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On Balance, How Proud Of America Are You?

On Balance, How Proud Of America Are You?  

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I send this video every year to FBG subscribers on the 4th. 

https://youtu.be/aYmV3N64ND4

It's patriotic for sure but not sappy. It's more American cultural stuff.

But it had me thinking. How proud are people of America?

And I get it, that's a hard question. Not Donald Trump's America. Not whoever is the counter to Trump's America.

Your America. 

And note, I said "On Balance". Certainly there are things in America that can make me both extremely proud and extremely ashamed. My question is on balance, how proud of America are you.

And also, not the "pride is a bad thing" and we should all be humble. You know what I mean. Proud in the sense of how much you're proud of the country. 

If you're not American, please refrain from voting. 

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I can say very proud aside from our rates of incarceration, our militarized police, and parts of our foreign policy. 

I tend to take the American project very seriously and marvel at the extent of its success in achieving some basic democratic tenets in a country so large and diverse.

That said, I have great fears for the coming generations, however, and would be remiss if I were blindly self-satisfied.

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I'm proud of our country as a whole, but I'm not proud of how Americans are treating Americans right now.

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Well, I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

Edited by Jayrod
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I'm proud of the US as an institution as set out by the founding fathers and the opportunity and freedom that exists here.  I'm not too proud of my fellow Americans since I feel, on balance, we're loud, arrogant, and narrow-minded. 

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on a geological time scale...very proud

last ten years.....on the fence

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I am thankful I was born in the US and feel extremely fortunate to be American by birth.  Personal pride has never been an emotion or feeling I associate with my nationality.  I am often proud about our sports teams' performances, and the accomplishments of other American individuals and companies who have achieved great things.  I don't feel any personal sense of pride or accomplishment due to the good fortune that I was born here, nor do I feel any shame or misgiving due to the actions of other Americans.

 

** - accordingly, there's no appropriate option to vote here for me

Edited by CletiusMaximus
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6 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I am thankful I was born in the US and feel extremely fortunate to be American by birth.  Personal pride has never been an emotion or feeling I associate with my nationality.  I am often proud about our sports teams' performances, and the accomplishments of other American individuals and companies who have achieved great things.  I don't feel any personal sense of pride or accomplishment due to the good fortune that I was born here, nor do I feel any shame or misgiving due to the actions of other Americans.

 

** - accordingly, there's no appropriate option to vote here for me

Sigh. How happy are you with where America is right now?

Same choices for answers. 

 

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Somewhere between on the fence and ashamed.  When traveling abroad I'm frequently amazed at how better a lot of things are outside of the US.  So many things from healthcare to potato chips.  While there certainly are things to be proud of, the notion that we should have the level of pride like we are the greatest nation on earth really is a bit of a head shaker.

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I'm above mostly proud but decidedly less than extremely proud.

Always room for improvement.

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Probably on the fence.   Lots to be proud about, lots to be disgusted about.

I am sure you could say that about most countries, it is not unique to the US.   The reason for that is that humans are humans.  Some are good, some are horrible no matter your nationality, race or religion.

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42 minutes ago, hagmania said:

 

Always room for improvement.

Yes just because you are the best doesn't mean you can't improve.

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I’m proud of America, that we’ve made it this far.  As for her current condition, on the fence is probably the best description. We’re at our best when we have a uniting goal or project.  Was at the Kennedy Space Center last week to watch a SpaceX rocket launch and did the visitors center thing whilst waiting (until 230am).  Seeing Shuttle Atlantis up close and in person, watching the mini-documentary about the lengthy design of that machine (started in ‘71, I was unaware of that factoid), and then the missions they did to deliver the Hubble telescope, build the ISS, and many other awesome things...I was literally on the verge of starting a rousing “USA USA USA!” chant.  I think we need that again, something big to unite us through national pride.  I’d say we’re in a bit of a rut right now without such a goal

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At least three directions I could go with various answers.

*I am proud of the various bubbles that I am a part of - whether it's the ones developed as a child, college student, young adult, parent, or the web.  I think there are a lot more great things going on in this country than what many are led to believe.

*I am ashamed about a lot of what goes on outside of my bubbles, but I actively remind myself that there is so much good happening that I am simply unaware of.  It's just more difficult to find that information in the finite amount of time I allow for myself to stay informed.

*I need to work harder and make better decisions than the generation before me so my children get to adulthood in a comparable position as I.  But I also understand that there are luxuries we have now that we did not have when I was a kid.  And living isn't free.  It's discouraging that so many in elder generations fail to understand both that and that what we have now is because of decisions their generation made.  Because kids haven't changed.  Adults have.

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Extremely proud.  If you filter out the vocal minority on both sides, you get the greatest country on Earth.

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Still the greatest country on this little marble 

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D- all of the above.

The best and worst the globe has to offer.

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On the fence. 

Proud of contributions to science and business 

Not so proud of recent positions (last 20 yrs) on climate change and military interventions.  

Not proud that you can always spot the American in other countries by obesity and sneakers.

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1 hour ago, Scoresman said:

Somewhere between on the fence and ashamed.  When traveling abroad I'm frequently amazed at how better a lot of things are outside of the US.  So many things from healthcare to potato chips.  While there certainly are things to be proud of, the notion that we should have the level of pride like we are the greatest nation on earth really is a bit of a head shaker.

Not picking on you, GB, just generally curious. But as to the bolded...

Are you saying you don't think we are the greatest country on earth?

If not, which one is?

Also if not, why live here and not there?

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2 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

Sigh. How happy are you with where America is right now?

Same choices for answers. 

 

Is this a semantics thing for you then?  Being happy with something is not the same as being proud of it.  Being unhappy with something is much different than being ashamed of it.  I can be extremely unhappy with certain aspects or events in my experience as an American, but am in no way ashamed of those things because they don't reflect on me in any way.  I can be very happy with lots of this about this country, but that doesn't make me proud in the slightest. 

 

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1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

D- all of the above.

The best and worst the globe has to offer.

I don't know about worst. 

When you read about some of the atrocities in some areas of the world, with racial cleansing, rape used as torture in the various African wars, women being stoned to death with out trials in the middle east, I think there are things much worse else where than we deal with in the US.

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6 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

I don't know about worst. 

When you read about some of the atrocities in some areas of the world, with racial cleansing, rape used as torture in the various African wars, women being stoned to death with out trials in the middle east, I think there are things much worse else where than we deal with in the US.

I agree. I did, however just eat at Applebee's, so my view was clouded.

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4 minutes ago, ShamrockPride said:

On the fence. America is a great concept, but has been spotty in execution since its inception.

For now it's the best, but who knows about the future.

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Pride is not my thing. It’s original sin for a reason.

America is a great place to live, at least if you’re fortunate to have the advantages I’ve been given. So I’m very happy to live here. But I’m definitely not proud of the rabid nationalism that has been enabled by our current political climate.

Edited by Terminalxylem
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30 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Is this a semantics thing for you then?  Being happy with something is not the same as being proud of it.  Being unhappy with something is much different than being ashamed of it.  I can be extremely unhappy with certain aspects or events in my experience as an American, but am in no way ashamed of those things because they don't reflect on me in any way.  I can be very happy with lots of this about this country, but that doesn't make me proud in the slightest. 

 

This guy gets it. While I sometimes feel a bit of Patriotism during events like the Olympics, I never really understood taking pride in something you personally have little to do with.

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5 minutes ago, Terminalxylem said:

This guy gets it. While I sometimes feel a bit of Patriotism during events like the Olympics, I never really understood taking pride in something you personally have little to do with.

Might as well cross post this in the team threads.

Edited by Leroy Hoard

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I think what America stands for is something to be proud of. To be that beacon of light. That beacon has lifted many people here as well as others across the world. I also think we were an inspiration for other countries to model after.

Unfortunately, and not just with our current administration, we have been forgetting and ignoring what got us there. We are falling behind. Other countries are doing "us" better than we are.

We need to be more tolerant, focus on education and general health for everyone, and stop the widening gap between the ultra rich and everyone else.  Our world rankings in categories such as healthcare and education are simply not good and nothing to be proud of now.

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3 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

I think what America stands for is something to be proud of. To be that beacon of light. That beacon has lifted many people here as well as others across the world. I also think we were an inspiration for other countries to model after.

Unfortunately, and not just with our current administration, we have been forgetting and ignoring what got us there. We are falling behind. Other countries are doing "us" better than we are.

We need to be more tolerant, focus on education and general health for everyone, and stop the widening gap between the ultra rich and everyone else.  Our world rankings in categories such as healthcare and education are simply not good and nothing to be proud of now.

Our current administration is simply a symptom of a much bigger problem. Us. We created the environment for something like that to come to power.

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Fence.

 

I think as an American society, we're taking the accomplishments and greatness of  our past generations and are using them to prop up our inflated opinions of ourselves.

Edited by Thunderlips
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1 hour ago, Nathan R. Jessep said:

Not picking on you, GB, just generally curious. But as to the bolded...

Are you saying you don't think we are the greatest country on earth?

If not, which one is?

Also if not, why live here and not there?

I don't think picking one overall greatest nation is really possible.  I mean I think we're pretty up there when it comes to day to day life.  But when you look at specific things, there are a lot of things that are done better elsewhere.  Healthcare? No brainer.  Food? Subjective, but we're really not tops here either.  Public transportation? Another no brainer that other countries blow us away there.  These are examples of areas I'm certainly not proud of our country for.  A lot of quality of life studies I've seen put places like Denmark or similar countries ahead of us, mostly for valid reason.   

I live here primarily because my family lives here, I speak the language and it's a culture and way of life I've known my whole life.  I have family in Europe and I think I would certainly be happy living there if my French was a bit better.  

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I'm super proud of America but super ashamed of about 30% (give or take) of Americans. 

It's really hard for me to reconcile how great of a country we are can produce such a disgusting electorate.

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5 hours ago, Andy Dufresne said:

We ain't trying to build walls to keep people from leaving.

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Yet.

~Gilead

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16 minutes ago, moleculo said:

I'm super proud of America but super ashamed of about 30% (give or take) of Americans. 

It's really hard for me to reconcile how great of a country we are can produce such a disgusting electorate.

Pretty much this. Proud of the country and all the freedoms I have but not proud of the way things have been going recently.

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3 hours ago, Brony said:

Not proud that you can always spot the American in other countries by obesity and sneakers.

What's wrong with sneakers?

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Extremely ashamed. That we could have moved so far backward in such a short period of time is alarming. More pointedly, and you could argue that this response is due to what's happening very recently, but what is happening at the southern border is an absolute disgrace. I suppose you could read "on balance" as meaning let's average everything out over the past two hundred plus years, in which case my response is overly harsh, but we are a "what have you done for me lately" country and what we have done lately is shameful.

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In many ways, we've lost our way.  Its sad.

But at the end of the day, America basically saved the world twice and is responsible for a huge chunk of the great artistic, scientific and societal advances of the past 100 years.

Again, we're messed up right now. But I think everything great we've done buys us a decade or two of correction time. All these other countries and peoples taking the layup potshots at us right now are very conveniently forgetting some of the crappy stuff they've done.

We're a very easy target right now (and that's our fault) but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, the world will always look to us. Its gonna happen again, and I'm confident we'll answer the bell.

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3 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Is this a semantics thing for you then?  Being happy with something is not the same as being proud of it.  Being unhappy with something is much different than being ashamed of it.  I can be extremely unhappy with certain aspects or events in my experience as an American, but am in no way ashamed of those things because they don't reflect on me in any way.  I can be very happy with lots of this about this country, but that doesn't make me proud in the slightest. 

 

Not a semantics thing at all. And of course pride isn't the same as happiness. It's a different question. That's why I asked. 

On balance, how happy are you with America?

Extremely happy

Mostly happy

On the fence

Mostly unhappy

Extremely unhappy

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3 hours ago, McBokonon said:

We should be doing way better for more people with what we have. C- at best. 

McBok, what's up bro?!  Are you still in Phoenix?  I thought you moved back to Pitt.

I couldn't disagree more.  The US is the greatest country in the world because we can have this convo, and it isn't close.  Rapinoe can thumb her nose at the US, that's her prerogative.  Oh BTW, the reason she can do that is that we put processes in place 40 years ago to enable women's sports equivalence.  Does anyone notice that we tend to kick ### in women's sports on a global stage? The answer is no.  

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I Yesterday I read that the governor of Arizona pulled Nike’s business incentives and called them out after they cancelled the Betsy Ross sneaker, after Kaepernick called out Nike for it. In his social media release the governor said something like “we should be proud of our history.”   I stopped and paused there. How insensitive and tone deaf can one be to sit there and celebrate our proud history when the issue is specifically focused on race.  

I’m generally proud to be an American (though sometimes more embarrassed than proud in recent years), and proud of PARTS of our history. But to sit there and call others out for not being universally proud of our history and everything in it is just absurd. We have some AWFUL history. We have done some absolutely shameful and indefensible things.  If anything I’m proud of some aspects of our history, and encouraged by the changes we’ve made over time to correct for some other aspects of our history.  

We’re getting there.  But we got plenty very wrong along the way. 

Edited by Otis
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 We are at perpetual war that includes getting our soldiers killed as well as innocent children "now think they are white" killed.  10's of millions without healthcare, hungery children, constantly squeezed middle and lower class etc all while media cries poor for our "persecuted" rich who have our politicians in their pockets to do what they please.    

 

So I leave with this:

 

https://youtu.be/1zqOYBabXmA

 

Will 
It's not the greatest country in the world, professor, that's my answer.

Moderator 
[pause] You're saying—

Will
Yes.

Moderator
Let's talk about—

Will 
Fine. [to the liberal panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paychecks, but he [gesturing to the conservative panelist] gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn't cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don't like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fin' smart, how come they lose so ###### ALWAYS!

And [to the conservative panelist] with a straight face, you're going to tell students that America's so starspangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.

And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don't know what the fk you're talking about?! Yosemite?!!!

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

Will 
[to moderator] Enough?

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11 minutes ago, IC FBGCav said:

 We are at perpetual war that includes getting our soldiers killed as well as innocent children "now think they are white" killed.  10's of millions without healthcare, hungery children, constantly squeezed middle and lower class etc all while media cries poor for our "persecuted" rich who have our politicians in their pockets to do what they please.    

 

So I leave with this:

 

https://youtu.be/1zqOYBabXmA

 

Will 
It's not the greatest country in the world, professor, that's my answer.

Moderator 
[pause] You're saying—

Will
Yes.

Moderator
Let's talk about—

Will 
Fine. [to the liberal panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paychecks, but he [gesturing to the conservative panelist] gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn't cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don't like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fin' smart, how come they lose so ###### ALWAYS!

And [to the conservative panelist] with a straight face, you're going to tell students that America's so starspangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.

And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don't know what the fk you're talking about?! Yosemite?!!!

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

Will 
[to moderator] Enough?

Good post. While we’re still the greatest innovators and businesspeople on the planet, a lot of the America is the best! rhetoric is relying more on our track record than current trajectory.

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I guess "on the fence". 

Not because I have balanced everything that is going on, but rather because I've reached the level of "I can't care, nor have the time to truly know about everything that is happening at any given time."

Is the population suppose to have complete knowledge of tariffs, Russia, NK, immigration, gun control, abortion, nike, antifa, climate change, Oregon GOP, etc, etc, etc.? Most of those things we have zero control over. Many don't effect me/us directly. There are conflicting reports and conflicting discussion. Who has time for that? Reading one article doesn't make me an expert. And certainly doesn't give enough information to determine whether or not America is doing the right thing. My decision could be swayed based on who I communicate with (this board, facebook, family, friends, etc) 

So to reflect on the question is to reflect on your personal life. Are you living your best life? Is America offering you the chances to be your best? I have everything I could want or need. I've helped others to achieve their best. The older I get, the more I think about my children. Are they going to have the opportunity to live their best life? This forces me to look at things from a micro level and ignore everything else. 

I think a majority of this country is overloaded with issues that are deemed a crisis. CNN has their "Breaking News" banner up every day. I've become numb to what constitutes an important issue. Factor in the political positioning with each issue and I honestly just shrug my shoulders and change the channel.

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