Everybody knows America used to be great -- greater than it is now, that is, but I wonder when that was and whether everyone would pick the same time of maximum greatness if asked. Nobody seems to be asking. I suspect we'd get a bunch of different answers though and I suspect many would refuse to answer, again for a variety of reasons.
For me, of course it would be the years that were greatest for me and that means when I had few worries and everything was new and exciting and simple. That would be around 1955 when I got a new Bike for Christmas and never watched that boring evening news with boring people like Walter Kronkite. All was right with that best of all possible worlds.
Yes, of course my dad had been bitching about the Army-McCarthy hearings he watched on our 10" big screen Admiral TV in Black and White. But really, who cared if Communists had taken over the government and all the movies and half the TV was secretly infused with Communist propaganda when the new Mickey Mouse Club was on the air, Annette's All American bosoms and all. If she was trying to induce us all to unite and cast off our chains, I didn't notice. Things were great.
It has to have been one of Donald's favorite times too, since he's only a year younger than I am, My dad didn't complain about the 90 something percent top tax bracket, at least not then. Did old man Trump? Somehow both dads prospered anyway as did the nation as a whole. In fact GDP has been almost independent of that number since the end of WWII when America was pretty much great by anyone's standards except for the Japanese and Germans. The war was pretty much successful and we pulled it off without the help of a massive, recession building tax cut for the wealthy like W did. Long about the time I turned 18 or so, the greatness was a lot harder to see, and outside of the moon missions, I think we were rather mediocre in fact. Face it, most of the world thought we were assholes.
I do remember that the fathers of many of my friends as a kid thought the peak of greatness was a lot earlier at about 1900 or so and I used to agree until I learned about the Panic of October 1907 and of course WWI and the world flu pandemic and the huge race riots and lynchings and the horrible conditions of immigrants bringing disease and crime and those women who insisted on voting. It certainly wasn't great during Prohibition when just like today, you got shot when you went out on the street as Donald says. I'm tempted to think it's pretty much a personal thing - greatness.
No matter what you're time of greatness was, it's in the past, isn't it and that means we have to look backwards to find it again, particularly if we don't have more mansions than Henry VIII or a series of inappropriately young trophy wives and jet planes like someone I won't mention. The future is always scary and the past has a known outcome, so as soon as I have that time machine perfected, I'm going to go back and buy me a knucklehead Harley and maybe a 56 Chevy Chevy Bel-Aire sport Coupe or what the hell, a 57 Vette and wouldn't worry about the Bomb because I would know it wouldn't happen. Nobody even had to worry about making a living back then did they?