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The Great Society was a slogan with a vision of strengthening civil rights, improving public education, revamping urban communities, and protecting the country’s natural resources.

The New Deal was a slogan with a vision of improving economic levels, eradicating poverty and unemployment, and helping less fortunate Americans.

Policies and actions of LBJ and FDR were driven by these visions, and the effectiveness of those policies and actions could be evaluated in light of those visions. One could also discuss the merits and worthiness of those values vis-a-vis other alternatives.

Make America Great Again is a slogan, and only a slogan. Its visions have never been articulated. Many liberals interpret it one way, usually negatively. Conservatives interpret it in a number of different ways, some relating to fairness, some to race and immigration, some to lack of faith in government.

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How do we measure progress toward becoming “great again”? How do we have a real conversation when the vision of this slogan has not been articulated? How do we discuss whether this is the appropriate path to follow when we have no road map?

Jack Finn

Framingham