Columnist Valerie Schultz

Lacking the gift for catchy advertising, I am a poor slogan inventor, but surely someone can do better than those tired red hats stating "Make America Great Again."

Since greatness hasn’t happened in nearly four years, enough with the MAGA nonsense. And don’t even get me started on KAG ("Keep America Great"). The following acronyms may more aptly describe what Donald Trump and his complicit Republicans have actually made of America. Again.

MACA: Make America Corrupt Again. Trump and his ilk have indulged in an updated version of the Harding administration’s Teapot Dome scandal, with a different steaming pot of internal corruption brimming over just about every day. The early 20th century was a great time for grift in America, and that’s where we are again.

MASA: Make America Sick Again. Was the influenza of 1918 what Trump had in mind? This administration’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 180,000 Americans, with no end or plan in sight. Woodrow Wilson’s incompetent leadership has resurfaced. 

MAPA: Make America Poor Again. Recreating the 1930s with this one. The Great Depression was a different kind of "Great." Or maybe not. We’re gonna need a bigger Roosevelt to restore an equitable society after this guy. 

MAHA: Make America Hate (Each Other) Again. Anyone up for a re-do of the generation gap, circa 1968? Parents against kids, Blacks against whites, cops against hippies, women against men, students against war, to mention a few national head-to-head conflicts. As I remember, that was not a great time.

MADA: Make America Dirty Again. How about refashioning the national environmental mess that led Nixon, of all presidents, to establish the Environmental Protection Agency and the first Earth Day in 1970? Climate change is another crisis that doesn’t care if you label it a hoax. It’s coming anyway, and Trump’s failure to protect the earth bodes for anything but great ahead.

MABA: Make America Barbaric Again. The first executions of federal prisoners since 2003, three in a row in July with more scheduled, plop us back in the company of countries like China and Saudi Arabia, joining them in a cruel and callous disregard for human life. A “pro-life” Justice Department would be great, but that’s not what we have under the imposter Barr. His credo: All life is sacred, unless you’re looking for votes.

I find MABA particularly disturbing, because it uses killing people as a political tool. The death penalty, with its many inherent injustices, appeals to the vengeful, the merciless, the bloodlusty, or the “Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin,” as CNN reporter Jim Acosta succinctly put it. Trumpeting a wave of federal executions to satisfy the baser instincts of one’s voters is immoral, abhorrent and, dare I say, an even lower low for this gang.

Believing Trump’s MAGA slogan must be like living in Bizarro World, where up is down and real is fake and one’s own eyes aren’t to be trusted. Remember when the bloodless son-in-law said the country would be “really rocking” by July? We are rocked, all right, by plague and hunger and unemployment and racism and injustice and insecurity and ineptitude and scandal and dishonesty and attempted tyranny. I guess his prediction was correct.

MAGA is the real hoax that has been perpetuated among us. I can’t think of one thing in America that is more "Great" than it was under President Obama. Federal troops inciting violence in American cities? Journalists attacked or hacked to pieces? Bounties of $100,000 on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan, courtesy of Comrade Putin? A decimated-on-purpose health care system during a pandemic? Denial of the pandemic? The ridiculous wall? Blatantly political judges? Voter suppression? Constitutional crises? An incoherent president who tells checkable lies and throws daily wrenches into the gears of functioning government? Those awful adult children? Nyet to all of it.

So. About those red hats. I get the coded language, the real unstated goal being MAWA: Making America White Again. We all get it, but that’s neither who we are nor who we should aspire to be. Our better angels have always tried to lead us to a more perfect America, one of freedom and justice and equality for all who arrive on our shores, and we have made uneven progress toward the American ideal. I can’t imagine that our present situation is what a red-hat-wearer had in mind. Explain to me like I’m a third-grader what former "Great" time in our history this president has promised, much less achieved. Or are we just supposed to give him four more years of mayhem? Four more years to destroy any vestige of the dream of democracy and any whisper of that poem on the Statue of Liberty?

My heart can’t take it. Our country can’t take it. The world can’t take it. This time, let’s move forward with a vote for a saner, sounder, healthier, wiser, cleaner, kinder, better America.

Valerie Schultz writes a twice-monthly column for The Bakersfield Californian.

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(26) comments


Hallelujah.... Finally someone at The California is ready to express an opinion that does not conform with the elite wealth of our town. Valerie this is very brave of you and I applaud it. Time and time again our local newspaper has only presented one view for topics and current events. Both sides need to be heard. Thank you.


Valerie, you are a true patriot! I haven't read a better dog walking of Trump by anyone, even AOC or Pelosi. Steve Schmidt couldn't have written better. You are my new HERO!


Valerie, excellent, honest column. In one short stroke of insightful writing you were able to draw out the Trump Brown Shirts. I notice that in all their commentary, not one addressed the argument and points that you made but went for the personal attack. Obviously they were just following the “leadership” model of their chosen one, spewing hate, rage, resentment with the intent to divide while all along disowning the fundamental principles of civil society. Keep up the good work.


I so appreciate how your party is known for its tolerance, kindness and caring for all mankind....unless....someone disagrees with you. [smile]


It's not politics anymore. I disagreed with Bush, Reagan, Nixon. Trump is about destroying everything our founding Fathers stood for. This is WAR.


If you don't agree they will find you in a restaurant and scream in your face, or follow you or dox you so that you lose your job and perhaps your life.


I guess liars gotta lie and haters are gonna hate


This column is nothing more than a distillation of the angry partisan drivel that fills the Letters to the Editor, and you get those for free. What a waste.


i agree entirely, and I always liked (most of) her articles. Sometimes I wonder what the dems are seeing that is so very different from reality. It is really sad. "Make America White Again"? How in the world does she see that? If anything, Trump's position is the opposite and he has demonstrated his beliefs time and time again. It is so sad to me that there is so much hate for Trump and the Trump Administration. I was very concerned when Obama was elected and devastated when he was elected for a second term but I kept my mouth shut and supported him until I just could not any longer. Still, I did not bash him or LIE about his policies.


I am glad that you wonder why there is so much hate for Mr. Trump because it gives me the chance to spell it out to the kool-aid drinkers. I hate him because....

1. He is an extreme narcissist (confirmed by his niece and sister). He never gives a presentation without saying “I, I, I,I” over 50 times which is all the evidence I need to understand that he is incapable of feeling empathy for anyone else. Anyone who talks about himself in the 3rd person is highly suspect. Heck, the day his brother died he is on the golf course. Great family values.

2. He is a misogynist and a racist. Why is it that only women are “nasty.” And Those with Mexican heritage can’t be fair judges?

3. He is the greatest liar in American political history.....three organizations, politifact, snopes, and Washington post AGREE that he has told over 15,000 lies while in office and thousands of other “half-truths.” I will release my taxes” is but one of a thousand

4. He has no integrity and honor. Cheating on one wife might be a reflection of a bad decision/mistake, but cheating on all three wives I believe qualifies as a character flaw. Most importantly, as a son of a veteran who fought in two wars, his trashing of military personnel, vets and their families because they don’t genuflect in his presence is unconscionable. John McCain is all the evidence you need.

4. He is a con artist and corrupt. Trump University, Trump Foundation, Trump Condos. Plus that violation last night of American and Constitutional norms. The White House is the people’s house, not his house. The White House should not and cannot be used for partisan political purposes and no other President has used it as such. He is despicable. I will finish with the bi-partisan Senate report on the role of Russia in the election of 2016...consensus that the Trump campaign worked with Russians. Need I mention Michael Cohen, Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Gates, Papadopolis, etc. drop the mic.

5. He knows nothing about history of this country or the Constitution and has disdain for both. “I alone can fix it”. He obviously missed that “We the People” part and doesn’t know the first thing about separated and shared power.

These are just a few of the reasons why I HATE the man occupying the White House. I do like his wife’s porn pictures however😏😏

Hope that clarifies Hummingbird


You accused him of being a narcissist? He uses I,I,I.

What was the first thing out of your mouth? "I". You are funny.


Terri, Terri, Terri....shouldn't you be out poisoning the minds of our public high school youth in southeast Bakersfield? It's teachers like you that have private schools doing so well these days. You seem a little unhinged by our president. We suffered through eight years of that underwear skid mark of a president you gave us and I'm sure you can do the same now. Toughen up, girl....stiff upper lip and all that. Besides, shouldn't you be out looking for Russians or screaming at the moon? I look forward to seeing you star in one of those YouTube videos of post election meltdowns that we all enjoyed in November, 2016... Anyway, go support your abortionist, anarchist alzheimer's candidate and we'll see how it all turns out. In the meantime, stay off the computer and stop embarrassing yourself...


President Trump believes in "equal opportunity but different outcomes depending on how hard you are willing to work" Dementia Joe believes in "equal opportunity and equal outcomes no matter how hard you work" in other words expect poverty and a low standard of living provided by the government.


You have watched too much CNN and MSNBC. Try to educate yourself by watching Fox News, Tucker Carlsen and Hannity. The Dems are the ones who tried to unseat a duly elected President by misuse of all of our intelligence agencies. It was an attempted coup and if you loved your country you would be outraged about it.


Oh my goodness, calm down Karen....my question was a rhetorical question but I am sure you feel better once you got all of this out. Although I do not agree with you, and we could banter back and forth all day by discussing Biden's son and brothers and so on and so on and so on, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, which is what makes our country so great. I do find it interesting that while you are quick to point out President Trumps character flaw you also revealed your own. [smile]


I disagree with most of what you wrote, but really appreciate that your politely stated your opinion. I also am sad that there is so much hate, on both sides.


You have the nerve to talk about lies when this serial liar President has told over 20,000 in 4 years? Too much Fox man, too much Faux News!


Well stated! Thank you.


Excellent piece, love it.


I guess no one bought your "religious" bilge so you've waded back into politics. If you get paid one cent for these articles, you should donate it to crippled children....


Valerie, you're a fool and when you listen to fools, the mob rules!


There's a lot lacking with you. I read a couple paragraphs to realize this loon is a waste of time. Bye.


This Schultz crapola is exactly why TBC has receded to postage stamp size...and will go smaller....


It is absolutely imperative that, in an unprecedented way, we do everything possible to make sure that Trump is defeated in November.

But no single person can do it alone. It is going to require ALL of us coming together, with our movement playing a very significant role in that process.

No, Mr. President. You're not going to serve another four years. The American people are sick and tired of your authoritarianism, your lies, your racism. On November 3, democracy will prevail and we will end your disastrous presidency. Bye bye.


I agree...I couldnt get through the entire article either.


The only group that supports Trump are uneducated white people. In 2016, Trump said "I love the uneducated." Lol. It's certainly proven here. Just watch Fox News all the time it makes you dumb.

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