This Fourth of July, I’ve been reflecting on America’s place in the world. Abraham Lincoln called it “the last best hope of earth”. Ronald Regan called us a shining city on a hill. Yet, when I look around the world today I have reasons to doubt if any of those comments are still true. But I also have reasons to think they hold true today.
America is the one liberal democracy that has been unable to get a hold of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Countries from Canada, to the United Kingdom, to Germany, to South Korea, and to Australia and in between have managed to stop the viruses from spreading while returning to a semblance of normal. Many have even been able to have lower death rates.
I think allahpundit really nailed this. Yes, America has had its failures– our middle east adventurism is a two decade failure. But they’ve always been failures we didn’t think anyone else could do better at. “Sure we didn’t bring democracy to the middle east but if we can’t then it just can’t be done.” But this isn’t that. We failed to control COVID while other countries did. This failure was uniquely American and thousands are dying because of it.
But there are things that still show our greatness. We are still the world’s foremost superpower and the only country challenging us is China. That country controls almost a fifth of the global population. It’s both the most populous and largest country. And it’s a truly evil country. We can go back in time to the millions of deaths from the Great Leap Forward, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, or their support for the evil North Korean regime.
Or we can look at their actions now. They have placed millions in reeducation camps. They are forcing birth control on the Uyghur population– a literal genocide. They covered up the outbreak of COVID-19 leading to a global pandemic that has killed over half a million. They have suppressed the movement for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. They occupy Tibet, have seized parts of their neighbors territory, and have illegally claimed international waters.
America, with all its flaws, still has a devotion to freedom of speech, religion, and assembly like nowhere else. In a time where millions can be thrown in prison for expressing unapproved views, this is the only country where you can’t be thrown in jail or fined for your political views. Even in 2020, that’s a radical proposition.
We have our problems. If we don’t work on them, they’ll be our downfall. But damn I still love being an American.