Politics

Eric Holder: ‘When Did You Think America Was Great?’

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Former Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t seem to think America was ever great.

Holder derided President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” as a celebration of a mythology that “never really in fact existed” on MSNBC’s “The Beat” Wednesday.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder discusses “Make America Great Again” on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” March 27, 2019. YouTube screencapture.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder discusses “Make America Great Again” on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” March 27, 2019. YouTube screencapture.

“When I hear these things about ‘Let’s make America great again,’ I think to myself: ‘Exactly when did you think America was great?'” said Holder, who most recently served under former President Barack Obama, citing the oft-used slogan by the current president. Some leftist activists have attacked Trump supporters wearing hats emblazoned with the phrase. Some restaurants have even banned the hats. (RELATED: Former AG Holder: ‘When They Go Low We Kick Them’)

Rejecting any conception of American exceptionalism, Holder said America has simply not been “great” in the past.

“It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved,” he said. “It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled.”

Holder was asked if “that phrase” suggests “discrimination.”

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder thanks Justice Department employees as he delivers his parting remarks at the Robert F. Kennedy building April 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. The first African American attorney general in U.S. history, Holder is leaving his post as the country's highest ranking law enforcement official after six years on the job and will be succeeded by Loretta Lynch. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder thanks Justice Department employees as he delivers his parting remarks at the Robert F. Kennedy building Apr. 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It takes us back to, I think, an American past that never really in fact existed with this notion of greatness,” Holder said, while allowing that  “America has done superb things, has done great things, and it has been a leader in a whole range of things, but we are always a work in progress.” (RELATED: Eric Holder Took Picture With. Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan At Aretha Franklin’s Funeral)

Holder concluded: “Looking back, ‘Make America Great Again’ is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best.”

The former attorney general has recently joined the chorus of Democrats who believe in “packing” the Supreme Court with liberal judges in order to override the current conservative majority.

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