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stanleybmanly's avatar

How do you react when you hear or read somewhere that "America is the greatest nation on earth"?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22359points) July 26th, 2015

There’s this tune by the Buffalo Springfield titled “Bluebird” that sticks in my head for close to 50 years now, and the only explanation I have is that I think it sort of bookmarks a period (for me) at which I had great optimism (in spite of Vietnam) and a positive outlook on life. Anyway, in the middle of the tune there are these two lines leading into this lengthy guitar solo. “Do you think she loves you? Do yoohoo think at alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll?”

I also love the banjo frailing ending and fade out

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29 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I stand behind that statement, but there are always two sides to every story!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I react that an American must have wrote it.
How is it the greatest nation on earth for when you get sick or hurt,and unless you have greatly overpriced health care insurance you could face a life time of financial ruin?
Americans cry BECAUSE WE ARE FREE!! Uh there are other free countries in the world as well as the states, so come up with something else OK?
Now I ask why is it the greatest nation in the world??And I am not trying to be a smart ass I just want to know. Why is it greater than Canada? Australia? England? France?New Zealand?and so many more??

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

I hear someone who has pride in their nation – and I don’t have a problem with that (in fact I fully support someone who is willing to take pride in something).

“Greatness” is a subjective term. America isn’t #1 in quite a few things.. but it’s still a great nation. Is it the greatest nation on earth? It’s a bold claim but no one will ever have a truly correct answer. Everyone has a different experience. You can’t grow up, live for and die for every country simultaneously.. so how will you ever know objectively?

My two cents? I’d much rather have people living in my country who are proud of their country than people who aren’t… no matter which country that happens to be.

ragingloli's avatar

I think of Borat’s Kazakhstani Anthem

Kazakhstan greatest country in the world
all other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium!
Other countries have inferior potassium.

Kazakhstan home of tinshein swimming pool
it’s length thirty metre and width six metre.
Filtration system a marvel to behold
it remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

Kazakhstan,Kazakhstan, you very nice place,
from plains of tarashenk to northern fence of jewtown.
Kazakhstan, friend of all except Uzbekistan,
they very nosy people withe bone in their brain.

Kazakhstan, industry best in the world,
we invented toffee and the trouser belt.
Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region,
except of course for Turkmenistan’s.

Kazakhstan,Kazakhstan, you very nice place,
from plains of tarashenk to northern fence of jewtown.

Come grasp the mighty penis of our leader,
from junction with testes to tip of its face!

si3tech's avatar

Micro aggression! As defined by the politically correct. (who now define everything and everyone).

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ragingloli That’s VERY funny! I love it!

Pachy's avatar

When I hear that, which is almost never anymore, I consider it a child’s view of the world. Grown-ups know there’s no such thing about anything that makes it the greatest (notwithstanding Muhammad Ali’s famous boxing-days claim) – there’s only better or less better. I’ve never lived anywhere but in the USA so I can only that say that if I believe what I read and hear about other countries, my country is great enough for me (notwithstanding the myriad of societal and political problems are have).

sahID's avatar


ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Landing on the moon was pretty bad ass, have to hand ourselves that one.

ragingloli's avatar

Wernher von Braun. Not american.

LostInParadise's avatar

I react with skepticism. How do you measure greatness? Did you know that the U.S. has the largest total number of prisoners, beating out China by a fair amount? The percent incarceration is the largest among major nations. Link That statistic alone calls in to doubt the greatness claim. There are also countries with higher median incomes and less income inequality. The Washington Post called the high infant mortality rate in the U.S. a national embarrassment

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ragingloli Apollo took thousands of Americans to pull off. I have known a couple of them personally.

Uberwench's avatar

My first reaction is typically to roll my eyes. But this seems like a pretty appropriate response, too.

bossob's avatar

Reaction? They must have just awakened from a 50 year nap.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Uberwench I know that was from a movie,BUT it sure rings true and I hope it wakes a few people up.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Roll my eyes. Blind patriotism is just as bad as organized religion.

ucme's avatar

It makes me laugh so much I hiccup, then a little bit of rage kicks in & then i’m fine.

josie's avatar

Who can claim that they, instead, are the greatest nation on Earth?
Whoever that is, I assume that reasonable Americans, certainly those with the means, will move there sooner or later.
I am not rich, but I could move. So where is this marvelous place that I should go instead?
Will I find other dissatisfied Americans there? Will they buy, with supreme confidence, property that does not have an American flag in it?
I bet not.
If some Americans have already gone to this imaginary place, they either worry, or deny, that their property will be taken someday. And they will have no recourse.
Typical Fluther.

Adagio's avatar

How can any country claim that?

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

I silently snicker while I think about our affordable health care. ~

BlackSwanEffect's avatar

I vomit in my mouth a little. The arrogance is appalling. Especially when it is a country that is destroying itself from within, despite having countless enemies abroad.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I laugh and shake my head. Americans are some of the most abused people in the developed world and they are either too stupid, or too ambivalent, or too arrogant, or just too anesthetized by a combination of street and prescription drugs, alcohol and media to do realize it. Damndest fools on earth.

Devilishtreat's avatar

America is not the greatest. We are one of the greatest at best. I love America but, we have our problems. There are other countries that have freedom. There are others that surpass our education as well as less unemployment rates, and drug addictions. We’re far from a developing country (AKA Third World Country) but, we still have much room for improvement.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The position was a great deal easier to defend in the past.

DominicY's avatar

I cringe.

Rarely do statements like that come from anyone who has put thought into it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Hey @josie what stops your property in the states from being taken one day???

Uberwench's avatar

@josie Very bad reasoning there. I could just as easily claim “no one else around here is a wizard, so I must be one.” Consider the possibility that there just is no greatest country on Earth. Each country has its advantages and disadvantages, and while some have more advantages or disadvantages than others, it doesn’t follow that one must be the greatest. That’s true even if some of them are clearly better than others. So it’s not irrational to both deny that the United States is the greatest country on Earth and continue living there because saying it’s not the best country on Earth does not imply that some other country is the greatest.

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