I had a phone discussion with my wife the other day. What prompted the discussion was our 15 year old son saying that he wanted to join the Marines. Now I realize that this desire may very well change over the next 3 years but I told her that I didn’t support his decision because I was against what the US was doing overseas and the role that the military has been forced into by the political parties. That the role of the military was to protect the borders of the US, not to secure oil fields for corporations.
Now I can’t really call our discussion an argument since she pretty much clams up when I start one of my rants. She has learned the old saying very well, “don’t wrestle with a pig, you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it” and I do enjoy arguing. But she said that my cynicism blinds me to the good things about the USA while I maintain that I’m not a cynic but a realist. I asked her to name me just one thing that the USA was number 1 in, a good thing and she either a) couldn’t come up with anything or b) just refused to answer knowing that I would challenge her.
I fully admit that there are microcosms of good in the US. There are some good people, true patriots who believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights as they were written. There is a proud history of our country of independence, righting wrongs, etc but even these are clouded by the blackness of slavery and the attempted eradication of the Native Americans.
There are things that America is #1 in:
#1 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.
#2 According to NationMaster.com, the United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world.
#3 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.
#4 The United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.
#5 The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.
#6 There are more car thefts in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world by far.
#7 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.
#8 There are more reported murders in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.
#9 There are more total crimes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.
#10 The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world.
#11 The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth.
#12 The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet.
#13 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.
#14 Americans have more student loan debt than anyone else in the world.
#15 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe. 89 percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.
#16 The United States has the largest trade deficit in the world every single year. Between December 2000 and December 2010, the United States ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars with the rest of the world, and the U.S. has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.
#17 The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does. In fact, U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.
#18 The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country does.
#19 The United States has the most complicated tax system in the entire world.
#20 The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse. Right now, U.S. government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second.
#21 More stockpiled WMD than any other country
#22 Has invaded more countries than any other country in modern history
So I ask any readers of this blog, as a country, please give me something positive that the USA is number one in?
The USA of today is just a ghost of what our forefathers setup for us. To wave the flag and declare the USA as the best country in the world is nothing more than delusional, IMHO. Continuing to do this just leads us further down the path of self-destruction. It is like being lost in the woods but refusing to admit that you are lost out of pride. You just go further and further the wrong direction when if you would stop and admit your mistakes, you would have the chance to backtrack to where you should be.
I would love to be wrong here. I would love to be able to have pride in what my country is now, not what it once was. But being a realist (with a healthy dose of cynicism built in), I just can’t do it.
So help me out here. Give me something that the USA, as a country, is #1 at that is positive. Something that overrides the things that I have listed above.