s interested, willing to concede the President’s many flaws while nonetheless defending his administration for the many things it’s done well, and an informed and respectful critic of socialism and progressivism and those who, through ignorance or poor judgment, continue to endorse them.

Some will see the hat and leap to the wrong conclusions, but those people were probably already leaping to wrong conclusions, assuming that I’m just like every other silent person who doesn’t rock the boat because he doesn’t think the boat needs rocking.

I’m not going to de-platform myself. I’m going to be counted.

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There are 24 comments.

  1. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I admire your dedication, but don’t get blindsided. 

    • #1
    • June 23, 2019, at 9:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    I admire your dedication, but don’t get blindsided.

    I don’t know what you mean by that.

     

    • #2
    • June 23, 2019, at 10:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Yeah, I wasn’t very clear. 

    Don’t get jumped or otherwise ganged up on. 

    • #3
    • June 23, 2019, at 10:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Caryn Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Yeah, I wasn’t very clear.

    Don’t get jumped or otherwise ganged up on.

    Isn’t it crazy that we even think that way? I don’t have any political identifiers on my car. I know people who had their cars keyed when they had Bush bumper stickers. We’ve only once put out yard signs and it was for local positions–I value the large (and >100 year old) windows in the front of the house too much to take a chance. Meanwhile, my neighbors proudly show their rainbow pride however they like. Several of them have that moronic sign stating how wonderful they are for believing in science and that people should love whomever they want and how color-conscious they are, etc, etc, etc. Something has gone terribly wrong socially that I worry about having my car vandalized, a rock thrown through a window, or worse (fire?) because of stating a political opinion. Politely.

    I’ve had the most hateful things said to my face by people (usually men, generally ones physically larger than I am) who overheard me say (in private conversation in a coffee shop) something supportive about Israel. Or about GW Bush. Or about Trump. This is going someplace extremely ugly. See She’s post about the knitting website. See the newsletter from the Penzey’s spice guy. See the repeated harassment of cake-bakers just trying to make a living.

    This IS a great country. But there are some very noisy, possibly violent, people trying to change that.

    • #4
    • June 23, 2019, at 11:24 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  5. Hank Rhody, on the blockchain Contributor

    I think the slogan translates more closely to “Let’s act like America is a great as she actually is.” Doesn’t fit on a ball cap nearly as well.

    • #5
    • June 24, 2019, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. The Reticulator Member

    I don’t particularly like the MAGA phrase, either. Maybe I could get a red baseball cap with the letters LFS on it. Maybe add that gold braid on the front of the bill. Then when people on the lookout for bullying opportunities ask me what that stands for, I could say, “Looking for Something?”

    • #6
    • June 24, 2019, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I don’t particularly like the MAGA phrase, either. Maybe I could get a red baseball cap with the letters LFS on it. Maybe add that gold braid on the front of the bill. Then when people on the lookout for bullying opportunities ask me what that stands for, I could say, “Looking for Something?”

    In defense of the phrase and the hat, I’ll say this:

    First, taken alone, it’s a perfectly anodyne phrase. If someone wants to argue that America is already great, fine: let’s make her greater.

    Secondly, to the extent that it’s a pro-Trump statement, there’s nothing wrong with endorsing your preferred candidate — and Trump is certainly my preferred candidate. People who find that idea “triggering” are deranged (and probably pretty rare).

    I’m sure there are those who will see the hat and conclude that I approve of the President’s numerous flaws as well as of the things he’s doing right. Those people are leaping to an incorrect conclusion; I’ll be happy to talk to them about it, if they’re interested.

    • #7
    • June 24, 2019, at 7:06 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    I like the MAGA phrase. I know it implies there was a time (recently) where America was not great. I’m with you all – of course America has always been great. My take is the phrase sounds the alarm in two ways:

    First, MAGA wakes up the patriots in this country to the fact there are forces trying to make America not great – and many of them always vote for the party that represents those forces.

    Second, many of our allies and our enemies do think America is no longer great. The use of MAGA sends them a message what they think is about to change.

     

    • #8
    • June 24, 2019, at 7:18 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    I like the MAGA phrase. I know it implies there was a time (recently) where America was not great. I’m with you all – of course America has always been great. My take is the phrase sounds the alarm in two ways:

    First, MAGA wakes up the patriots in this country to the fact there are forces trying to make America not great – and many of them always vote for the party that represents those forces.

    Second, many of our allies and our enemies do think America is no longer great. The use of MAGA sends them a message what they think is about to change.

     

    Stad, agreed, and I’d go one further: there are quite a few on the hard left who would argue that, far from ever being great, America has always been evil. Because imperfection, whatever the historical context, is a sin.

    • #9
    • June 24, 2019, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    there are quite a few on the hard left who would argue that, far from ever being great, America has always been evil. Because imperfection, whatever the historical context, is a sin.

    I hate these guys. Being great does not mean being perfect. They set the standard of perfection for everyone but themselves, rationalizing their own exclusion on the basis of “fighting for justice” . . .

    • #10
    • June 24, 2019, at 7:36 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Jim McConnell Member

    I agree with you completely (on this point, anyway) @henryracette, but I have long believed that baseball caps belong on the ball field.

    Now, if someone made a MAGA driving cap, I’d be all over that!

     

    • #11
    • June 24, 2019, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    there are quite a few on the hard left who would argue that, far from ever being great, America has always been evil. Because imperfection, whatever the historical context, is a sin.

    I hate these guys. Being great does not mean being perfect. They set the standard of perfection for everyone but themselves, rationalizing their own exclusion on the basis of “fighting for justice” . . .

    Aw, now. 

    Perfection is just around the corner – just give them the power they want and utopia can be yours! 

    • #12
    • June 24, 2019, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Same reason that many people wear their NRA caps, to show the public that we’re not the tiny minority they assume.

    • #13
    • June 24, 2019, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. DonG Coolidge

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Same reason that many people wear their NRA caps, to show the public that we’re not the tiny minority they assume.

    Indeed there are many symbols. I like ol’ Glory on hats and shirts and socks. I also have a few Gadsden items that I wear about. I recently got a Covington Catholic shirt. Every day is a good day to show patriotism and solidarity, although my Trump 2020 socks are pretty subtle ;)

    • #14
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Dave Sussman Contributor

    Not sure where you live, but in certain parts of the country you could be physically assaulted.

    Apparently, Chicago at 2 AM is one of them. 

    • #15
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:32 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Not sure where you live, but in certain parts of the country you could be physically assaulted.

    Apparently, Chicago at 2 AM is one of them.

    You kidding me? You have to pay people to assault you at 2 AM in Chicago.

    At least, that’s what I hear….

    • #16
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  17. Caryn Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Not sure where you live, but in certain parts of the country you could be physically assaulted.

    Apparently, Chicago at 2 AM is one of them.

    You kidding me? You have to pay people to assault you at 2 AM in Chicago.

    At least, that’s what I hear….

    Only when it’s REALLY cold outside…

    • #17
    • June 24, 2019, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Stad Thatcher

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Not sure where you live, but in certain parts of the country you could be physically assaulted.

    Apparently, Chicago at 2 AM is one of them.

    You kidding me? You have to pay people to assault you at 2 AM in Chicago.

    At least, that’s what I hear….

    Only when it’s REALLY cold outside…

    Racists love cold weather! They know that’s when gay, black Hollywood actors go out for sub sandwiches at two in the morning . . .

    • #18
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Aaron Miller Member

    Henry, I’m glad you wear it because, anecdotally, the vast majority of conservatives I have known who wear their beliefs on their sleeves are rednecks who cannot well express or justify their beliefs. Education seems to suck the guts out of most people with respectable values. 

    It is absolutely vital that various people of the Right express their ideas publicly. The more regular those ideas remain, the less opportunity the Left sees that tempts them to suppress or punish opposition. It is not coincidental that traditional values are most commonly and harshly punished in industries and communities which are overwhelmingly leftist. Mobs like easy prey.

    • #19
    • June 24, 2019, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I agree with you completely (on this point, anyway) @henryracette, but I have long believed that baseball caps belong on the ball field.

    Now, if someone made a MAGA driving cap, I’d be all over that!

     

    Or an 8-panel, newsboy cap like the one I often wear. That would be cool. I have a linen summer cap and a couple of wool winter caps of that kind, but no MAGA cap.

    But I wear baseball caps, too. They belong on the ball field, in fine dining establishments, and just about everywhere.

    I don’t even know how to step out of the house without a cap on. I suppose it could be done, in theory, but maybe not in real life. I do take mine off in church, though. 

    • #20
    • June 24, 2019, at 8:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I agree with you completely (on this point, anyway) @henryracette, but I have long believed that baseball caps belong on the ball field.

    Now, if someone made a MAGA driving cap, I’d be all over that!

     

    Or an 8-panel, newsboy cap like the one I often wear. That would be cool. I have a linen summer cap and a couple of wool winter caps of that kind, but no MAGA cap.

    But I wear baseball caps, too. They belong on the ball field, in fine dining establishments, and just about everywhere.

    I don’t even know how to step out of the house without a cap on. I suppose it could be done, in theory, but maybe not in real life. I do take mine off in church, though.

    One can step out of one’s house without a cap on, but why would one? 

    • #21
    • June 24, 2019, at 8:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. James Lileks Contributor

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Stad, agreed, and I’d go one further: there are quite a few on the hard left who would argue that, far from ever being great, America has always been evil. Because imperfection, whatever the historical context, is a sin.

    If they applied the standards equally, I’d agree but they don’t grant historical context. They apply to history the twin sins that define America: capitalism and white supremacy. Other nations are guilty of this, but are footnotes, because in their eyes America was founded on these ideas and is the apotheosis of them, the most powerful manifestation.

    If you move back far enough in history – and most of leftists don’t seem interested in anything that predated the Industrial Revolution – the wars of conquest and enslavement are waved away as Stuff that Went On, Like, Everywhere, and didn’t matter because Marx hadn’t been born yet. 

    Their attitude towards the conquest of South America by the Spanish and Portuguese is one of those things that mystifies me – the Europeans knocked over indigenous civilizations, enslaved who knows how many, BROUGHT MORE SLAVES, but somehow the most significant act of white supremacy and colonialism in the Western hemisphere morphs into a different non-white identity because . . . the invaders were from the left side of the Pyrenese? What am I missing?

    • #22
    • June 24, 2019, at 9:41 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Hank Rhody, on the blockchain Contributor

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    the Europeans knocked over indigenous civilizations, enslaved who knows how many, BROUGHT MORE SLAVES, but somehow the most significant act of white supremacy and colonialism in the Western hemisphere morphs into a different non-white identity because . . . the invaders were from the left side of the Pyrenese? What am I missing?

    Those were white hispanics.

    • #23
    • June 24, 2019, at 11:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. Ralphie Member

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Several of them have that moronic sign stating how wonderful they are for believing in science and that people should love whomever they want and how color-conscious they are, etc, etc, etc.

    Like the old saying (I think) :

    If you have to tell me how great/smart you are, you aren’t.

    • #24
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes