I tend to complain about this country a lot - after all, freedom to complain is my right, and one of the things that make the U.S. great. And I'm exposed, through Livejournal, to comments and opinions from people all over the world, and many of them also criticise the U.S. for recent actions/inactions, and I will sometimes hop on that wagon (because I can, it's my right).
I've been thinking I would like to make a list of what's right about this country.
1) The first thing that usually comes to mind is
What would you add to the list?
We are a nation of immigrants. There are few other countries where most cities have a german, hispanic and chinese neighborhood. We are a mesh of cultures and I think that's fanastic.
This can also be said of Europe, to a lesser extent, since they are so close together, but ...
Second is our our hugeness, that allows for interior diversity. One city is England is about as unique as any two cities in Idaho.
Bill Cosby once did a comedy routine about how Europeans were not superior just because they could speak 8 languages fluently. "I can speak houston,'Hi yal', I can speak Boston" Etc...(He goes on to speak about being attacked by Hats..ie Having a 'hat attack'..boston style)
These two things hand in hand mean, despite a certain insular nature Americans possess, you can experience something different while remaining in the same country.
I hitchiked across the country at age 16, something that would not have been as rewarding or impressive in any other country.
Much along the lines of free speech, America is great for it's ability to provide unique perspectives. We are the melting pot.
Yes! That is a good thing. And affirms my decision to place my kids in public school. I want them to not notice differences in skin color, and so far they don't. The school is 60% Hispanic with a sprinkling of Asian and Black kids, a melting pot school.
Well, being the history buff, I have to say that one thing the US has going for it is that we're still young. We've had quite an interesting history so far, but we are SO young compared to other countries, with so much more to learn. I feel at times very optimistic about what this country could be in another 2 centuries. I mean, when England (such as it was) was our age, they went through the Dark Ages, serfdom, the Black Plague....we're doing pretty okay so far...*knock on wood*
I think I would say good old-fashioned American ingenuity. Look at the crazy-ass shit we've invented in our time over here! From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Edison all the way on up to Steve Jobs and Al Gore inventing the internet (lol). Not all of it has been positive (imagine a world without the nuclear bomb. Hell, imagine a world without TV!) but it's just astounding to see what people will come up with.
And I think that this is going to save our ass again, as long as we stay on it. Wind power, solar power, hydro-electric, somebody's figuring out a way to harness the power of the TIDES.