Today is a special, solemn and happy day in America. On this day in 1776 the United States of America declared its independence from the tyranny of Great Britain. On this, our 232rd year as the last bastion and hope of freedom in a world of suffering, we have decided to share what we love about America with you.
What do I love about America? I love that we are truly a land of many colors, races, and cultures. While racism, classism, and other bigotries still raise their heads from time to time in our country, we still offer more freedom and opportunity regardless of race, creed, or nation of origin than any other country on the planet.
I love that in this diverse nation of 50 sovereign states, we have a diversity of regional cultures, politics, and lifestyles, despite the myth of the American mono-culture, and that we allow our states to decide many of the big issues, realizing that in a nation as large as ours, it is best to let the local governments decide for themselves rather than enforce federal tyranny.
I love our commitment to science and engineering. Despite foreign criticism about our science programs, and false accusations about the level of belief in creationism in this country, foreigners still come to the US for training in science and engineering. The US doesn’t just lead in science and engineering, it dominates. According to Newsweek 80% of the top 10 schools, and 75% of the top 20 schools are in the United States of America. But don’t just take the word of a US based rankings. China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Higher Education produced rankings with even heavier US dominance with the good old Red, White, and Blue taking 80% of the top 10, and 85% of the top 20. According to the École des Mines de Paris, the US produces the majority of CEOs at top corporations world wide, regardless of the location of their headquarters. It’s pretty clear that no matter who is doing the ranking, the US of A comes out on top every time.
But what I love most of all about America is the Midwest. From the Stately tops of the Shawnee Hills to the glittering white shores of Lake Michigan, from the proud pinnacles of the Ozarks to the wide bends of the Mighty Mississippi. From the white waters of the Ohio, rushing through the Allegheny Mountains, to the pristine coast of the Apostle Islands, from Chicago’s staggering heights, to the quiet and peaceful farms of the heartland. The Midwest is a beautiful place. God Bless the Heartland, and God Bless the USA.
Angry Political Optimist
What do I love about America? I was in the souks of Semarang, Indonesia when the Gulf I air war kicked off. (January 1991, I believe). Several hundred people were holding up signs of Saddam Hussein and chanting “Down with America”. I walked up to a couple of these young men and said “Hi – I’m an American”. The men in question looked abashed and quickly noted that they really liked America and Americans as a people but were protesting because it was a big non-Muslim country picking on a little Muslim county. They had no idea of the history of Saddam and what he did to the Kurds and the Shiites. It was big powerful vs. little for them. Why do they like Americans. In the 1960’s when we were in Vietnam, we were also in Indonesia, which was the 4th largest communist country under Sukarno. While Russia was providing tanks and guns to Sukarno, America was providing water pumps, irrigation assistance and rice hybrids to the local farmers. After the night of the generals, September 30, 1965, when Sukarno’s PKI attempted a coup and executed eight top generals, Major General Suharto purged the communists and Indonesia became non-communist almost overnight. This occurred primarily because the grass-roots population of Indonesia, and the local Army commanders trusted America and the freedoms she represented more than the rhetoric of the PKI. When the tsunami devastated Aceh Sumatra December 26, 2004, it was the Americans there first with CH-47s dropping food and medicine. When Iran experienced a 6.6 earthquake at Bam on December 26, 2003, the United States was there with assistance.
Look at America in the late 1950s: Jim Crow laws; black lynchings; ‘colored’ water fountains; back of the bus seating. Today we have a black presidential candidate, a black woman Secretary of State, and a black Supreme Court Justice, box office record breaking black actors, and one of the richest persons in the United States: a black woman with a company called Harpo. I can tell you flat out that this would not have happened in Japan, Serbia or even France. America has learned and overcome its bias. All the more impressive because this ‘us vs. them’ bias is undoubtedly an ingrained evolutionary survival trait remnant. People in the United States, offended by what passes as prejudice here, would be aghast at what occurs routinely in Japan. Call a Japanese man a Korean accidentally and see what happens. Sitting in a pub in England, I was listening to two Irishmen talking about some lady who was murdered, and assigning blame on the English. Remembering the morning newspaper, I was slightly confused — there was no such headline. Then it became clear that they were discussing an event which occurred 800 years ago — as if it occurred yesterday. And they could not forget or forgive. American is not like that. Ask the Germans or the Japanese, or the Iraqis for that matter.
Is America perfect? — Hell no. And everyone in the world understands that. What makes America unique is its optimism that one person can change the world — that one person, working from nothing can become rich and influencial. For all the rhetoric and venom cast at America, when people of the world want that chance to succeed, they head for the United States. Do they succeed? Not many of them, but they understand that also. Any chance is better than the no chance they have where they are.
Angry New Mexican
What I love about America? That the French dude next door drives a red Ford Mustang, since he obviously can’t do that at home without incurring the wrath of cheese-eating surrender monkeys!
That and green chile. Gotta have the green chile.
What do I love about America? Freedom.
Angry Overeducated Catholic
What do I love about America? Well, so many great points have been made already, and I’d agree 110% with all of them. But let me add that I love the American spirit of pragmatism and procrastination. We’re not a nation of thinkers so much as doers, and usually “doers-at-the-last-minute”. We don’t go in for the nicely laid out, well planned, ideologically correct technocratic solution, we tend to blunder ahead with minimal planning—reacting rather than acting. Yet, somehow, we’re usually in the vanguard when it comes to solving the world’s problems. How does that work?
It works because beautiful, theoretically solid, long-range, centrally managed plans usually don’t—not in our crazy, mixed up world. Just look at the Kyoto Protocol: the US gets pilloried for not signing on in bad faith, but a few years later, who’s actually reducing emissions as a percentage of GDP? That’s right, US. Other countries’ Green parties stage massive rallies against corporate greed. Our environmental groups partner with those same corporations to get hybrid fleet trucks out on the street. Others propose a choice between economic growth and environmental impact, but our economy is slowly, fitfully retooling to reduce impact and fuel growth through the same transformative technologies. It will be more of a drunken stagger than a smooth curve, but we’ll get there!
So here’s to America, the ideologically naive, intellectually lazy, irresponsibly late Colossus, whose shortsighted, blundering, ad-hoc actions still produce more good in a year than most countries do in the entire history of their carefully planned, immaculately managed, responsibly executed lives!
Besides the obvious (the First Amendment, free soda refills, 24-hour store hours, and our vast technological and economic superiority), I like the food and the movies, which I was busy eating and watching while the other Angry Men were exchanging emails and planning a group post on what we love about America.
(Sadly, due to his remote field location, apparently Angry Biologist was unable to actually send in a timely report. So, we’ve filled in his position from the large body of his commentary on our super-secret mailing list.)
What do I love about America? I love our President George W. Bush, and stand by and support all of his decisions. I love that many Americans, like myself, have chosen to reject the lies of evolution, but most of all I love that, thanks to the legalization of gay marriage, bestiality can’t be far behind!