Why Run With The Herd?

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The Top 5 Reasons to Love America

I have traveled all over this world. I have lived and worked in China, Germany, Qatar, and Afghanistan. I have visited England, France, Spain, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, United Arab Emirates,  Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. I enjoyed them all – even Iraq and Afghanistan. Each country had something special to admire or enjoy. Invariably, I found that the people themselves were never what I expected – and always better than I could have hoped for.

flagBut the bottom line is that, after all of that traveling and sight seeing, America is still the best place to live. Its far from perfect – but its the best nonetheless. Herewith, on this day before the 4th of July in 2013, my top 5 reasons to love America.

#5 – New York City

OK – I admit it. I am from NYC. I grew up in Queens and I will always root for the Yankees. That disclaimer aside, NY ranks as my #5 reason to love America because no other country in the world can create a city like New York.  It’s got it all – food, fashion, finance, night life, everything. You know why I really love NY?  Anyone on the face of this planet can move to New York, and within a year say “I’m a New Yorker” and no one in New York, literally NO ONE, will bat an eye or disagree. You think that can happen in Paris, London, Moscow or Beijing? I’m just saying!

#4 –  The Blues

I’m no musician, and I am not a musician historian, but if any other country in the world could have created The Blues, they would have done it before us and taken credit. ‘Nuff said.

#3 – Hollywood

I don’t adhere to the politics of most in Hollywood – but you can’t argue with the success of the American film industry. Yes – there is some real crap out there, but when it comes to spreading American culture – no one does it better than Hollywood.

#2 – American politics

What?! We’re dysfunctional! We’re gridlocked! How can you say American politics is a reason to love America? Well first of all, this is “Why Run With The Herd”, so I need to be a little contrarian, but more importantly, here is why I love American politics, and you should too:

– American politics is not just Washington – it’s 50 state capitals and countless municipalities. Taken as a whole – we’re doing pretty good.

– It’s not as bad as you think – During his day, his opponents called Abraham Lincoln ‘that ape in the White House’. For a great read on what was said of Lincoln, see here. Let’s not forget – we actually had a Civil War where somewhere between 618,000 and 750,000 Americans died. You read that right. Politics that allows THAT to happen is dysfunctional. We are not dysfunctional. You might not be happy with Washington – but American politics is far from dysfunctional.

– It’s better than everywhere else – it might not be perfect, but have you seen the Israeli Knesset? Ever watch “Prime Minister’s Time”? Take a look at the Korean parliament. If you want agreement and happy, get-along politicians – move to China or Russia – there’s plenty of them there.

and finally, the #1 reason I love America…

#1 – The American People

The American people are, without a doubt, the most generous people in the world. Earthquake in Pakistan? The American military will have boots on the ground in 48 hours helping out. Would any other people create and fund a thing called the “Peace Corps”? Haven’t seen it yet. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon his words weren’t “…and one giant leap for America.”, they were “…and one giant leap for mankind.”.

According to the National Philanthropic Trust, with respect to charitable giving for 2012, the “…average annual household contribution is $2,213 while the mean is $870.”. That does not count the 64.3 million adults who volunteered 15.2 billion hours of service either!

The American people are far from perfect – but they are the best reason to love America.

Happy 4th of July.

Have any Question or Comment?

2 comments on “The Top 5 Reasons to Love America

BillB

I wouldn’t have picked Hollywood. What they portray of american culture is mostly greatly overblown. A caricature of life in America. No, I would have picked the land itself. There’s beauty in this land that can take your breath away. Our national parks, the coasts, the heartland. Yes I’ll take that over Hollywood.

Reply

I agree that Hollywood often creates caricatures of American life, often more negative than positive. I think though, that this is Hollywood merely magnifying our own tendencies to criticize America more than praise it. We as a people are very self-critical of our country, much more so than other nationalities – at least that has been my experience. It’s good that we look hard in the mirror to make our country better – but when taken to an extreme it merely turns into America self-bashing.
As far as the land being a reason to love America – I agree that we do have a beautiful country – amazingly diverse and beautiful, but that was given to us and is not something that we created. We can’t take credit for it.

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