Has the United States become a new evil empire in the 21st Century?
The discontent within our country and anti-American sentiment around the world could lead one to believe that the US is heading down a destructive path.
Before recounting all the reasons why Americans and other nations believe the US has become a maleficent place, it is useful to consider its positive attributes.
The most important, and most underrated, fact is that Americans are free. We can do and say anything we please if we do not break any laws.
Are our laws over-restrictive? Not really. In fact they are less confining than any other place in the world. Americans are not allowed to murder each other. We must operate our vehicles responsibly. We are not allowed to cheat on or abuse our neighbors. Violence is generally frowned upon except in self-defense. Minorities, religious groups and sexual preferences are all protected by our Constitution. We are permitted to own certain types of weapons to protect ourselves. And so on.
Globally just about every country envies America. Immigrants flock to America from many places. We gladly accept these people if they are not troublemakers, agree to our laws and want to assimilate into our society. This precludes those who enter the country illegally and those who want to do us harm.
Our capitalistic system enables citizens and immigrants to obtain good jobs so that they can provide for their families. It is possible to rise above others with hard work and creative thinking. Generally Americans are proud of those who are accomplished.
You may live anywhere in the country without restrictions, in urban centers, rural areas, in the mountains or beside the sea.
Most citizens are happy and have no desire to move abroad. Our workers do strive for more compensation and better working conditions. This is totally acceptable assuming that workers do not overestimate their relative value.
America is a melting pot. Because of this every kind of human is represented in the country. At times these groups conflict with each other. In earlier times certain people were unjustly enslaved and discriminated against. Today our laws require that all Americans be treated equally. This has been a long and arduous process. But progress has been made. If you have any doubts about this, you should read the laws that prohibit wanton discrimination.
Certain groups believe that more needs to be done to level the playing field in America. For instance some complain that the police and the court system do not dole out justice evenly. This issue is front and center today. It will eventually be settled in an amicable way if the protesters are reasonable and patient.
Some groups think that education is tilted towards the affluent, so that prestigious schools only admit those of high socioeconomic standing. Skeptics would respond that the beneficiaries of better education have learned to appreciate the value of higher education more so than others. This results in very diverse performances by minority groups. It is a long-term and very complex issue.
A growing number of Americans resent the 1% among us who earn the most money and have the highest standard of living. Given the 99%-1% dynamics of this issue, it is not a surprise that the majority feels deprived by the minority. But the 1% is powerful and many Americans strive to become part of this group. More and more are starting to realize that income mobility can become a reality with ambition and great effort, things that the 1% characterizes.
Liberals relentlessly assail income inequality. If they had their way they would take from the prosperous and transfer wealth to lower socioeconomic groups. This type of public policy runs counter to the ethos of our society. A better plan would be to enable all boats to rise together. Robin Hood tactics do not solve the problem of income inequality.
Globally many countries resent the success, life styles and happiness in America. They assume we are accumulating wealth illegally because we have so much. The leaders of these attacks on America are able to divert domestic problems by demeaning our standard of living. When these same leaders visit America they frequent all of the most expensive restaurants and stores and live opulently in hotel rooms while their people starve.
I love America. I’m proud of the generosity directed to needy people in our country and many around the world. I’m thankful that we have a strong military that protects our freedom and intercedes when others overseas have serious problems. I think we have an obligation to stop genocide and fight disease.
I don’t believe we need to decrease our standard of living for anyone. I think we should spend our hard earned money in any way we wish. I would encourage affluent Americans to willingly pay their taxes and to support eleemosynary projects that assist others.
America is certainly not an evil empire.