– What makes America the greatest country in the world?
It’s not the greatest country in the world, Professor. That’s my answer.
With a straight face you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom?
Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom!
So out of 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.
And yeah, you, sorority girl. Just in case you ever wander into a voting booth one day there’s some things you should know and one of them is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world.
We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labour force and number 4 in exports.
We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defence spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies.
Now none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student but you nonetheless are, without a doubt, a member of the Worst. Generation. Ever.
So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about!
We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed. We cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We made big great things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy.
We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence. We didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy.
We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed by great men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore."
- Will McAvoy, The Newsroom.