Is America "The greatest country on earth?"

shira

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2005
9,567
6
81
Candidates on both left and right seem obligated to pronounce American "the greatest country on earth," as if it's unpatriotic to think otherwise. I think people use that phrase without really considering what they're saying. If you think America is "the greatest," how come?

Have you done some sort of comparative analysis, grading each of the major democracies of the world based on a number of criteria, and America scores highest? If so, what criteria did you use and how did you assign grades? What were the other high-scoring countries?

But I'm being disingenuous: I know darn well that almost no one has done that sort of analysis. Most people label America "the greatest" because it takes little effort to say so and because saying it feels good (or maybe because it makes others think we're patriotic).

Let me turn this around: Would it be unacceptable if America were actually NOT "the greatest based on some impartial, well respected analysis?" Would you move to the best country if American weren't it? Does that mean that one should always strive to live in the greatest country (and if so, what's the implication of that for illegal immigrants to the U.S.)?

 

Butterbean

Banned
Oct 12, 2006
918
1
0
It is the greatest nation in the sense its the keystone of the free world. Remove the US and the other free countries wouldn't hold up very long - the reverse is not true. They would have a few nukes but no stones to use them. That said the US people aren't noble anymore in many ways. Abortion, homosexuality, illegitimacy, addictions etc - all rampant since the 60's and the assault on values, the family etc. The illegals treat their kids better than the average American slob. The civil rights movement was hijacked and taken to trully weird places. Alas the correction is shortly at hand.
 

dawp

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
11,066
2,316
136
I don't think this the greatest nation, and never was. it's just a different. Being i haven't lived any where else, it's hard to make a judgement call and visiting \= living.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,214
11,020
136
Originally posted by: Butterbean
It is the greatest nation in the sense its the keystone of the free world. Remove the US and the other free countries wouldn't hold up very long - the reverse is not true. They would have a few nukes but no stones to use them. That said the US people aren't noble anymore in many ways. Abortion, homosexuality, illegitimacy, addictions etc - all rampant since the 60's and the assault on values, the family etc. The illegals treat their kids better than the average American slob. The civil rights movement was hijacked and taken to trully weird places. Alas the correction is shortly at hand.
Why do you hate America?

No, seriously, you realize that a nation is its people, right? It's a contradiction for you to say that the US is the greatest nation in the world but its people aren't. Just like it's contradiction for you to say that the US is the keystone of the free world, but that we shouldn't be free.

As for myself, I think that the US is the greatest nation in the world. Because of its free people. And for no other reason.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
69,050
4,813
126
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Butterbean
It is the greatest nation in the sense its the keystone of the free world. Remove the US and the other free countries wouldn't hold up very long - the reverse is not true. They would have a few nukes but no stones to use them. That said the US people aren't noble anymore in many ways. Abortion, homosexuality, illegitimacy, addictions etc - all rampant since the 60's and the assault on values, the family etc. The illegals treat their kids better than the average American slob. The civil rights movement was hijacked and taken to trully weird places. Alas the correction is shortly at hand.
Why do you hate America?

No, seriously, you realize that a nation is its people, right? It's a contradiction for you to say that the US is the greatest nation in the world but its people aren't. Just like it's contradiction for you to say that the US is the keystone of the free world, but that we shouldn't be free.

As for myself, I think that the US is the greatest nation in the world. Because of its free people. And for no other reason.
It's an interesting contrast, these two different world views.

Aren't abortion, homosexuality, illegitimacy, addictions etc - all rampant since the 60's and the assault on values, the family etc? What does rampant really mean here? Before abortion was done in the closet with lots of deaths to mothers as a result. I think illegitimacy and addiction have increased. Homosexuality hasn't changed except in visibility, I think.

Well, before the 60s we had a repressive moralistic religious society, quite sick according to what I've heard, and LSD, perhaps, and rock and roll, blew the lid off.

The fact is that any time a repressive society gets freedom they go crazy. The sickness that was being suppressed comes out. The repression of sex by religion, when lifted is a sight to behold. But once the madness is spent greater balance will return. Non sexually repressed people who have always been free are not fixated on sex. They are healthy and natural.

So we have the sickness of repression and the manifestation of the sickness when mores lift, then we reach a healthier state. Butterbean, wants to return to the time when we were sick but the illness was repressed. He doesn't want to see that all the sickness he calls sickness is all part of a cure. When you lance a boil you get a lot of puss, but then you heal.

We will have freedom or we will have repression. With freedom comes responsibility.

 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,007
572
126
Because no nation has ever been so powerful and so benevolent simultaneously. We could've been another oppressive empire, yet by moral obligation alone we voluntarily restrain ourselves. The free world is modeled on our dogma, that all men are created in equality. The economies of prosperous nations have been modeled on ours. China and Vietnam, for instance, discovered that free trade is the quickest route to growth.

We are a nation who bases its actions more on principle than any other nation. We have fought in the name of stopping villains and liberating the oppressed in WWI and WWII. Our economic might has afforded prosperous trading relationships worldwide, in the absence of which the world would greatly suffer. We founded the United Nations. Our technological innovation (cars, electricity, computers, nuclear power) have been of immeasurable value to the world community. We implement the best philosophy on living that can be found on earth: That whoever you are, into whatever condition you were born, through sheer strength of will and mind, you can become anything you desire. Because you live in freedom.

No other nation has ever come close. Even if America were to fall out of first, I'd remain. Its history is too noble to brush aside.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
To be honest, I am not sure and I have a feeling most here really don't have a clue either even though they may think that they do. How many people here have lived in enough countries across the globe to actually come forth and draw such a subjective conclusion that is educated beyond something academic? I know that I have never lived anywhere else so I can only read and speculate. I imagine this is the case for most.
 

andy04

Senior member
Dec 14, 2006
999
0
71
America is great in every aspect. One that makes me proud is that we have one of the highest standards of living. We are the 3rd most populous country and still atleast today we are holding it together. All the other so called "great countries" have less that 50 mil ppl living there or atleast under 100. Let them handle 300 mil and then lets see how they fare.
Entire world envies us and will do anything to become an American even today. Those who say they wont are lying to you or even worst, themselves. ppl who know that they cant be here say bad things about us and spread -ve propaganda.
Our young generation, ppl in school and univs hear them think its "kool" to hate America, its a fashion statement to criticize US some even go to the length to find flaws in our founding fathers. None of those loosers have the balls to do anything but just babble. They should look out of their limited intelligence and just find out the reality about their counterparts in other countries. These ppl probably have too much in their lives and dont have to work for anything and so they get all the time in the world to get these dubious ideas
 

bl4ckfl4g

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2007
3,669
0
0
I lived in many different places in the 10 years I was in the military and I kind of came to the conclusion that the claim is just hype and patriotism. I don't see anything wrong with average Joe thinking that and being proud in his country but I will say there are a bunch of other countries I wouldn't mind living in. Japan, S. Korea, Germany, England.

I'm still a patriot but I do feel that there are other countries out there just as awesome.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
At the moment, yes it is. I think by most standards, from its military security to economic power, freedom of the people, etc. and even to the environment (some areas have nice weather) it is at this time the greatest nation.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,376
126
Originally posted by: Genx87
Yes it is. I believe Vic summed up my opinion and reasoning pretty well.
^^ Outstanding. And I know the two of you are of somewhat differing political perspectives, but logic unites sound minds.

x3 for me. Butterbean is thankfully a wingnut, who seems to insist on including :

homosexuals
illegals
nukes
etc
etc

in almost every blob of a single huge paragraph post that he posts in here.
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
0
0
The nation is only as great as its worst off citizen. I'd argue that the USA is far from the greatest.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: bl4ckfl4g
I lived in many different places in the 10 years I was in the military and I kind of came to the conclusion that the claim is just hype and patriotism. I don't see anything wrong with average Joe thinking that and being proud in his country but I will say there are a bunch of other countries I wouldn't mind living in. Japan, S. Korea, Germany, England.

I'm still a patriot but I do feel that there are other countries out there just as awesome.
Now this is the kind of person I think we should listen to more than simply drawing our own opinions so much unless you have also lived in many places across the globe. Their opinions are based on much more than academics and speculative comparison.
 

shira

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2005
9,567
6
81
Originally posted by: Vic

As for myself, I think that the US is the greatest nation in the world. Because of its free people. And for no other reason.
But Vic, there are lots of nations with "free people," and the United States in generally NOT considered the freest.

FreedomHouse freedom ranking

For just economic freedom, the U.S. isn't rated first, either:

Heritage Foundation's ratings of economic freedom

So again, why is the U.S. "the greatest?"

Edit: Maybe it's the combination of political freedom, civil liberties, and economic freedom. But look at New Zealand: It's one step below the U.S. on economic freedom, but 11 steps above the U.S. on personal freedom. And Denmark, Switzerland, and a few others are way up there on both charts, too.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Here's a hint for those of you that don't get out much: everybody thinks their corner of the world is the best one.
 

dawp

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
11,066
2,316
136
What I'd like to know is how many who say 'WE ARE THE GREATEST' have lived outside the US? Without a reference how can that be claimed? It's kind of like those who say Texas is the best state but have never live in other parts of the country. I have lived in TX and elsewhere and can safely say that is not so.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,376
126
Originally posted by: andy04
America is great in every aspect. One that makes me proud is that we have one of the highest standards of living. We are the 3rd most populous country and still atleast today we are holding it together. All the other so called "great countries" have less that 50 mil ppl living there or atleast under 100. Let them handle 300 mil and then lets see how they fare.
Entire world envies us and will do anything to become an American even today. Those who say they wont are lying to you or even worst, themselves. ppl who know that they cant be here say bad things about us and spread -ve propaganda.
Our young generation, ppl in school and univs hear them think its "kool" to hate America, its a fashion statement to criticize US some even go to the length to find flaws in our founding fathers. None of those loosers have the balls to do anything but just babble. They should look out of their limited intelligence and just find out the reality about their counterparts in other countries. These ppl probably have too much in their lives and dont have to work for anything and so they get all the time in the world to get these dubious ideas
Your sig is extremely ironic in this context.

Your post is a faux-patriotic right-wing talking point that is a mixed bag of truth and spin.

The truth is, WE are a mixed bag. America is *not* great in every aspect, but it is a great enough overall package that it's worth saving, debating, sacrifices, and above all, it's worth not closing your mind to the good and the bad of it. Do you not see that places that were previously crapholes like China and India are skyrocketing upwards, even with dramatically higher populations than we have? Do you not see that our country has been declining precipitously, with erosions in personal freedom, average family spending power (one high-school-educated breadwinner could support a family, a car, and a home in the '50s/'60s, but now someone in that situation can barely afford a crappy apartment in the ghetto and a beater), and our government is two sides of the same coin, a bad penny.

All those lies the Republicans spin about being fiscally responsible? Look at the last 8 years of rampant spending and needless foreign entanglements. And the Democrats, does anyone believe they are truly any better? The only benefit I see is that they might spend more money domestically, which trickles back into the general economy a lot easier than it does dropping hundreds of billions abroad. But they're both grossly corrupt and irresponsible.

It's important to identify the successes AND failures of our nation, and honestly debate the how, why, and what to do about each. To do less fails ourselves, our country, and our generation.

Your diatribe reads like a single-sided condemnation of even debating the issues, as it seems one cannot criticize problems with our current policy and society without ostrich-minded people getting upset at you not heralding 'America, great in every aspect'.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,263
4
81
Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: Vic

As for myself, I think that the US is the greatest nation in the world. Because of its free people. And for no other reason.
But Vic, there are lots of nations with "free people," and the United States in generally NOT considered the freest.

FreedomHouse freedom ranking

For just economic freedom, the U.S. isn't rated first, either:

Heritage Foundation's ratings of economic freedom

So again, why is the U.S. "the greatest?"
Comparing the economic freedom of the US with HK and Singapore is ridiculous. Break off Las Vegas from the Union and it would be more comparable to HK and Singapore.

Most countries in those rankings are homogeneous and are incomparable. Inject diversity into any of those countries and it will be the fall of them. America is the greatest because of the diversity of people that live here are able to live in peace and freedom.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,263
4
81
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: andy04
America is great in every aspect. One that makes me proud is that we have one of the highest standards of living. We are the 3rd most populous country and still atleast today we are holding it together. All the other so called "great countries" have less that 50 mil ppl living there or atleast under 100. Let them handle 300 mil and then lets see how they fare.
Entire world envies us and will do anything to become an American even today. Those who say they wont are lying to you or even worst, themselves. ppl who know that they cant be here say bad things about us and spread -ve propaganda.
Our young generation, ppl in school and univs hear them think its "kool" to hate America, its a fashion statement to criticize US some even go to the length to find flaws in our founding fathers. None of those loosers have the balls to do anything but just babble. They should look out of their limited intelligence and just find out the reality about their counterparts in other countries. These ppl probably have too much in their lives and dont have to work for anything and so they get all the time in the world to get these dubious ideas
Your sig is extremely ironic in this context.

Your post is a faux-patriotic right-wing talking point that is a mixed bag of truth and spin.

The truth is, WE are a mixed bag. America is *not* great in every aspect, but it is a great enough overall package that it's worth saving, debating, sacrifices, and above all, it's worth not closing your mind to the good and the bad of it. Do you not see that places that were previously crapholes like China and India are skyrocketing upwards, even with dramatically higher populations than we have? Do you not see that our country has been declining precipitously, with erosions in personal freedom, average family spending power (one high-school-educated breadwinner could support a family, a car, and a home in the '50s/'60s, but now someone in that situation can barely afford a crappy apartment in the ghetto and a beater), and our government is two sides of the same coin, a bad penny.

All those lies the Republicans spin about being fiscally responsible? Look at the last 8 years of rampant spending and needless foreign entanglements. And the Democrats, does anyone believe they are truly any better? The only benefit I see is that they might spend more money domestically, which trickles back into the general economy a lot easier than it does dropping hundreds of billions abroad. But they're both grossly corrupt and irresponsible.

It's important to identify the successes AND failures of our nation, and honestly debate the how, why, and what to do about each. To do less fails ourselves, our country, and our generation.

Your diatribe reads like a single-sided condemnation of even debating the issues, as it seems one cannot criticize problems with our current policy and society without ostrich-minded people getting upset at you not heralding 'America, great in every aspect'.
Your view on this world is close to a blind retarded man. What erosion in personal freedom have you endured? Please enlighten us, list the freedoms you no longer enjoy.

A high school educated breadwinnder could support a family in the 50s? Are you nuts? That's like saying a retarded caveman with zero education could support his family and a cave.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,376
126
Originally posted by: JS80
Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: Vic

As for myself, I think that the US is the greatest nation in the world. Because of its free people. And for no other reason.
But Vic, there are lots of nations with "free people," and the United States in generally NOT considered the freest.

FreedomHouse freedom ranking

For just economic freedom, the U.S. isn't rated first, either:

Heritage Foundation's ratings of economic freedom

So again, why is the U.S. "the greatest?"
Comparing the economic freedom of the US with HK and Singapore is ridiculous. Break off Las Vegas from the Union and it would be more comparable to HK and Singapore.

Most countries in those rankings are homogeneous and are incomparable. Inject diversity into any of those countries and it will be the fall of them. America is the greatest because of the diversity of people that live here are able to live in peace and freedom.
That is a good general observation, and one that I agree with the sentiment overall, but to say that America is the greatest purely for that reason doesn't make any sense to me. Even the term 'greatest' is open to vast interpretation, depending upon personal values, priorities, perspective, etc.

 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
69,050
4,813
126
America is the greatest country in the world for one reason and one reason only. I say it is. If I said it about some other country it would be the best. I determine the nature of reality. America is the greatest country in the world because it it the country whose failures I focus on, whose defects I want to improve, whose people I most feel for because they are all around me. I am the most fantastic person I have ever met and I'm an American. I just gotta love me.

Of course if you live in some other country and want to argue your country is better, that's just fine by me. I hope you're right for you.

Also I keep an ace in the hole. If my country disappears tomorrow and I some how survive, I'm still a citizen of the best planet in the Universe.
 

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