by Kerby Anderson
Is America great? Was America great? It looks like we will be having a debate about those questions for the next few months. During the Fourth of July weekend, many on the Left used the #AmericaWasNeverGreat hashtag on social media. While most of us were celebrating this nation’s founding, liberals and progressives were making long lists of America’s sins.
Of course these critics have every right to do so. That’s what the First Amendment is all about. And it is worth mentioning that many of the other countries in this world do not grant its citizens the privilege of doing so. Perhaps they should be a little grateful that they could fill social media with every possible criticism of this country and not have to pay any consequences.
The reason for the hashtag is fairly obvious. Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again.” And there are many others who not only believe America was great in the past, but is great today. Talk show host Michael Medved starts every program and ends every program with the statement that this is “the greatest nation on God’s green earth.” Given the decline in America, people sometimes ask him if he still thinks it is the greatest nation. He always responds by asking them, can you think of a better nation?
Fortune Magazine used 75 criteria to look at a country’s progress in areas such as entrepreneurship, cultural influence, business-friendly policies and economic progress. They concluded that Germany was the best country, with the United States coming in fourth. The United States was first in power but lower in a few other categories. Even if you accept the rating criteria used by Fortune, you can still say that America is one of the greatest countries in the world.
Is America great? Was America ever great? There are lots of people who don’t believe that it was. Let’s have a debate about America’s greatness that involves more than a hashtag of a 140 characters.