Back then, I never imagined I’d write these words: America Is Not Great. Unthinkable, but an article in the New York Times, Please Stop Telling Me America is Great, aroused some thoughts I tried to ignore.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
By David Stone
Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
As a teenager growing up in Upstate New York, I flipped to the back pages of a textbook. Charts were compiled about things like agricultural production, shipping and manufacturing.
But America came out first so often, it came off as bragging. Bragging’s never reliable.
Something I learned from sports: If you’re good, you don’t need to tell anyone. They already know.
Of course, there were things we weren’t first in. For example, our record on racial equality was dreadful, and social tolerance was close to nonexistent in the era’s conformist hell.
But you still felt proud when they sang America the Beautiful, or when you stood tall for The Star Spangled Banner.
Things changed, and not for the better.
America Is Not Great: Coronavirus Crisis and Police Brutality
Today, something we’re #1 at is coronavirus infections and deaths. In fact, with only 4% of the world’s population, we’ve managed to reach around 30% in both.
Our enemies, especially the Soviet Union, love to point that out.
We’ve, in fact, fallen far behind the countries we rescued in World War II.
I think military might went to our heads, but it could be something else. We used to say we could not be “policeman to the world,” but we pretty much try to be, all the time.
And with the execution of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops, caught on video, our centuries old failure to deal fairly on race was exposed, once again.
Can we be great again? Were were ever as amazing as they told us we were?
If we were, how did we get to this fallen state?