Kind of splintering off an off-topic discourse in another thread, and with all this talk of making America great again, I would ask: Has America ever been great? When was that? Why was that? My own take on this is that WWII left America in a great spot. Because little conflict took place on American soil, and because America really geared up manufacturing to aid in the war effort, American infrastructure was widespread and fresh, featuring many technological advances in mass production that weren't as prevalent elsewhere. Meanwhile, foreign infrastructure in developed nations was in shambles, turning would-be-producers into marketplaces for USA-made goods, and leaving little economic competition in the following decades. Other aspects of the war also helped, for instance the brain drain from scientists fleeing Europe, and even other scientists and technology acquired from defeated nations. This is all to say that in 1945 America seemed ready to thrive, and while I was not around during that time, I can appreciate a lot of what came out of America in the 50s/60s, in science, technology, culture, education, civil rights, quality of life, etc -- things that you're free to pursue when you're in a great spot economically. But how much of this was due to the often cited causes -- values, freedom, work ethic -- and how much of it was merely right place right time? And is that the era of American greatness? Naturally if the cause of greatness is largely circumstantial, why are Americans so obsessed with a return to greatness? And what would that even mean in terms of policy? (My own 2 cents is that it's probably time to admit that guys in India, China, etc., developing nations, are working a hell of a lot harder than Americans. And that information too has become globally accessible so that many people in undeveloped nations are also well-educated, if not formally, so it's also hard to say that Americans work smarter. And on the global field, if you can't work harder or smarter, what can you do really? I would argue it's time to appreciate that America has been in a fortunate position for most of the 20th century, but one should not expect to attain a 1950s general style of life and happiness as the rest of the world comes up to speed / focus on how to best move forward from the present rather than regain something that was lost.) *I just realized my location may be misleading, so just to throw this out there: I'm American, but have lived internationally for many years.