Cabot Phillips of Campus Reform visited millennials in New York City in the days following Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's remarks that America was "never that great."
Many of the millenials who spoke to Phillips made the same type of remarks, but some of them couldn't exactly figure out why America was never really all that great.
What did Cuomo say, anyway?
On Wednesday, Cuomo declared that America "was never that great," an apparent jab at President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
Cuomo made the remarks during a New York state event for women and girls.
“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” he said. “We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged. We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone. And every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed, and every woman is making her full contribution.”
After much backlash, Cuomo walked back his comments later that same day.
The governor's office later issued a statement clarifying Cuomo's remarks.
The statement read, “Governor Cuomo disagrees with the president. The governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality. America has not yet reached its maximum potential.”
What's in the video?
Phillips approached a bevy of young people in and around Washington Square Park and asked them if they believed that America is — or was — a great country, and what they thought of Cuomo's remarks.
Phillips later asked many of the young people if they'd ever been taught the concept of American exceptionalism in school. One young man said that he'd never learned about the concept in school, nor had he ever heard the term before. Another young male said that he hadn't learned about the concept because he went to a very liberal school.
See some of the more entertaining responses to Phillips' questioning below:
- "Not particularly."
- "The idea that there was a once-great America is, you know, pointing toward this false sense of nationalism, that, you know, what, he's talking about white America? Yeah, that's not great."
- "I don't know, honestly."
- "Not great, but there was definitely, like, some progress and I think we're, like, going through regression right now."
- "It was never really great, but we do do, like, great things sometimes. Like, we fix a lot of problems, but it's never been wholly great."
- "Our history, you go from, like, the native genocide, to slavery, to, uh, slavery by a different name, to slavery by a different name again."
Phillips spoke to one single younger man who responded in the affirmative that America was once great.
"It's always been great," the unidentified male answered.
You can watch the students’ full responses in the video below.