On Tuesday, Campus Reform uploaded a video in which digital media director Cabot Phillips asks people in New York City’s Washington Square Park if America was ever great.
Phillips’ question comes on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent remarks that America was “never that great,” which were subsequently walked back.
The responses from the individuals being interviewed are not all that surprising.
PHILLIPS: Governor Cuomo came out here in New York at an event and said that the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is flawed because it implies that America was great at some point. So we’ve been asking people their take. Do you think American has ever been truly great?
“I don’t believe America has been great for all folks ever, even today.”
“I have to agree with Governor Cuomo.”
“The idea that there was this once great America is pointing toward this false sense of nationalism that, you know — what, [it’s] talking about white America? Yeah, it’s not great.”
“I think it has been great for straight white men for a very long time.”
Phillips followed up by asking: “Do you think that there is a time you can point to that America was great?”
A woman in a jean jacket paused, then laughingly replied: “I don’t know, honestly.” A man wearing a striped shirt took a lengthy pause before answering: “Hmm, that’s a good one.” Another man stated that America was “never really great,” but that “we do great things sometimes, like we fix a lot of problems.” He added: “But it’s never been just wholly great.”
The Daily Wire spoke with Cabot Phillips to get his perspective on this video. Regarding the responses from the individuals in featured in the piece, he said:
I think there’s a misconception that saying America is great, or was once great, implies you agree with everything we did or are doing. We can acknowledge our faults and mistakes and still appreciate the greatness of our nation.
This mindset is concerning because we as Americans won’t be prepared to defend our values and uphold the very things that made us great in the first place if we don’t acknowledge how exceptional we are.
I think this way of thinking stems from what’s going on in the classroom. Our students are not being taught about American Exceptionalism. If you are never taught to appreciate the greatness of our founding and our accomplishments throughout history, it’s easy to see how you might not realize our greatness.
Check out the full video below: