Has America ever been great for ALL Americans?
The problem is, so many people - especially a great many baby boomers and millennials, feel that America being great for everyone, means handing them everything.
America is great, and always has been, because you can make it on your own steam; you can carve out your own destiny. No matter how wonderful a utopia were no one has to work sounds, humanity just is not there yet. We don't possess the technology yet to build a world were we can make anything from basic atoms and particles. We can't manipulate matter in this way yet, and computers aren't quite were we need them either.
See, capitalism will bring about everything that socialists want in time. What they don't understand is that you can't get from point a, where we are now, to point b on magic, love, happiness, and warm hugs. Only capitalism can drive science, technology, and the economy necessary to eventually build a utopia that liberals dream of - if only they would be patient.
Those silly folks that think the rich have it better than the poor in America, are correct. They are silly not because of this, but because they think that it is any different anywhere else on earth. They think that capitalism will benefit only the wealthy. They so easily forget that they live in the largest country on earth, with the highest GDP in the world. This fact is not because of socialism. In fact, socialism provides the opposite - a severe drop in GDP.
If socialists had any mind for economics and world events, they need only look around today, and research the past to prove their theory wrong. Power will always lie with the wealthy, but as we progress as a species, the power will be spread along with the wealth. It's as simple as basic math... yet it escapes so many.
America is great for everyone because it is going to lead the way to a better tomorrow, as it always has. As time goes on, we will find even more ways to make America great for everyone. It won't be because of a president, or politics - it will be because Americans decided to make life better for all on their own.
After all, that is why America was founded to begin with...
A quick answer is no, but I would suggest the period starting with WWII and ending with 1965, was good for most. During WWII jobs were readily available particularly for women (my mother was a nurse at an aircraft plant and her older sister was a machinist). The US was an incredibly optimistic place at that time and there was a sense of unity that is hard to understand today. After the war, though country was rebuilt, the baby boom made the necessary.
Things were not perfect and many educated women felt trapped. The civil rights movement was finally getting some things accomplished. Black people I know who were raised in large cities have mostly happy memories, the few I know who were from the South have a very different view. Though my younger friend who was born in Mississippi in the mid 1960s, had an optimistic view of things.
The country was more highly taxed than today, was a more male oriented, had lots of unionized workers. Everything that the conservatives hate was present in an era most seem to think was better.
If you mean great as in all people are happy all the time or even at the same time, then no. It's impossible to please everyone at the same time. If you mean great as in that shining white house on the hill, then no. Because of the racial, gender, social, and economic variations in perception, social-classes, and politics, people treat others differently and that treatment is usually lacking in civility. If you mean great as in having opportunities that are not available in other countries, then yes. People routinely take advantage of systems and processes made available to them in the American system that would just not be possible in other places in the world. Now, if you are emphasizing the idea of equality (considering your use of all-caps), that is going to be debatable. From my point-of-view, a white middle-aged semi-successful white-collar worker from a an American-poverty background who has incrementally been able to improve upon the situation, America has indeed been the land of opportunity. For a wide variety of reasons, the people with whom I grew-up is about 50-50 on whether they have become financially successful. So, as an American for which it has been great, it has always been great.
No, there are millions of people here and we are all different and their is no way all of us could feel great about the US or anything else for that matter. No country is perfect and the US is deeply flawed as are all other countries, as humans we are inherently imperfect, that is what unites us as humans.