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Behind the Americana: Make America Great Again

While this phrase has most recently become synonymous with the Trump presidential campaign, it actually originated with none other than Ronald Reagan. Reagan chose this as his 1980 presidential campaign slogan, succinctly giving hope to the American people that things could indeed turn back around if he were elected President.

Context on what was happening in America during this time

  • The population had doubled in fifty years, from 100 million to over 200 million in the 70’s, yet joblessness was at a considerably high rate
  • Roe v. Wade was a recent ruling and a low-blow to those who believed that all life was valuable
  • Watergate—need we say more? 
  • U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned amidst charges of tax evasion and Gerald Ford was appointed to replace him
  • The Vietnam War had just ended, and Americans were intensely divided over who was right, oftentimes discriminating those who had served overseas in the War just as much as they were praising those who deserted serving in the war (which numbered past 10,000 deserters!)
  • Marginalized groups were still fighting for equality – particularly women and African Americans
  • The “freedoms” of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll continued on with higher pot use in the 70’s than the 60’s, and higher levels of promiscuity, including “I’m OK, you’re OK” and “wife-swapping parties”
  • Inflation teetered between 14-15% in 1980, consistently much higher than any other year in the prior decade, which meant less homes being purchased and more hesitation to spend money in the marketplace

Make America Great Again

In Reagan’s nomination acceptance speech in 1980, he so eloquently stated his reasoning on how to “make America great again.”

Here are a few excerpts:

"As your nominee, I pledge to restore to the federal government the capacity to do the people’s work without dominating their lives. I pledge to you a government that will not only work well, but wisely; its ability to act tempered by prudence, and its willingness to do good balanced by the knowledge that government is never more dangerous than when our desire to have it help us blinds us to its great power to harm us….."

"We must have the clarity of vision to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable; and then the courage to use this insight to bring our government back under control and make it acceptable to the people…… "

"It is time to put Americans back to work; to make our cities and towns resound with the confident voices of men and women of all races, nationalities and faiths bringing home to their families a decent paycheck they can cash for money……"

"The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands. But, to do this will take many of us, working together. I ask you tonight to volunteer your help in this cause so we carry our message throughout the land…."

"For those without skills, we’ll find a way to help them get skills. For those without job opportunities, we’ll stimulate new opportunities, particularly in the inner cities where they live. For those who have abandoned hope, we’ll restore hope and we’ll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again!"

So there you have it! Make America Great Again has a long and meaningful association with the platform of the Republican Party. It stands for working side by side together to make sure that all of our country -- rich, poor, black and white -- have the chance to rise together.

Pick up a bag or two of our Make America Great Again roast and celebrate the country we love, the party of Reagan, and the craziest election season anyone has seen in living history! 

Order Make America Great Again here!

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