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Definitions for that and some other political terms you see thrown around a lot these days

2 minute read

The genius of President Trump’s marketing team strikes again. Last week, Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article unveiled MAGAnomics, Trump’s economic policy that will “Make America Great Again.” I’m just surprised they didn’t name it Trumponomics, since he puts his name on everything.

Taking a note from Ronald Reagan’s “Reaganomics” policy from the 80s, Trump plans on “Making America Great Again” by returning us to a sustained 3 percent economic growth. Will MAGAnomics work? Who knows. Let’s look at other terms or phrases that we can attribute to past presidents.


Let’s start with Reaganomics since it was already mentioned. Reaganomics refers to President Reagan’s economic polices. Reaganomics was marked by tax cuts, decreased spending for social programs, increased military spending and deregulation of domestic markets. Whether Reaganomics was successful economic plan is still a topic of debate still till this day. To some Reaganomics is a paragon of a successful economics. The Reagan era saw an increase of gang and drug activity in inner cities. The rich got richer and the poor suffered. But most likely your political leanings will dictate how you feel on Reaganomics.

War on Drugs

From the 1980s to the 1970s and the “War on Drugs.” The term was popularized in 1971 by the press after a press conference given by Richard Nixon.  Unlike Reaganomics, the war on drugs has proceeded the president that popularized it. America has been fighting the war on drugs for 46 years with no end in sight. In fact, recently this country has seen a resurgence of opioid addictions in rural and suburban areas, thanks to prescription pills.

Many Americans start with legitimate ailments get prescribed these pills and end up addicted. When they can’t afford the pills or get a refill on their prescription they turn to heroin. The Drug Policy Alliances states that the United States spends around $51 billion a year in the war on drugs. That’s a ton of money being spent on a failing war.


Way back in 1861 in a message to congress, Abraham Lincoln said that the rebel army during the Civil War was “sugarcoating” their rebellion by saying it was constitutional. This was the first-time people heard the term, which refers to making something sound much nicer than it is.


Warren G. Harding introduced normalcy into the public lexicon when he said it on the campaign trail. I find it abnormal that normalcy wasn’t a thing until Harding’s 1920 presidential campaign. In the wake of the war to end all wars, people wanted to return to a sense of normalcy and Harding capitalized off that need. His words read “America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums [remedies] but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.”


Thomas Jefferson coined the verb belittle in his book Notes on the State of Virginia. He wrote, “So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side of the Atlantic.”  Thomas Jefferson gave America The Declaration of Independence, the Louisiana Territory, introduced us to ice cream and French fries and advocated for free public education. We can now add the term belittle to the list of Jefferson’s great list of American contributions.

Like I stated earlier it’s surprising the Trump administration didn’t dub their economic policy Trumponomics, but MAGAnomics does have a ring to it. I doubt that MAGAnomics will affect me positively as a middle-class black man, but I’m interested in seeing if they can actually make America’s economy great again.

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Lance Dollar

Lance Dollar

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