Letter: America remains great, despite mistakes

Published 8:00 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

Just what was former U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder really thinking?

Last month Holder asked an interviewer during a MSNBC interview, “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

Holder, using words similar to what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said over a year ago, was saying “America was never that great.”

Playing along party lines, Holder reminded us that America is led by Republicans that are “unpatriotic grievance holders who think we live in a country built on racism, genocide and white supremacy.”

It appears as if he believes “these remain as defining features of the United States.”

We must not travel across the same countryside. Perhaps Holder needs to escape “the swamp” and the boundaries of Chicago to renew his education in America and why she’s such a great country.

I would be glad to go with him back to Boston and stand in the harbor where our forebearers dumped crates of tea, telling the King of England we longer wished to be under British rule.

I wish he could spend a few moments with George Washington at Valley Forge and then listen to Washington’s response when asked to be our country’s first king.

I wonder if he had sat at the table in Philadelphia and listened to the discussion and proposals about our Declaration of Independence and, later, our Constitution that still guides our country today, if he could say America has never been great.

And, what if he had the opportunity to stand with President Abraham Lincoln as the President delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in 1883, or his Gettysburg Address later in September of that year? 

This great nation has led the world in inventions to include the cotton gin, the airplane, and the automobile. It has tread on equal ground in the fields of medicine and science.

We saved the world in World War II and can attest to the greatness of our military men and women by the number of crosses perfectly lined in cemeteries around the world. Perhaps Holder should visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington.

I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten Brown v. Board of Education and Republican President David Eisenhower’s decision to send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas.

America’s greatness comes from people of all races, from people who desire to live in freedom and who extend their hands to countries around the world in times of need.

Perhaps, Holder studied from different historical texts than I did.

Obviously, the former Attorney General has forgotten his political history of the politics and parties of the 40s, 50s and 60s. I believe it was his current party, the Democratic Party, that failed under Holder’s veil to meet his expectations.

Have we made mistakes? Yes. Will we make more? Of course we will. But, we have been and remain a great nation.

One of America’s great historians, Stephen Ambrose, wrote in his book entitled TO AMERICA: Personal Reflections of an Historian; “America is the first democratic nation-state, now more than two and a quarter centuries old. Our greatest triumphs are the eighteenth-century creation of our democratic republic, the nineteenth –century abolishment of slavery and the holding together of our Union, and our twenty-century crushing of totalitarianism.”

But Holder argues, “It takes us back to a time that never in fact really existed. You know America has done superb things, great things, but we are always a work in process… Make America Great Again is inconsistent with who we are as Americans.”

It sounds as if Holder can’t leave the past and accept where we are today. I would argue that Make America Great Again is not inconsistent with whom we are today and that we enjoyed thousands of great moments in our history.

The torch is in our hands. We must continue the march, even though there are those who do not want us to be great.

Let’s work together to keep America great!

Jimmy Terrell