Calling America the “Greatest Country in the World” is like calling a morbidly obese person beautiful. Subjectively, you may find beautiful things in the person. You may think they have a beautiful face, a beautiful personality, or you may simply be attracted to obesity. All of those reasons are okay. But, objectively, there are quantifiable issues that can prove to be dangerous if left unattended. I’m not trying to say that people suffering from obesity cannot be beautiful. Nor am I trying to say America isn’t great, or even the greatest. But, to fix a problem one must first acknowledge it. America is clearly not the “Greatest Country in the World” to a large percentage of its citizens, and while one could think the contrary, it’s completely ignorant to assume that every else does as well.
I’m sure by now a decent percentage of internet-savvy people are probably aware of the beginning clip from HBO’s “The Newroom”. The clip, which has become somewhat renowned online, shows Jeff Daniels enlightening a packed lecture hall on the illusion of America’s absolute superiority. Aaron Sorkin, the writer behind A Few Good Men, The Social Network, and The West Wing, bounces the dialogue from humorous, to sobering, to depressing, and finally to encouraging, all in about six minutes. It’s a great clip from a pretty good show and I recommend checking it out.
Here, I saved you a Google:
Now, I’m obviously no Aaron Sorkin. But here’s a way to grossly oversimplify my thoughts on all of this: We don’t have to be the greatest country in the world right now. We just need to be better. A morbidly obese person shouldn’t expect to lose 300lbs immediately. They work towards smaller goals and work their way up. That may not be a perfect analogy, but this is not a perfect country and until we acknowledge we’re not as “healthy” as we sometimes think , we cannot start to trim the fat.