As a student at USF for more than three years and a columnist for The Oracle for one of those years, I have found that the newspaper, on a whole, leans more to the liberal side of issues.
However, every so often, I read somethings in this fine publication that turn my mood slightly sour and make me cringe just a bit. I speak of the numerous letters to the editor, editorial and opinion columns that put the United States on par with countries such as Iraq and Cambodia in terms of evilness.
To the people who write such things: In one sense, you are correct. It is true that America has not had the greatest of pasts, and that our present course of action concerning the “war on terror” might not be the greatest of ideas. However, I am proud to say that I live in the United States for other reasons, despite what you ultra-liberal pundits, prognosticators and human megaphones say.
Consider the fact that if you take any modern country, you are going to find faults as bad or worse than what the United States has done. Take Great Britain, which for at least a hundred years enslaved and ruled cruelly over people on five continents. Or France, whose actions in North Africa, mainly Algeria, are just as despicable. Or Turkey and Germany, whose pasts have both been marred by the genocide of minorities.
The simple fact is that all countries have done bad things. It’s a fact that you dissenters tend to skew and ignore these facts in order to portray America as the biggest bully the world has ever known.
Domestically, there is nearly no place better in the world to live than the United States. Sure, some people will point to some countries in Europe as more concerned with the welfare of their nation’s citizens, but at what cost? Tax rates in Scandinavian countries are the highest in the world; incidentally, so are the suicide rates.
But most importantly, at least to me, America is one of the only countries in the world where you can say almost anything you want and get away with it. For instance, I could call the president an idiot and hint that I would rather see someone else in office without worrying about having some body part of mine cut off slowly with a dull knife and being hung in Centro Ybor as an example of what will happen to other dissenters.
This right is guaranteed to all people, no matter what race or creed or religious background, in our constitution — one of the greatest political documents ever forged. It was so nearly perfect that it’s only been amended 17 times in more than 200 years. Nearly every constitution existent in the world today is based on the U.S. Constitution, a testament to the timelessness and effectiveness of the document.
Where else in the world can the vote of me, a lowly and rather unimportant college student, count exactly the same as a billionaire’s like Bill Gates?
At least here I don’t have to worry about people bursting into my house and hacking my family to pieces with machetes. Or force me to watch my parents be executed, my sister raped and then make me march to a concentration camp.
It’s true that America has its problems, but what country doesn’t? All I know is, I thank whoever is watching over us that I was born an American, a citizen of one of the greatest nations in the world.
Joe Roma is a junior majoring in political firstname.lastname@example.org