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America Is Great

By Roger Cohen, New York Times - September 16, 2015

Given all the talk, courtesy of Donald Trump, of making America great again, I’ve been thinking about European greatness. One state, Great Britain, does of course have its greatness built in, but still the idea sits strangely.

Europe is done with greatness. It thinks greatness leads to trouble. It’s been great — and suffered. The Great War (1914-18) killed about 8.5 million combatants and as many as 13 million civilians — not so great, really. Before that, a million people or so died in Ireland’s Great Famine.

Great European empires unraveled, often in bloodshed. Several hundred thousand were killed before France left Algeria. Not so great, either. No wonder Great Britain is thinking of breaking itself up.

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