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What is right with America?

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posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 02:20 PM
Recently after some discussion over the current political situation with Iran with some friends of mine I was accused of something that at first seemed outlandish to me. But after thinking about it for some time, I have come to realize that what they accused me of is half true. Atleast in a certain sense.

As we leave the Fourth of July holiday behind, where we celebrated our nation’s day of independence from the oppressive theocracy of the Roman Catholic ruling our ancestors endured, for some people, it can still be difficult to stay patriotic during the current state of the union. With controversial wars raging, the presidential election, skyrocketing gas prices, slumped housing market, recession, and the devalued American dollar, it’s easy to be a slightly peeved citizen right now. There was even a controversial piece in the Philadelphia Enquirer claiming that Americans don’t deserve to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, which I think is pretty outrageous. Despite all this self-loathing on America, I have come to realize that we still have much to be proud of as Americans.

After reading a commentary by Glenn Beck, a conservative talk show host (who inspired this blog entry), it made me think about America’s position in a slightly more positive way. Despite some of our current administration’s shortcomings, there is still a lot about America that is to be proud of and admire. Am I kidding myself that we are a perfect nation? No. Do things still need to change? Yes. But to ignore the good, is almost as bad as ignoring the bad, and that’s what I have realized.

“What’s right with America? Our economy is almost as big as the next four largest economies on Earth (Japan, Germany, China and Great Britain) combined. The state of California alone has an economy as large as the entire country of France. Illinois has the same GDP as all of Mexico. New York matches the entire GDP of Brazil. Florida’s economy is as large as South Korea’s. Texas has a GDP roughly equal to Canada’s. Michigan’s economy is as large as the entire country of Argentina.”

“What’s right with America? How about the way we educate our children. Sure, I complain a lot about left-wing professors and how some wealthy private universities hoard their billions while charging obscene amounts for tuition, but the truth is that our universities are always ranked among the best in the world. Students aren’t fleeing America to go to college in Japan, India, or China — it’s the other way around. We open our colleges and universities to more than 80,000 foreign professors, scholars and educators a year and we have more students in college right now than those three countries combined.”

What’s right with America? Our world-class universities don’t require you to have an elite family name or Rockefeller-type wealth to get in. We don’t care about your race, gender or nationality. You just have to be smart enough and work hard for it. What a concept, huh?

What’s right with America? How about the way we treat the less fortunate? With no help from our government, Americans gave a record $306 billion to charities last year alone. We give twice as much as the next closest country and, relative to the size of our economies, we give 1,000 percent more than the French.

What’s right with America? It’s not just the wealthy who are generous. Two-thirds of American families making under $100,000 a year give to charity. Compassion is ingrained in our culture like no other.

What’s right with America? How about our supposedly third-world health care system? We spend more on health care per person than Switzerland, Germany, Canada, or any other country you can think of. Do we still have problems? Absolutely, but don’t fall for “the grass is greener” crowd; every country has health care problems.

What’s right with America? We love our country. World Values Survey found that 77 percent of Americans are very proud of their nationality. That puts us in a first place tie with the Irish. Australia was next and no one else was really even close.

As Glenn puts it: “While most of us inherently know that we’ve won the lottery by living here, we don’t often think about the reasons why.” I agree with him. We often are very quick to point out America’s mistakes, but often it only takes a moments thought to remember why we love being Americans. I think as long as Americans remember that the constitution is our only king, and never folly blindly, then we will eventually get back on the right track. Yes, right now we have many problems with the way things are being run in our great country, but as history always points out; We will survive because that’s the nature of us Americans. We will survive and bounce back even greater than before.

[edit on 14-7-2008 by Azurus]

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