General Question

Gamer44's avatar

What makes America so great?

Asked by Gamer44 (94points) September 6th, 2010 from iPhone

What makes the giant melting pot so successful? At such a young age, too?

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37 Answers

zen_'s avatar


Wait, this is in General. Shit.

Being a superpower and stuff. Hot dogs. Yankees.

jrpowell's avatar

Our fantastic ability to provide healthcare for everyone. Our quality education. Our ability to stop caring about children after they cut the cord. Our desire to give tax cuts to the rich while we hold the nonsensical belief that we will be rich someday. Our hatred of the Taliban while some on the right want to emulate them.

I wish my parents had fucked in Sweden.

holden's avatar

The first amendment?

Coloma's avatar

It’s great because I am free to be an apolitical, bohemian philosopical, spiritual, artsy fartsy type that can hide in the hills in solitude and live exactly the way I choose, in my own little world.
When I bake brownies nobody can smell them except the deer and raccoons. haha
I’m free to create my own Eden, and I have. lol

Gamer44's avatar

I was waiting for someone to say something like what @johnpowell said. Fluther sure has a funny crowd.

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JLeslie's avatar

Land of the free, and the home of the brave. The right to religious freedom. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearnig to breathe free. All men are created equal. All sayings that we Americans hear and see throughout our lives that represent our country.

The ideals of America in my mind are that each individual has the opportunity to succeed, to acheive the American Dream. If you grow up poor, you can become rich. If your father was a criminal, his actions do not follow you. Whether born here, or if you came from another country you have the opportunity, if you work hard.

Being a young country made up almost completely of immigrants, or descendents of immigrants, we have a bond of being new to America, even if we are from different Mother countries. America also has been very good at having people assimilate within a generation or two. People being able to keep their ethnic traditions and culture, while at the same time becoming culturally “American.” I believe feeling like you can have both, helps our new citizens, and people who have been here for generations, be content living in the country. In fact, in my subjective observation the cities which are the most diverse, the most in touch with our melting pot, seem to be the most tolerant generally.

Also, in the early days we believed in public education for everyone, which I think is a big part of our success over the last 100 years.

We also have such a large country, communities can vary greatly, large urban cities, suburbs, rural towns, mountains, prairies, beaches, very religious communities, very liberal communties, cities that put high value on the arts, other cities that are very sports oriented, there is something for everyone.

jrpowell's avatar

@Gamer44 :: Were you looking for a circle-jerk?

Gamer44's avatar

@johnpowell Nope, expected what was to be expected.

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Steve_A's avatar

I find America great in perspective to certain parts of the world.

People who have the luxury of such rights as a citizen of their respective place in the world, will take it in disregard and focus on what they don’t have. Which I find is understandable, if done so in that you want to improve your country. Simply whining about something will never make progress.

I believe always comparing America will always make it seem worser than it is and better than it is.

What makes America so great? My real is answer…Who am I to say? I don’t know.

Hopefully for people, that they have a fair, honest—equal chance at what they want in life.

Pandora's avatar

I’m not going to say we are perfect or all so awesome. But what makes us different and at least better in my eyes is that we are at least trying to make things better. We started with slavery and civil war and and robbing land from the Indians that have lived here before us. We may not have atoned for all these things but we are young and keep trying to improve and move forward. Even a toddler will fall on his ass when learning to walk or hurt another child by bitting until he knows better.
We aren’t perfect but there are so many countries that won’t even attempt change, even though it hurts their citizens. Change may not always be a good thing and can cause some problems but never changing keeps people from progessing and growing.
I rather be in a country that keeps changing, even if it stumbles than to be in one where my oportunities or lack of them are already set in stone because of who I am, male or female, or because I am of one faith or another, or because of my race.
Yes their are biases here, but if you really set your sights on a goal and your willing to work hard and not just have things handed to you. You can go as far as you want.
Opportunities really do exist in this country. You simply have to not be lazy or give up at the smallest sign of resistance.


Free enterprise, and the real possibility of achieving financial success if you work really hard at it. In Canada where I live, it’s almost the same, but sometimes a person can work really hard at it, but never attain the riches, because of all the red tape and government intervention. I think in the U.S., there’s a little less of that “hands in your pocket policy”.

mammal's avatar

But what makes America really great is the wonderful emphasis on freedom, i’ve noticed that the richer you are, the free-er you get, i’ve also noticed that those who don’t feel particularly free, obviously aren’t working hard enough Arbeit macht frei…. work will set you free, like the super stellar rich do, all those, meetings and phone calls and yelling at people all the live long day must be really back breaking, lol.

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cazzie's avatar

Because in America, you’re free to become a rich, evil genius.

Ben_Dover's avatar

First of all, America is not a melting pot. It is a mixing bowl.

What made America great was the individual freedoms we guaranteed one another in our Constitution.
Our recent nazi-like warring with countries world-wide is detracting from our greatness, and our low-life scummy politicians selling us out to China is also becoming problematic.

The of course our wealthy elite ruining the middle class with the stock market fiasco of the late 1990s and the real estate rip-off of the 2002 to 2008 scam is also fudging our image.

augustlan's avatar

The great thing about America is the ideal America, and that we’re always trying to get there. We’re certainly not there, yet, but we’re working on it!

rooeytoo's avatar

I think most people who have actually lived in countries other than America or traveled to other countries realize that there is no utopia. All countries are composed of individual human beings most of whom would come to your aid if you needed help. They support different governments at different times in history. Governments which accomplish varying degrees of success or lack thereof. And it cannot be denied, relatively speaking America is a great place to live. Its citizens can bitch all they want about what a bad place it is and they don’t have to worry about storm troopers whisking them away in the dark of night for doing so. There are millions of rags to riches stories in its history. A lot of the evil wealthy of today were the poor person on the street yesterday. It is not perfect but no place is. There is free education for those that want it, some schools are better than others, no doubt, I guess if you don’t like that you should become a teacher and go to a poor quality school and raise the standard. Here good teachers don’t want to go to the crumby schools, I would guess it is the same there, so it is not the government’s fault, it is the fault of those rotten teachers. Free health care, Australia has it, it is not without flaws, waiting list for surgeries (unless you have private health care paid for out of your own pocket). You must go to doctors who bulk bill (paid for by government) if you want to access it, if not you go to private MD at your own expense and then get partially reimbursed by government. And truly Sweden is far from perfect, just google social problems in Sweden and have a look. There is no heaven on earth, rather life is what you make of it. Like it or not, that’s a fact and there ain’t no geographical cures for much of anything, ask any old drunk from AA.

poisonedantidote's avatar

From an outsiders point of view, the constitution. it is without a doubt the most sound set of ideals to found a country on to date in my opinion.

also the word “founded” should be a good indication of why it is great. the country did not just happen, people actually sat down and thought about it. most other countries just develop in to what they are over a long period of time, normally starting with a select elite few trying to dominate and dictate to the mases.

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Gamer44's avatar

Thanks for the input, guys :) We had a discussion like this in class the other day, but everyone wanted to argue and bicker rather than being thankful. Just wanted to hear some positive reasons to live here.

Your_Majesty's avatar

There are more rational people in America. I never like my own country,I like other more rational countries such as America.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Most of us are able to turn a blind eye to the world and wallow in consumerism without fearing that a bomb will destroy our home.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please remember: This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

cazzie's avatar

A more serious answer from me:
It’s beginnings were pretty unique and I suppose its relative stability and States vs Federal system that has both good and bad things going for it, but it seems to hold it together. (with that one exception in the 1860’s) For a nation, it is remarkably de-centralised. Perhaps, people living in the US and more familiar with the State/Federal system could argue this, but, from what I remember, and from my now ‘outsider’ view, it seems this way.
America was very much founded on the principals of ‘We’ll do it ourselves, thank you very much.’ All colonies, especially those founded far away from their initial ‘Commonwealth’, seem to develop an amazing sense of self-reliance and America took that one step further by chucking out the British (twice if you count 1812), French (bought them out) and Spanish (Mexican/American war). So, I think they are naturally wary of large, centralised governments far away. So…. its heterogeneous is its strength? perhaps? With a major dose of self-reliance poured in for good measure. AND it’s huge with loads of natural resources.

Did you know that the only successful sacking and burning of the US capital was carried out by Canadians? (war of 1812)

Ben_Dover's avatar

Another thing that makes America great is that we can badmouth it and not worry about armed thugs coming in the middle of the night to take us away and shoot us.

Also, when those armed thugs try to cite us or arrest, they damn well better have a good reason or we can beat their asses in court and have the judge give them a serious reaming…so that they will think twice about abrogating our rights in the future.

Harold's avatar

@augustlan – so you think the first answer to this question is more helpful and on-topic than mine? Proves my point- thin-skinned.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] In the interest of ending this back and forth, I will address your comment @Harold. The first answer consists of a joke and some legitimate-ish answers to the question. Yours did not. That’s all. Really. Now, please stop posting off-topic and derailing this thread.

Harold's avatar

In your opinion. It is simply that you did not understand I was saying that the best thing about the US is leaving it. The thing that makes it great is that you can leave it. Just as “legitimate-ish” I would have thought. Quite on the topic. It amazes me that you can leave things up which contain offensive language, and are harshly critical of the opinions of others, but remove something as inoffensive as what I wrote. Oh well…..............

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Harold True Dat! there are some places which don’t allow you to leave. How lame is that? The USA rocks!

Harold's avatar

@Ben_Dover – thanks, someone gets it!

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