Another view of America
written by Ron:
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Last week I wrote a column and among its various platitudinous observations was a remark that, “There’s hardly a person in any country on planet Earth that doesn’t think that America is the greatest land of all.” I continued with the reverence for my homeland by stating, “Most of the inhabitants of our globe would leave wherever they are and come to American in a second…to live in America is the dream of billions.”
Perhaps I overstated a tad. Thinking more on the subject, I realize that there are people who live in a township in Denmark, a burgh in Ireland, a city in Spain or a town in Australia who might be warmly satisfied to remain in their home borough.
One of our readers in Japan provided a reply to my comments of last week. The responder is a world famous writer of books who questions the accuracy of my claims as listed above. What might have exacerbated the situation with the reader is my claim: “And with all this we remain the shining beacon of freedom and opportunity to the world. If there ever was a human paradise, this country, this group of united states, is it.”
Our reader in Japan differs with my claim for the United States in a handful of areas. He begins: “Sorry Ron. You’ve got it a bit wrong. If you’d allow anyone in Japan to enter the United States with an immigrant visa, I doubt that you’d get 10% of the populace to take you up on it.”
The reader comments: “The Lehman Shock, as we call it here (in Japan), seems to tell people on the outside that those who perpetrate disaster go free and clear, that there is no system of responsibility in America’s financial system.”
He continues to comment on the low scores on scholastic tests that indicate that a generation of Americans is not getting a good education.
A strong point is made over the personalized debating not only in the Republican debates but also in our Congress. Another point is made that Americans can no longer discuss things in a civilized manner. We are becoming specialists in causing anger. Our reader wonders whether our needed solutions will come from the right or left. He questions about “who cares about the disabled?”
Our reader would like to see America make a social contract with its citizens. He ends his comments with this: “And in America’s case, the whole should be the synergy of all the parts. But today, instead of pulling together toward common goals, each American pulls only in the way he or she wants to go.”
And to you, dear reader, I thank you for your intelligent and cogent comments. You have surely observed the errors and weaknesses in our country; our system of government. We have traveled far, but our long journey remains.
As I ended last week’s column I wrote, “All Americans should take a deep and abiding interest in the coming election… You have tremendous power in your hands, use it.”
It is, indeed, interesting, helpful and valuable to open our minds to what others think of us. It could lead to the improvements we unquestionably need to make.
Thanks, dear reader.