It’s the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, and in the whirlpool of this year’s election, economic uncertainty and political corruption, I still intend celebrate today. Digging through my criticisms of current American politics and social injustices, I’ve come across a box of potential: my top 8 reasons to love the USA.
Top 8 Reasons to Love America
8. National and state parks. Somehow within the dark and secretive world of government and politics, certain area’s of America’s landscapes are deemed untouchable. In total, the USA has 59 majestic national parks. Luckily, states have followed the federal trend by preserving their own state sponsored parks too, further protecting special areas from the environmental devastation of development. Of course, I wish every landscape was treated with such dignity, but I am grateful that there are a few landscapes our government openly safeguards and cherishes.
7. Music. Let’s face it, the USA has produced (and continues to produce) spectacular music. Genres such as jazz, bluegrass, rock and roll, hip hop and country all sprouted in the USA. We may not be the home of The Beatles, but iconic, monumental artists like Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Dr. Dre and tons more came from this nation.
6. Hollywood. The starry entertainment industry came to fruition in the USA. With hundreds of movies being made each year, Hollywood was the rise of an American cultural force.
The History Coorporative explains, Hollywood alone was considered a cultural icon set apart from the rest of Los Angeles, emphasizing leisure, luxury, and a growing “party scene”.
5. Diverse environments. America hosts a wide range of environmental landscapes. A personal anecdote of mine proves how diverse America’s landscapes are. Both my husband and I are natural born American citizens, and yet I’ve never ever seen snow. My husband, on the other hand, coped with snowy winters growing up. Even though we are both from the same nation, our environmental experiences contrast. One can visit a mountain, a warm beach, a desert, a dense forest or a vast prairie without ever leaving the country.
4. Historical legacy. With these nutty elections approaching in the US, an American citizen can find his/herself dumbfounded and uninspired by the candidates, however looking back to the founders of the US government, one can regain a sense of inspiration and pride. The American Revolution was not only a breakthrough for Americans, but also for the world.
The nation’s second president and one of its original founding fathers, John Adams, elaborates eloquently in a letter he wrote in 1818: But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
3. Multiculturalism. Like a harmonious and gorgeous quilt, America is a patchwork of cultures. America began with a strong and unified foundation, born from a fight with oppression. Today, the quilt continues to grow with more color and culture than ever. Though each patch is different, what makes America special is that these unique patches are sewn together beautifully.
2. The American Dream. The American Dream is just that, a dream. However, this dream is upheld by accompanying lifestyle standards like happiness, freedom, equality, health, property ownership, education and even family. So, while the white picket fence might not be on the top of everyone’s list anymore, the American Dream has helped to maintain optimistic lifestyle values.
1. Woman’s opportunity. I’ve ranked woman’s opportunity as number one for a variety of reasons. Though the rot of sexism still stinks up a room sometimes, the USA is still one of the best countries for women. Many times I’m demolished after reading global news articles about both the cultural and shockingly legal oppression of women. I’ll curl up on my bed dazed and saddened by stories of women and girls who are perpetually plagued by rape, battery and self erasure. My tendency is to mourn, get depressed or grow angry at the world for its obvious cultural hatred of women.
Though I personally encountered and overcame sexist old farts in grad school, a date rape and plenty of sexual harassment while on US territory, I still recognize how much potential a woman has in the US. Rape is a crime. Sexual harassment is illegal. Women are not only offered the opportunity to learn, they are also expected to earn an equal amount of education as men in the USA. Not to mention, the up and coming youth of America is the most egalitarian, collaborative and foward-looking generation.
Ironically, the younger an educated American is, the more connected he/she is to the original aims of the founding fathers. This 4th of July points to a hope rooted in an old American legacy, which is remarkably progressive.