To hear the Republicans tell it, America has been made great again and the Democrats have it all wrong.
My mind goes back to my late father, as it often does. In his mind, nothing is perfect. He was a hard man to please. I can only remember a handful of times he told me I did something right, and he never told me that what I did was perfect.
What did that do to me? It made me work harder and more perfectly. In my salad years, his lack of approval irritated me to no end.
Now that I am older and wiser, I see what he was trying to do. Maybe he wasn't trying to make me understand I could do better. Maybe he was just a grumpy old man. In any event, what he did made me a better person.
Dad could have been Amish. I understand that, though the Amish woodworkers may be the best at making handmade furniture, every piece of furniture they make has a scratch or a bump or some imperfection on it although hidden where the buyer would never see it.
It is said that the Amish believe nothing is perfect in this world and that perfection will only be realized in heaven.
Those Amish may be on to something.
To hear the Republicans tell it, America has been made great since Trump took office in 2017.
According to them, all the imperfections left in America by Barack Obama have been righted but will come back if Trump is no longer president. Perhaps that's why he continues to hint at changing (or eliminating) the Constitution in order to make him president for life. I don't think he is joking. To borrow a common phrase, "He is as serious as a heart attack."
Problems? America still has them. Is America the greatest nation in the world? Maybe. I'd say there are people in a hundred other nations would say their country is the greatest.
Whether ours is the greatest country in the history of the world, we still have problems - big problems, some of them much bigger than problems in other countries.
The big problem is patting ourselves on the back and deciding there is nothing more that needs to be done. It is frightening and even suicidal.
There are flaws galore. The rich are too rich, and the poor are too numerous and too poor. The opioid crisis could bring us to our knees in a matter of months.
Huntington has come up with a partial solution, but roundtable discussions of the kind Melania Trump attended in Huntington on Monday are as meaningless as calling it a roundtable discussion. Looked like four square tables to me.
And these problems are only the tip of the iceberg, the fuse of a giant bomb that is lit and ready to explode.
If this is all the U.S. can be, it is certainly not enough. And if Trump and his Republican Party are satisfied and believe that America has been made great, they are sorely in error and, if this continues six more years, America is in big trouble.
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is email@example.com.