The USA is the greatest country in the world. However, it is not perfect, and our 1st Amendment gives us the right, arguably the obligation, to speak about the ways we can make it better. So here are 3 reasons the US is #1 and 3 reasons on how it can be better. Just remember, just because something isn’t perfect does not mean we should ignore the good.
1. The Hardware
The US leads the world in: Olympic Medals, Nobel Prizes, and flags planted on the moon. (But people online say Americans are fat, lazy, and stupid, right?) The quantifiable accolades are themself impressive, but stories behind them are what truly makes this country great. One example is Norman Borlaug, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. His agricultural work is credited with saving a billion lives across the globe. Those three categories (and countless other global awards) all show the undeniable dedication Americans have to the betterment of humanity, and achieving their goals.
2. The Military
The US military is the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. Even in our “losses'' the US military prowess is undeniable. Despite only dedicating a fraction of the resources we did to WW2, the US never lost a major battle in Vietnam and the subsequent mutual respect has led to strong political relations between the US and Vietnam. Beyond that, the military is a huge philanthropic extension. Whether it was the Fukushima nuclear accident, or the Indonesia tsunamis, the US military routinely deploys to assist in humanitarian crises, in addition to the billions of dollars gifted in humanitarian aid by the Federal Government.
3. The People
Did you know Norman Borlaug was the descendant of Norwegian immigrants? That's not surprising, considering the US is the premier destination for immigrants across the world. More immigrants come to the US than the next top 5 countries combined. As a result, the US is a melting pot of culture, and innovation. People say the US has no culture, (although Tony hawk has more culture in one kick than most European countries have) but the truth of the matter is, we have all the cultures, and a much broader worldview than people would like to admit.
Now that I’ve proven I don’t hate the US, let's talk about the things I would change.
The US has the most people incarcerated, even more than China. This has been attributed to the greed of for-profit-prisons, incentivizing prosecutors to convict rather than uphold justice, and the class prejudice that disproportionately targets low-income defendants.
The Norfolk Four is just one example, where 4 US Navy Sailors were illegally interrogated, and forced to spend a decade of their life incarcerated before finally being exonerated. There are organizations fighting to stop this injustice. Since 1989, there have been 2,891 exonerations due to DNA testing. Meaning innocent Americans have spent over 25,000 years in jail before being proven innocent.
2. Freedom of the press
According to Reporters Without Borders, the U.S. ranks 45th globally in Freedom of Press. This should be no surprise because watching any reporter trying to get transparent information about the Afghanistan withdrawal was like having teeth pulled.
Beyond the criticism of restricting access to information, there have been an alarming number of journalists who have been assaulted, unjustly detained, or had equipment broken in the past few years. Many politicians on both sides of the aisle, have called things, “fake news” but without readily available access to public information, it is extremely difficult to determine what is real, and what has been taken out of context to support an agenda.
3. Health Care
Have you ever asked, “Why is health insurance so expensive?” A simple answer may be that without insurance, even basic medical bills may life ruining. Why is that?
The US consistently has abysmal ratings in health care categories, such as administrative efficiency and infant mortality rate. These are despite the fact the US spends the highest proportion of GDP on healthcare among wealthy countries (over 15%). Some experts believe the way to fix this problem is to focus more on “up front support” as where now we spend most of our money on “sick care.”
There will always be room for improvement, but those who love their country will always work towards making their home a better place for their children, and future generations to come.