It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with this clip, and with this show. I’ve watched it numerous times, and each time I see it and listen to Will’s opinions, I find that there is an exponential amount of truth in what he claims. But before delving into why I see truth and accurate representations in this clip, I must make the claim that there is no “best” or “greatest” country in the world. Americans often romanticize the notion that because of our heroic past during events like the War for Independence and our intervention in World War II, we are endowed with a destiny to be the best as if it were our birthright. This is not the case. It is dangerous and ethnocentric to truly believe that being an American means that we are better, more righteous, more intelligent, or more capable of making the correct moral decisions simply because we were born in the United States. Americans can be great because of the things that they as individual human beings accomplish and stand for, not because of the fact that they are American. Having pride in one’s country is a great thing; when countries are able to accomplish things as a community or a nation, that is also a great and admirable thing. But we must recognize that we share a sameness with other human beings of other nations, so we are not any more important or valuable than those who don’t happen to be from America.
That being said, the America we live in today is not as great as it can be. Most everyone, especially the leaders of our country, have become increasingly caught up in the feud between who has a leg up in all three branches of government – the Republicans or Democrats. People have become so focussed on how to prove that one or the other is wrong, or Anti-American, or socialist, or misogynistic, so they don’t place enough time on elaborating what they themselves plan to do to make our country better. Furthermore, we’re uninformed. The vast majority of Americans are either uninterested in understanding the political process and the problems that plague it, or they only derive their opinions based off of polarized informers.
While I think it is wrong to believe that America can be or ever was the “best” country in the world, I do think that America can be great again if Americans learn to see each other and other members of the world as just as valid and important as they themselves are. Only then can politicians and citizens begin to work productively together.