“Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Attendee: Brought peace?
Reg: Oh, peace - shut up!
Reg: There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all.
Dissenter: Uh, well, one.
Reg: Oh, yeah, yeah, there's one. But otherwise, we're solid.” – The Life of Brian
That scene from The Life of Brian always reminds me of what America has to put up with. We do more for the world than any other 10 nations combined and then all we hear is endless complaining that we’re not saving the world the right way. Maybe instead of whining so much about how lousy America is, more people should appreciate everything we’ve done.
1) We saved the word from tyranny three times: Granted, we didn’t win WWI, WWII and the Cold War all by ourselves, but we were the biggest factor in all three wars. In WWI, the conflict had bogged down into a stalemate before the Germans stupidly got us involved by trying to get Mexico to attack us. In WWII, both the British and Russians played a crucial role, but neither could have fought back effectively or even held out against the Germans without our incredible industrial base supplying their armies. Oh, and the Cold War? Western Europe had no more chance against the Evil Empire without us than the Rebels did against the Empire without Luke Skywalker. We broke the Soviet Union and the world’s a better place for it. Speaking of which…
2) We’re first at spreading freedom and democracy and there is no second: People who hate America do all sorts of wacky backflips to deny the truth, but America is the world’s oldest continuous republic and we’ve been spreading the word about what a great system of government it is ever since. We haven’t just been talking either. Germany, Japan and South Korea are all free people today because of the United States. Breaking the Soviet Union freed tens of millions from tyranny. What did we do when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan? We set up free republics. The number of people who’ve moved from tyranny to freedom because of the United States is in the hundreds of millions. That brings up another point…
3) We do more to prevent war and create world stability than anyone else: It’s often noted that America is willing and able to use its military power, but that’s because there are only about three “good-guy” nations that can fight and two of them, Britain and Israel, don’t have the strength to project force abroad without help. So, if the bad guys are on the move, who you gonna call? Belgium? Sweden? France? Ha, ha, ha! You could call Russia and China, but if there are bad guys making a move, at best they’re going to be neutral and at worst, they’re siding with them. Oh, and the United Nations? Please….all it does is ask if Britain and America are willing to do all the real fighting while other nations send token forces. Want to know why the Soviet Union didn’t invade Western Europe? It didn’t want to take on the U.S. Why didn’t Saddam Hussein end up keeping Kuwait and then start scarfing up other nations? We kicked his @ss. Know why there hasn’t been another war between North and South Korea since the fifties? America is on the scene. Do you wonder why there hasn’t been a war between China and either Taiwan and Japan in the last fifty years? America is the answer. We also rebuilt Western Europe with the Marshall Plan, we dish out more foreign aid than anyone and we send food all over the world. If you’re in trouble, you want America to show up, which brings up another interesting point….
4) We aren’t using our vast power for conquest: We have a nuclear arsenal, the best military in the world and we’re capable of projecting force anywhere on the planet in a very short period of time.Yet, as Colin Powell said,
"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to live our own lives in peace."
Both Canada and Mexico share a border with the United States and yet neither of them has a serious military. If we wanted to say, invade Canada, what could it do about it? Throw hockey pucks at us? Yet, nobody is living in fear because that’s not what America does. Some ill-informed idiots claimed America was invading Iraq for the oil and Afghanistan for…what, I don’t know – rocks and sand? What else is there in that pesthole? Yet, we didn’t even take the money needed to cover our expenses from those nations. We didn’t invade Europe after WWII; we used the Marshall Plan to help it rebuild. Before the United States, great powers almost universally menaced their neighbors and took what they wanted from them by force. America hasn’t done that since Mexico made the terrible mistake of attacking us after Texas chose to join our nation. Ask yourself if China, Russia and the colonial powers in Europe would do the same if they had our military power today. Of course, we’re not just a great nation militarily, we are a great nation because…
5) Our economy, technological advantage and soft power are unsurpassed in human history: Wanting the same prosperity that the American people have helped turn the citizens of the Soviet Union against their government masters. That prosperity and a tradition of Christian giving has helped make the United States the world’s most generous nation.
Technologically, not only is our military head and shoulders better than anyone else, we invented the Internet. If you need lifesaving surgery, we’re still the place you want to be (and we will continue to be long term if we get rid of Obamacare). If you want to say your nation is technologically superior to America, then go bring back the flag we left on the moon in 1969 first.
Our culture and products are omnipresent across the world as well. Right now, there’s probably some guy in a backward nation wearing a Yankees jersey and typing, “I hate America,” on his Microsoft browser before he goes to McDonald’s and then heads to the theater to watch the new Avengers movie.
Nations like Britain and Rome had a tremendous impact on the nations they conquered, but even without trying, America’s influence extends to the farthest reaches of the globe. The only people who care what’s happening in Switzerland tomorrow are the Swiss, but when America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold.