The Greatest Nation on Earth


When did America go from being a nation of enterprising, innovative people who loved science, technology and were the leaders in progress, to a scared, hateful nation of superstitious idiots who put conspiracy theorists on news programs alongside scientists and the scientist is the one who gets sneered at? We produced and hosted people like Tesla, Einstein, Ford, Gates and Wozniak, the Wright brothers and philosophers like Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King. We were the first nation to produce airplanes and cars and micro-electronics. We built things people thought couldn't be built using advanced engineering and science. If someone told you he had a master's degree or a PhD, he was revered as a scholar and expert in his field and treated with respect for the amount of work it took him to get those degrees.

Now? We have creationists legislators in Louisiana trying to sneak superstitious myths into public science classrooms and sneering at the Nobel laureates with "little letters behind their names" who disagree with them. And they are applauded for it. If someone tells us they have an advanced degree, we scoff and call them an elitist fancypants liberal bookworm, like that's something to be ashamed of. Now we produce the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo, and people like Sarah Palin actually make it into national politics instead of being laughed off the stage the way they would have been 50 years ago. The only thing good this nation is at making are weapons that blow up other countries. We've outsourced everything else.

We've gone from a nation that saw our poor and uneducated as neighbors to be brought up to a better level, not leeches, trash and dredges on society. We put conspiracy theorists and cranks on news networks and call them "analysts" while the actual expert is a "guest" who is more often rudely interrupted and outshouted by the crank in the 5 minutes he's allowed to speak and we admire that. We teach our kids that it is more important to have a bigger, more expensive birthday party than his classmates than it is to read. We do their homework for them so they won't fail. Everyone gets a trophy for playing and there are no losers because we don't want them to feel bad about failing, and we're surprised when an entire generation can't find a place in the workforce and we call them lazy.

While every other advanced nation has universal healthcare, we still require dying, poor people to pay money they don't have for the right to treatment and life, and scream "socialism!" if anyone tries to change that. Only in America can a middle class person working 40 hours a week become homeless for the crime of getting cancer of having a sick child. And we call ourselves a "pro-life" country. We do everything we can to keep women from having abortions, but we don't provide access to birth control, healthcare, childcare, Headstart, school lunches or anything for that child once it's here.

We are not first in education, health, overall happiness, care of our old people, or equality of its citizens, yet we brag that we are. Other nations look on in horror as disturbed individuals go marauding through our schools with military style weapons, killing 30 people at a time, and yet we still proudly proclaim we have the right to own those weapons and will do nothing about it. We are a violent, angry culture that glorifies war and weapons, and wonder why the rest of the world looks at us warily and with distrust.

And the best part? We still call ourselves "the greatest nation on earth."

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