Monday, September 29, 2008

Mission accomplished.

In response to my post in which I dared to suggest that America is not "the greatest country in the world," Mr. Tater had this to say:

Well then by all means feel free to first enlighten us as to which country is better and then please feel free to move there.

You liberal morons and your hatred for America is disgusting... and yet you present this holier than thou attitude while condemning those who love their country for the same.

I had hoped for exactly this kind of response to my post, so that I could make a point.

Saying that we're not the greatest country in the world is not the same thing as saying that we're not a great country. The far right seems to have lost the ability to see this distinction, and they bite the heads off of anyone who suggests that America doesn't shit gold bricks.

The truth is that our shit stinks just like anyone else's. America is a great country. It has a lot going for it. We have a lot of freedom that a lot of other countries don't have. That's something to applaud.

However, we also have a lot of problems - for example, income inequality, poverty, millions without health care, crime, discrimination, hate, bigotry, deteriorating protections for workers, and a belligerent foreign policy that isolates us in the world.

There are countries in the world where some of those problems do not exist. Sweden, for example, has a higher standard of living, universal health care, and a socially responsible capitalist economy.

If we want to talk about "greatness" in terms of economic strength, then I'm afraid we lose to, among others, China and the EU.

I guess my question to Mr. Tater and the rest of the "America is the greatest and if you don't agree you should leave" crew is this:

By what measure do you think America is the greatest country in the world? Can you point to some concrete thing that would give America the right to designate itself the greatest?

Or is it merely the same kind of nationalism that reared its ugly head after 9/11 and has metastasized into a diseased, ignorant, flag-waving, "wear a lapel pin or you hate America (unless you're a Republican)" attitude that contributes nothing to the struggle to make America better?