Andrew Norman, Final Blog Entry

I grew up in a home with Southern and military roots, so the idea that the United States is the best nation in the world is ingrained into me as some maxim of the universe. Then again I look around today and I see a nation that is faltering, so I find truth in the words of the clip. In the end, I suppose that both arguments are true, at least for me. 

       I don’t think there can be a best country in the world–at least not in a sweeping way. I think the image of a prosperous and victorious 1950’s America is somewhat flawed. Yes, the US had just saved the world from genocide and fascism. Yes that victory launched the US into decades of economic plenty. I also see, however, rampant social inequality; it was a great time to be a white male. I wonder then, how could the US still rise above the rest? The answer, as the speaker states, lies within the founding principles of this nation. Few other constitutions provide for such quantities of liberty and justice in the presence of a large government. The people create their leadership, and the leadership should fear the people. That idea sounds like perfection. After all, history abroad has been pervaded by tyranny. 

     Despite this nation’s roots, we as a people continue to struggle against inequality and face regular economic difficulty and lapses in quality of living. One thing from the speaker’s statement echoes with me, “we didn’t scare so easy.” While I discredit the idea of a “best nation,” I believe that the US is the best nation in the world for me. There is still rich land and opportunity. There is still hope for growth. I watch my nation jump into social reform like national Health Care and No Child Left Behind. While they are helpful in times of need, they ultimately cost more than they are worth-literally. Social Security has made the elderly in our society the most expensive senior class in the world despite significantly lower living conditions than abroad. That is just one example. These various forms of welfare, however, are the worst things we can do for ourselves. This nation will one day find economic prosperity again so long as the populace remains motivated to seek the best version of their own experience and profit. Our nation rests upon entrepreneurship–how else could we pay for welfare? Welfare makes things easy. Its a simple and easy choice, but it detracts from the self-reliance that drives a capitalist economy. In the end, profit will rescue the nation from poor living conditions and inequality. 

    I believe in this nation, but I see us taking the wrong path. While I do believe in the importance of self-reliance and welfare for single mothers and wounded veterans, we need not to scare and jump into far left and far right revolutions. Things will be okay. I love being an American, because my life is in my own hands. There is no path. There is no safety net. There is just a frontier of exploration reminiscent of the American frontier itself. Over the summer, I tried paying for my own food, gas, and apartment with my salary from working as a fishing guide. It was fun feeling my own hard work and self-taught skill take care of me. I know that America has endless possibility for that feeling, and no one is going to tell me where I can find it. American life is an adventure-I can see that already. I look forward to determining my own future and battling all the forces like taxes and mega-cooperations. Maybe I am naive and hell-bent on changing my life and that of others, but I know that this land still has a guarantee of freedom and freedom of prosperity, and that alone is all I could want. Above all, I am not scared. In the end, it will be the educated and motivated youth that can solve the problems this nation faces today.

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