Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Things Europe Does Way Better Than America

From AlterNet:

The term “American exceptionalism” is often tossed around by politicians. Neocons, far-right Christian fundamentalists and members of the Republican Party in particular seem to hate it when anyone dares to suggest that some aspects of European life are superior to how we do things. But facts are facts, and the reality is that in some respects, Europe is way ahead of the United States. From health care to civil liberties to sexual attitudes, one can make a strong case for “European exceptionalism.”

Click here for the list.

I'm just going to be honest here for a moment: America, by several quantifiable standards, is NOT the greatest country in the world.  I mean, I love my country, which is why I'd very much like for America to be the greatest country in the world, but the first step in that direction is honesty.  That is, we've got to acknowledge, as a people, that sports fan style patriotic chants, while just fine during the Olympics or the World Cup, don't bring us any closer to improving our nation.

Really, it seems like we've been telling ourselves how great we are this past decade or so precisely because we all know, deep down, whether we acknowledge it or not, that we are not so great.  In other words, we're in deep denial.  Avoiding our problems can only make things worse.

And really, at the most basic philosophical level, our problems are in no way impossible to solve.  It's simple, really.  All we need to do is ask two questions, put our heads together, and come up with answers: what are our goals as a nation, and how do we go about achieving them?  Ah, but the devil is in the details, you say.  Well, yes, of course, that's always true.  But it's also true that we're discussing, as a nation, everything but these two questions.  Like I said above, we're in denial.  Our heads are lodged so deeply in the sand, or our collective ass, either way, whatever, that we refuse even to confront those devils-in-the-details.

Western Europe is kicking our butts in terms of quality of life standards.  Are we really going to let a bunch of Euro-trash kick our butts?  Where's your freaking pride?  Don't you love America?  Get with it, people.  We're acting like a bunch of boorish hick Russians.  And I just can't handle that.