Life in the Box: The Trouble with Research


I was going to write an article about Donald “Chump’s” campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” It’s one of those slogans that sounds great, but is “less filling.”

I mean, if America’s not great now, what time is he referring to? I’ve been trying to find out. In this case, I found a great article that says just about everything I was going to say, and more, with some great reader responses. That’s the trouble with research: you find out things you hadn’t wanted to discover.

In a nutshell, I was going to point out that this is about the greatest time in America’s history, at least when you look at the social and legal advances we have achieved for empowering minorities. (Note: the laws are good; but obviously we’re still fighting all the racism and other isms.) We’ve fought long and hard for these advances, and we know with the wrong voting patterns we could lose them all.

So, I encourage interested readers to use our link to Ronald Kimmon’s article on  (You may have to “join” Quora for free to read it.) Look below my “author info.” 

Another problem with research is that I never did find out when Chump used to think America was great. And why is that? Could it be deliberate? I read another great comment by Mik McAllister on “Quora. ” He spoke about two things that make great sense to me. He said that “the Donald” will never define what his slogan means, because it’s open-ended enough to let everyone fill in their own wishes.

Secondly, he mentions the “false nostalgia” which this slogan engenders. The implication is that, somewhere in the past, there were some “good old days.” But, upon deeper inspection, those simpler days might have more to do with us being children or naïve or part of a small group that had some good times together—not that the nation as a whole was feeling the love.

On the other hand, Charlie Hare wrote a pro-slogan article on “Quora,” that lists what he thinks the slogan means. This is a prime example of someone who is seeing something between the lines that is not there. Quoting from Charlie:

“I LIKE TO THINK Donald Trump is at least making reference to an America which once ‘flourished in positivity’, in many ways.
-An America which was not driven by greed, power, and wealth.
-An America which represented a global power with a helpful heart and soul.
-An America which stood for freedom, equality, and justice for all.
-An America which was once embracing at least some semblance of ‘greater-good’ thinking.

Charlie goes on to say that he realizes that “the Donald” might not want to do all of the above, but he thinks that’s okay. (He likes Chump anyway.) I think most of us realize that “the Donald” has never been in the “greater good for all” camp, and most of the things on Charlie’s list are far from “Chump’s” to-do list. In fact, from his outlandish speeches, I would guess he’s got them on his “to-don’t” list. But, Charlie’s a fan, anyway. Why is Charlie not a Democrat? I don’t get it, Charlie.

And if anyone has benefited from a “rigged system” and Wall Street, as described by candidate Bernie Sanders, it is Mr. Chump. bernie-warned-us-blog

Anyway, after all this research, my idea for a column has now become a commentary on other columns. So, to make my own creative statements, I made a few anti-Chump and pro-Hillary bumper sticker designs to share.  

Originally I was going to rip-off  a t-shirt design that says “I’m with Stupid” and have arrows pointing between Chump and Sarah Palin. But research showed me this idea was already presented on the cover of a newspaper. imwithstupid-blog

So, I revised it into a sticker that exclaims,”Worst Endorsements Ever!”And included the KKK and Russian President Putin in the picture. (Source for KKK endorsement link below.)


I did another bumper sticker to offset the feeling that as a “billionaire” (this has been subject to speculation and lawsuits), Chump must be able to make us all prosperous.

Does he give to charity? Not hardly, according to several articles. So, I present the following image:


I did discover one generous thing that this candidate did while in Iowa. He held a rally that raised funds for several veterans’ organizations, including one some of my friends are involved in which trains dogs as helpers for veterans with PTSD. The charity is called the “Puppy Jake Foundation,” and I’ll provide a link to their Facebook page. So, Chump was generous with his time, and other people’s money. 

After reading some more articles about this man’s proclivity to sue people, I wish I’d done a visual on  that. With a tagline of something akin to, “Vote for me or I’ll sue your pants off!”

Now, with Hillary, I found out that many of her supporters were older women, so I thought it would be funny to create an image with women with saggy skin on their upper arms, and say “Flap ‘Em for Hillary.” hillary-flap1-blog

I looked for images of “the lunch lady” arms to use, but didn’t find anything (free) that fit that bill. So I got a more athletic looking woman. Sort of misses the point, I guess. 

But while I’m complaining about the trouble with research, I have to admit I saw one of my  bumper sticker ideas—on someone’s car, for gosh sakes—with Hillary and the World War II Rosie the Riveter image together.


But, theirs didn’t have my saying on it!! Sheesh!  How is one supposed to feel original these days–when you can see what everyone else is doing? This searching around can really put a dent in your ego!

That’s how researchers become humble—and how we can recognize the public figures who haven’t bothered to do their homework. It’s a lot easier to be an egotist if you never face the facts—or see your true self the mirror.

Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process both inside and outside the box. 

nancy heather brown author

Ronald Kimmon’s fulfilling article about “When was the last time America was great?”

Mik McAllister on the slogan’s open-endedness and “false nostalgia.”

Charlie Hare’s imagining what the slogan means—and missing entirely! Further down on same page as Mik McAllister. 

Huffington Post on “the Donald” and racist endorsements and statements.

The Atlantic Monthly on Trump’s lawsuits (2013)

Just How Rich is Donald Trump? Bloomberg article

Puppy Jake Foundation on Facebook


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