How to Make America Great Again in 10 Steps


After “How to Make a Cardboard Box Disappear in 10 Steps” by Clint Smith

  1. Build walls to emphasize borders.
  2. Send out hateful messages and sign harmful executive orders.
  3. Create division and racial tension within a nation.
  4. Split up families and kick out Dreamers with no valid justification.
  5. Treat women like objects or second class citizens. (It’s not like they carry life within them and have the gift to give life or anything anyway.)
  6. Create diplomatic confusion internally, while stirring up economic chaos nationally.
  7. Open the eyes of The People so we can all see that there is something very wrong with us all.
  8. Unite all races and genders against you and your ways.
  9. Realize that it’s not you that makes this country great, it’s the diverse people within it and the daily sacrifices they are willing to endure to keep the American Dream alive.
  10. Move aside. Let anyone else attempt to fix the mess you’ve made.


  1. I found this poem insightful: the author does a good job of surprising the reader halfway through. I thought this was going to be an angry rant pointing out how terrible things are, but then it turned hopeful– showing how chaos, hate, and division can lead to growth, renewal, and a coming together of people for a greater good. This poem gives me hope and makes me want to seek out solutions to work together and support people for a better world. It makes me think things like “it’s not what happens to you in life that matters; it’s how you respond to what happens to you” and it also makes me think of what I heard a famous man say when terrible events happen around oneself: “look for the helpers”. If I could offer any suggestions to improve the poem, it might be something like working on each list in the item to see if there is a way to distill the language into more powerful, succinct points that perhaps have a bit more “poetry” to them (for example, maybe imagery, or alliteration, or metaphor, allusion, rhythm, etc.). Perhaps performing each line out loud, such as in a poetry slam, would help the author inject more power into the words. I’m not sure what choices to make create more “poetry” to the lines, but perhaps the author could explore one or two lines to see if there was a way to communicate the idea/essence of the line in a way that had more of an impact — sometimes even using fewer words to communicate the same thought can be a helpful exercise. I was pleased to read this poem. Thank you.

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