On Independence Day, I thought I’d write about why I love the United States. These items are not necessarily listed in order of importance. Also, I know that due to your particular experience, or the experiences of those you know, these may not be necessarily true in some (or maybe even most) instances.
Also, if you haven’t been to Washington DC, please go. It is a wonderful learning experience.
1. I am able to drink water directly from the tap. I don’t have to boil it first.
2. Women are able to own houses and land.
3. Women can own cars.
4. Women can own their own businesses.
5. We have public schools.
6. We can publicly protest the government.
7. We can publicly protest the government without being shot on sight.
8. We have public-access libraries.
9. Gas prices may be high, but we have access to gas.
10. We have more than one gas station to choose from.
11. We have military troops. Not only that, we have five branches of the military.
11. We do not have compulsory military participation.
12. Our government has a checks and balances system.
13. In the span of one day, I can hear 10 different languages.
14. I can put a letter in the mailbox and with 99% certainty, know that it will arrive at its destination on time.
15. I can travel from state to state without having to produce identification or fill out forms.
16. We have waste collection services.
17. We have indoor plumbing.
18. We have a Center for Disease Control.
19. We have a National Institute of Mental Health.
20. We have a Federal Trade Commission. Recalls – they have, and they will.
21. Our Food and Drug Administration is one of the strictest in the world.
22. We can get student loans from the government, and the interest rates are fair.
23. We have social assistance programs.
24. Within one city block, I can have the best sushi, steak, moo goo gai pan, schnitzel, and falafel.
25. We can have as many (or as few) children as we want.
26. We have national parks, and a lot of them.
27. We do not have a rigid social class structure.
28. We have the Family Medical Leave Act.
29. We have the Smithsonian and its umpteen museums.
30. We have public transportation.
31. We can get a tour of the White House.
32. We can sit in and watch Congress.
33. Our roads are paved.
34. Our air is relatively pollution-free.
35. We have 911.
36. When we call 911, someone actually shows up. Quickly.
37. We have public fire and police service.
38. We can own pets.
39. We have emergency rooms which will treat you regardless of your ability to pay.
40. We have pet emergency services.
41. Our money in the bank is insured by the Federal Reserve.
42. Due process in the courts.
43. Miranda rights.
44. The Supreme Court.
45. We have regular elections. In November. And they don’t just get randomly moved to another month or year.
46. A vast majority of us can vote.
47. We can go to our polling place freely, without intimidation.
48. We have absentee ballots.
49. You can take a walk outside without worrying about being kidnapped.
50. Amber Alerts.
51. Anyone can establish a business.
52. We can travel freely to a majority of countries in the world.
53. We can attend our chosen place of worship without interference.
54. Children with disabilities can get services and can attend public schools.
55. The Americans with Disabilities Act. Yes, a lot of companies had to spend a lot of money to be ADA compliant, but those accomodations made a big difference to a lot of people.
56. Sign language counts towards the foreign language requirement at public colleges.
57. I can take a shower without being concerned that I will get a bacterial infection from the water.
58. We can Google something and be fairly confident that we will have access to that information. Do you think Google is like that in some other countries? Nope. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4645596.stm
59. You can go to your state capitol and meet with your representatives (or their assistants).
60. Most governmental meetings are open to the public.
61. We have laws against domestic violence.
62. We have laws against child abuse.
63. We have laws against animal abuse.
64. You have the right to an attorney.
65. You have the right to homeschool your child.
66. Our historical documents are remarkably intact. I can find records of my ancestors arriving in the US in the 1500s.
67. We have grocery stores. With full shelves. And a lot of variety.
68. We have a variety of airlines to choose from.
69. We have a variety of cars to choose from.
70. There is a Crime Victims Compensation Fund that helps pay for counseling. (This is in Florida, not sure if it’s in other states.)
71. If you pick any 10 people in the United States at random. you will find an amazing array of ethnicities and languages.
72. The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence.
73. You can go to a city or county commission meeting and air your grievances.
74. We have historical preservation societies.
75. We can join a wide variety of clubs and organizations.