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cs
12-09-2004, 08:15 AM
Would you mind to give me a list about what makes America (we are talking about the US right?) the greatest country?Good question and I will give you the best answer that I can. I'm not an expert on this and I can't tell you what life is like in other countries beyond what little I've seen or read in books.

In America you have the freedom to be who you want to be. In America you have the freedom to serve or not to serve in the military. In America you can say what you want without fear of prosecution. In America you have a say in who your leaders are and how the country is run. In America you have the freedom to be Methodist or not.

Sure we have our problems and sure the richer you are the more chances you have, but in my opinion it is the best thing going.

Chad

Larry P.
12-09-2004, 08:17 AM
For starters

http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/images/constitution_thumb_295_dark_gray_bg.jpg

Larry P.
12-09-2004, 08:23 AM
http://www.ellisisland.org/photoalbums/Album1/07.jpg

And the castaways and oppressed from around the world helped build a great nation.

Garrett Lowell
12-09-2004, 08:27 AM
1. Memphis and North Carolina Barbecue.
2. Anybody can come here from nearly anywhere else and their success is limited only by their own abilities.
3. See numbers 1 and 2.

Larry P.
12-09-2004, 08:30 AM
Of course Germany has much to be proud of in the 20th century as well.

http://hist.academic.claremontmckenna.edu/jpetropoulos/hitlerimages/image001.jpg

MJC
12-09-2004, 08:35 AM
Thanks for starting this Chad. I hope this'll be one of the longest running, most positive threads ever.

We are the greatest because we have shed more blood and spent more money protecting and projecting the fundamental belief of ALL Americans that ALL humans have basic, inalienable rights.

We defeated the 'absolute right of monarchs', we suffered and died in our hundreds of thousands to end slavery, we've eliminated dictatorships and ended fascism and communism and we will end terrorism (or at least reduce it to the nuisance level).

And, certainly, on our inexorable march to bring freedom to all humans, we've made some mistakes. And we've admitted that, repeatedly.

And, really, all we ever wanted was to be left alone to enjoy OUR liberty and the fruits of OUR labors.

TomF
12-09-2004, 08:41 AM
re-posted from another thread ...

Once there was a dream that was Rome. Make us believe it again.

A great line from the end of "Gladiator."

Pace Karen, I think that America can be said to have been an idea, as well as clearly the nation made up of individuals.

The New World. A place based on ideas of Liberty, Equality, Opportunity, Tolerance. Not bound by Old World hierarchies, or religious intolerances etc. A place for the American Dream to grow, for the frontier to be pursued, appreciated, and romanticized. A place to celebrate the individual, the common person, rather than the aristocrat.

In short, very much a product of the Enlightenment ideals of the founders, and of the (largely French, as it turns out) philosphers of the time.

I think that many Americans still hold to those dreams and ideals - they are at the foundation of the nationalism we see Americans express and cherish. At its best, the depth of that commitment is both bewildering, and inspiring to non-Americans.

So yes, I think that "Once there was a dream that was America" is valid.

"Make us believe it again."

T.

Russell Sova
12-09-2004, 08:48 AM
The feeling of security for yourself and family here as compared to many places in the world. Being able to go anywhere anytime I'm not workin'. I mean come on. The whole world envies us. We can even disagree and then get along.

Mrleft8
12-09-2004, 08:48 AM
Nothing makes the USA the greatest country. People who insist that the USA is the greatest country prove themselves wrong by doing so. There is no 1 greatest country.
False bravado, and ego stroking make some people think that they are an important part of something really big, when in fact they are merely pawns for others to manipulate for their own agrandisment.
(can't wait to see what sort of firestorm THIS reply will bring down upon my head! ;) )

km gresham
12-09-2004, 09:04 AM
And even you, Lefty, in this great country are entitled to your bitter, cynical, vitriolic opinion of America and your fellow citizens. You can shout it from the mountains and no one will kill you, or incarcerate you or torture your family for it. You can burn flags, spew venom, hate everything about America with impunity, and continue to live here and enjoy and exploit all of the wonderful things afforded to every single citizen.

See how great this country is?! :D

Scott Taylor
12-09-2004, 09:08 AM
Can there be an objective answer to this question? I don't think so. Is the USA a great country, yes, does it have many great people, yes, does it have many great achievements, yes, is it the Greatest country, not in my opinion. But I tell you what, if I was asked to pick a country to live in, other than my great country of Canada, it would be the US.

NormMessinger
12-09-2004, 09:16 AM
Because Martin, we know little of the rest of the world. Add in a bit of jingoism, provincialism, parochialism, and egotism....

It helps some of us to justify the mote in our own eye to point out specks in other's eyes.

With respect to Chad: In _______ you have the freedom to be who you want to be. In _______ you have the freedom to serve or not to serve in the military. In _______ you can say what you want without fear of prosecution. In _______ you have a say in who your leaders are and how the country is run. In _______ you have the freedom to be Methodist or not. Fill in the blank with most any country represented on this forum.

Garrett Lowell
12-09-2004, 09:17 AM
Well, what I believe makes it "The Greatest Country Ever" is that we are made up of people from around the world. America is "The World's Country".

Spelling edit. Fat fingers this morn.

[ 12-09-2004, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

uncas
12-09-2004, 09:24 AM
I think that America tries its best...sometimes not perfect but more often than not with good intentions.
jamj

Mrleft8
12-09-2004, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by km gresham:
And even you, Lefty, in this great country are entitled to your bitter, cynical, vitriolic opinion of America and your fellow citizens. You can shout it from the mountains and no one will kill you, or incarcerate you or torture your family for it. You can burn flags, spew venom, hate everything about America with impunity, and continue to live here and enjoy and exploit all of the wonderful things afforded to every single citizen.

See how great this country is?! :D Tell that to all the muslim Americans rounded up after 9-11 who were imprisoned without access to an attorney until their famillies forced the govt. to comply with the constitution.
Tell that to the people who wrote the PATRIOT act.
Tell that to any native American who has their rights stomped on every time they try to protect their heritage.
I think that the people you are refering to are the white upper-middle class wage slaves that are so numbed by society that they just cruise on through life on auto-pilot.

High C
12-09-2004, 09:39 AM
Chad, why don't you go ahead and kill this turkey now, rather than waiting until it gets ugly.

It will, you know.

sskkiipp
12-09-2004, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by cs:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Would you mind to give me a list about what makes America (we are talking about the US right?) the greatest country?...Chad</font>[/QUOTE]Since the "search feature" is more useless than it is normally I have a question for you, Chad. Is this quote taken from private correspondence between you and Martin?

martin schulz
12-09-2004, 09:49 AM
No sskiipp!

It was taken from the "Our soldiers in harm's way are dumpster diving for scrap!" thread!

George.
12-09-2004, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by cs:
In America you have the freedom to be who you want to be. In America you have the freedom to serve or not to serve in the military. In America you can say what you want without fear of prosecution. In America you have a say in who your leaders are and how the country is run. In America you have the freedom to be Methodist or not.
You could say all those things about Brazil. Is Brazil therefore the "greatest country" too?

If you classify countries into "good", "bad", and "indifferent," America would be "good." So would at least another 50 countries. In some respects some would be better than America, in other respects America might be better than most or all. Overall, you can't really judge objectively. Does higher per capita income make up for higher infant mortality, for instance? Does more opportunity for immigrants make up for more trouble with racism?

America is the "greatest" to Americans, for the simple reason that it is their country, and like most people, Americans are reflexively nationalistic. To most French, or Italians, or Spanish, or even Brazilians, their own country is the "greatest." Same with football teams and Olympic athletes.

cs
12-09-2004, 09:55 AM
Martin, I'm not trying to brag or be spitful. You asked what I thought was a good question and I gave the best answer I could. Not trying to put other countries down, we all have our good points and we all have our bad points.

Freedom is what I think makes us great.

Chad

martin schulz
12-09-2004, 09:58 AM
By the way. you have collected some nice answers there Chad.

There is just one thing which is in my opinion not quite correct.

You are all listing things that make America (US) a great country. True, I don't have a problem with that. But my question, refering to a statement of Chad was asking for things that make America the greatest country. That is an superlative meaning something that ia the absolut top, with no equal thing around.

So I would again like to ask for things that make America the greatest country. Things that nowhere else possible.

Scott Taylor
12-09-2004, 10:05 AM
There aren't any!

MJC
12-09-2004, 10:06 AM
martin:

Name one thing more important than the idea of universal liberty.

NormMessinger
12-09-2004, 10:07 AM
That is what I understood your question to be, Maritin and the somewhat tongue.gif inflammitory part of my answer was addressed to. It is the greatest because some of us say it is. What will cause this thread to get nasty is if the usual suspects cannot make that distinction.

LeeG
12-09-2004, 10:09 AM
let's talk about how I'm the greatest pot bellied middle aged guy,,ok?,, no really,,I am so great my kids call me dad.

Garrett Lowell
12-09-2004, 10:12 AM
No, Lee, that would be me, but without the pot-belly (but I'm working on it)!

Magwitch
12-09-2004, 10:21 AM
I like America, I like Americans, even the strange ones, but England is no worse unless you count not being able to own assault rifles and hand guns as a disadvantage. Better if you think that the death penalty is barbaric,,,,,,,,,
I could expand,,,,,,,,?
IanW

Scott Rosen
12-09-2004, 10:30 AM
I like it here. When my ancestors were fleeing Europe, they thought that America was the best choice at the time. I think America is a great country. I don't think it's the only great country. I wouldn't even know what criteria to use in determining which country is the "greatest", nor would I care to try.

I'm fairly certain that if I were born an Englishman, I would be just as happy with England as I am with America.

martin schulz
12-09-2004, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
I like it here. ...I don't think it's the only great country. I wouldn't even know what criteria to use in determining which country is the "greatest", nor would I care to try.Yes, I can agree with that Scott.

But then my, or shall I say our feelings towards Germany are of course overshadowed by our past. Today Germany is a great place to live and most of the things stated here that make America a great country apply to Germany as well. And we love to talk about german archievements (as to Literature, Music, Physics, Math...). But there is also the fact that we have created the Person with the biggest impact on the last century, something which is still troublesome for our collective self-conception.

cs
12-09-2004, 10:54 AM
Martin I've been trying to put some thought into the differnce between great and greatest. That is a hard one to answer. Of course I will think that we are the greatest, because I'm from here and don't know the others as well. As noted above it could be my ego kicking in.

One of the things that come to mind is the fact the we were one one of the first to go with this democratic form of goverment. May not have been the first, but we were a driving force.

Maybe this is what makes us the greatest or at least the pioneers.

Chad

TomF
12-09-2004, 10:55 AM
As other folks have said ... typically our own country is "The Greatest." We can typically list our own reasons why ... and why not someone else's place. For me, that means Canada. YMMV.

And yes, liberty is a great idea ... one which is experienced in many places, though sadly, not in all. I'd put compassion near the top of the list too, hence Canada's more developed social welfare system than some.

t.

George.
12-09-2004, 11:37 AM
So far this thread is amazingly reasoned and civilized! smile.gif

Why should anyone want to be the "greatest?" Sort of a dead end, all downhill from there. It is so much better to see oneself as "great," and always strive to improve...

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-09-2004, 04:25 PM
I agree with those who have said a "great country" but not the greatest. Anyone (including myself) who would say their country is the greatest is foolishly arrogant, and probably not willing to look at the things that are wrong.

The United States is number one in two places: The largest economy, and the largest military. In every other category by statistical measure it is not number one. In the next five years, your economy will be second to China's. If you feel incredible pride and accomplishment for having created the world's largest and most dangerous military,with all of of it's incredibly nasty biological and nuclear weapons, I feel sorry for you. As for liberty, freedom, and all that good stuff, your impression of your country is only as good as your last transgression of human rights. (that goes for my country too) One of my jobs as a responsible canadian and world citizen is to be ever vigilant of how my country observes human rights and freedoms at home and abroad.

The United States has many things to be proud of, and many people to thank for that. On the other hand, it has, like my own country, committed tragic mistakes that have cost many people their liberty and even their lives.

Countries that portray themselves as defenders of freedom and personal expression have no laurels, only responsibilities. ;)

Scott Rosen
12-09-2004, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
One of my jobs as a responsible canadian and world citizen is to be ever vigilant of how my country observes human rights and freedoms at home and abroad.That reminds me . . . Canada is responsible for many needless deaths because of its obscene policy on asbestos. Do you know that your country is responsible for blocking a number of international health and safety efforts? I'd really appreciate it if you would do something about that, Peter. ;)

http://www.hazards.org/asbestos/pic.htm

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-09-2004, 04:56 PM
Good point Scott, although if memory serves, it is the language that Canada is objecting to, as well as the total substance ban. Asbestos has applications that are hard to duplicate with any other substance (particularly at the same cost). As an export resource, Canada is cognizant of the health hazards, but refutes that it is patently unsafe. It does require highly specialized handling procedures in both use and manufacture.

The Prior Informed Consent is more of a bureaucratic version of "Now you can't blame us because you know it's dangerous." What developing countries need is more legislation surrounding safety in the workplace.

I agree that we should comply with the UN rules tho ;)

Anything you want to work on in the US?

[ 12-09-2004, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

bamamick
12-09-2004, 05:44 PM
I will add one small thing to this discussion. Right after 9/11, and I mean just a couple of days after, our Bishop, who is a black American, addressed our congregation about the importance of freedom.

The reason that I pointed out that our Bishop is black is because this is the deep south. We are a Protestant congregation (Methodists) who had splintered off from a huge Methodist church and wanted to form our own smaller congregation within the Methodist church.

Our Bishop came to speak to us about our choices, but in light of what had happened on 9/11 he went beyond that. He spoke to us of what freedom means. Of what it meant to be black in the deep south and to be able to rise to a high position in the church through merit, not through favoritism. But his real point,and I'll never forget this, was that he wanted everyone to stop and think for a minute. spend a quiet moment and think about what it meant for us to be there together. For us to have the choice to get up on Sunday morning, or not to get up if that's what you prefer, and drive to whichever worship service you wanted to attend.

All over this country Muslims, Buddhists, Chrisitans, Jews, people who practice trational Native American religions, all of them live and work side by side. At my job I work every day with not only black and Hispanic Americans, but people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, and German upbringing.

My Bishop finished his talk with one final statement: there are many powers in the world that would take away our right to worship as we see fit. Thank God that we live in a country that is willing to fight for the freedoms that we enjoy.

Call it what you will, but that's why I think that America is the greatest country in the world.

Mickey Lake

TGP
12-09-2004, 06:17 PM
What make us the greatest country? Heck that's simple. Because we can whup up on anyone on the block. :D Well, with the exception of Canada maybe. I hear those lumberjacks up there can be pretty mean and onery. :eek: