NPR host Michele Norris pointed out over the weekend that President-elect Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," is a "deeply encoded" message that troubles minorities while promising prosperity to white Americans.
During a Face the Nation panel discussion on resisting Trump's agenda, conservative columnist David Frum offered a sobering assessment about how the new president would impact the country.
"I am hopeful that Americans will rise to this challenge," Frum said. "I think the message that they do not need to hear is, 'Don't worry, your grandparents rose to the challenge and therefore you can stay on the couch.'"
"I don't think we do people a service by saying, 'You know, there have been bad things in the American past before,'" the former speechwriter for George W. Bush continued. "This is our bad thing and it's about a bad a thing as has happened in any of our lifetimes."
Norris argued that Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan misses the mark for addressing current reality in the United States.
"In the phrase 'Make America Great Again' there's one word that if you are a person of color, that you sort of stumble over, and it's the word 'again'." Norris observed. "Because you're talking about going back to a time that was not very comfortable for people of color. They did not have opportunities, they were relegated to the back of the line."
"And this was a country that -- to be honest -- was built on the promise of white prosperity above everything else," she added. "And for a lot of people, when they hear that message, 'Make America Great Again,' deeply encoded in that message is a return to a time where white Americans can assume a certain amount of prosperity."
According to Norris, Trump's win was made possible by white people who feel like they are "not at the front of the line."
"And Donald Trump was able to tap into a message where people felt a lot of discomfort," she noted. "That is somewhat retrograde. I mean, fear is not our brand in America. And that is so much sort of the bright vein that ran though the campaign."