The Greatest Country?

The Mitt Romney platform for foreign affairs is America does not apologize for being America – America is right and you are wrong. Why I think this is important is because it embodies a larger ideal of the Republican Party. Today’s Republican Party holds dearly the belief that America is the greatest country and can do no wrong, and because of that feeling they see no reason to make any changes. They offer no solutions to advance the status quo.

Climate change that is ruining our environment – it doesn’t exist. A growing population living in poverty with a vanishing safety net – people just need to work harder. Students riddled with debt from the increasing cost of college – just go to a cheaper school or ask your parents to help. Women’s rights systematically being rolled back – just say it’s an attack on religion. A middle-class disappearing – just continue a tax policy that benefits the wealthy. A healthcare system that simply cannot support itself – just cut benefits.

Instead of addressing these problems, Republicans just turn a blind eye, or make some excuse, and say this is greatest country in the world. America is the land of the free and the home of brave. America has freedom, it has Democracy.

Let’s not forget the land of the free and the home of the brave enslaved African-Americans for nearly a century. Let’s not forget our free nation made women and minorities second class citizens for decades. And let’s not forget our democratic country now faces income disparity that is leading to a rich and poor America.

I believe America is the greatest country in the world, but not because we have freedom here. There are plenty of countries who are free and have fully functioning democracies. But we are still better.

We are better because as a country, when faced with adversity, we didn’t brush off major problems and make excuses – we fought to make a change. People literally fought to end slavery.  People fought for civil liberties. Women have fought for equal rights. Today we see environmentalists fighting to save the earth. Occupy protestors are fighting for income equality. And we even saw the President fight to make healthcare a right and not a privilege.

America isn’t great because we are free, America is great because throughout our history we tackled problems in order to make every American better off. I don’t see that coming from the Republican Party today. I see the Republican Party in rut, unwilling to offer any new ideas or solutions. I see them as content, without any intention of truly making the country better off.  It is not enough to just say America is the greatest country in the world – action actually has to be taken – or America may not stay the greatest.


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