America Is Not the Greatest Country in the World
It used to be!
I’ll be frank; I can’t hold back my scoff anymore every time I hear someone claims that America is the greatest country on earth. It sure used to be.
You might have watched that iconic scene from the Newsroom, in which Jeff Daniels shocks with his views about America. Even though that scene was added for shock effect, I agree with its content. America used to be the greatest country in the world, especially post WWII, but it is not anymore.
Dear Americans, I think you should get a grasp on this idea. Identifying the problem is part of the solution.
Why do Americans believe that America is the greatest country?
Let’s be honest; America used to be the greatest country out there. Between 1880 and 1920, man immigrants came to America to seek better economic opportunities. After WWI and WWII, and while the rest of the world was busy rebuilding, restructuring, or even colonizing, America was busy in advancing and developing. Its geographical location away from the carnage and destruction caused by the world wars, allowed America to improve even further.
All countries and nations believe they are the greatest and the best — only the Germans don’t, and as someone living there, it drives me crazy. And which country is more patriotic than America?
Patriotism is an incredible thing, and I always admired American patriotism. However, part of patriotism is to work to improve a negative thing, instead of living in the dream.
Lastly, for many Americans, the ideals in the Declaration of Independence are what make the country the greatest. The Declaration of Independence states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is becoming ludicrous to claim America is the greatest country to the rest of the world.
The rest of the world caught up to America, and certain countries even surpassed America in becoming the greatest in something. For example, Finland is the happiest, Sweden leads the world in the freedom index, and life expectancy is the highest in Japan.
In fact, the US is the greatest in two aspects, guns per capita and incarceration rate — I doubt these numbers are something to be proud of.
America cannot be the greatest if it fails its citizen in almost every aspect. America is way behind in affordable healthcare, mass shootings, incarceration rate, poverty, racism, minimum wage, police brutality, inequality, higher education, safety, and the list goes on and on. Remember the previously mentioned ideals in the declaration of Independence? Equality, life, freedom, and happiness. The US does not rank in the top 10 for any of these aspects.
I was so surprised when a CNBC moderator compared the American healthcare system to the German system in a CNBC interview with Germany’s current Health Minister. Even the minister, which I believe is trained and equipped to answer silly questions, was not able to hold back his laugh (timestamp 6:00). This blind belief of one’s greatness is the problem that is hurting the US at the moment.
To be brutally honest, even when the Declaration of Independence was written, its values and ideals were not meant for all men. Native Americans were still systematically forced off their lands, and African Americans were still being enslaved. Issues that are still traumatizing lots of Americans today.
America is a great country.
America is a great country and one of the greatest, to be exact. The US contributed to significant technological, medical, and humanitarian achievements. It is home to elite universities, world-class hospitals, industry-leading companies, and many more.
One cannot deny America’s contributions to our modern-day civilization and achievements. Cell phones and the internet are some of the US achievements, which drastically changed our lives. Humankind even walked on the moon, thanks to America.
Currently, the US is going through a rough patch and has been in one even before the Trumpian era. America has to recognize that it is not the greatest anymore for it to recover. Blind patriotism and callouts, such as “America is the greatest” is counterproductive. It was once the greatest, it stood once for good and prosperity.
“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”
― Julian Barnes
Walid Al Otaibi -WAO- works at an engineering company in Germany as a Project Manager. He manages mainly sustainable energy projects.
He comes from a multicultural background and is located in Germany since 2003. He is writing about Arab Culture, Multiculturalism, Finance, and Trending topics.