Opinion: Why Do We Have So Many Problems If America Is Perfect?

Walter Rhein

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Today, kids in schools are no longer encouraged to ask questions. They have to sit still, repeat the Pledge of Allegiance, declare that they live in the best country in the world, and forget about learning any history.

Anyone who points out even one problem in our nation is criticized. “You should feel grateful just to live here.”

Meanwhile, the same people who attack you for any criticism constantly complain about things like election integrity. Nobody ever says, “If you don’t like perfect American elections, why don’t you move to Russia?”

Americans think they have freedom of speech, but if you point out any areas of potential improvement, you’re met with hostility and threats. How are we supposed to solve our problems if we can’t even have a respectful discussion about them?

The fact is that the United States is saddled with unsustainable debt. If you look at the facts, you’ll see that multiple Democratic presidents have managed to reduce the deficit, but Republicans are inclined to make it swell out of proportion.

Everybody knows that we have to do something about the debt, but the only solution that’s ever offered is to try to squeeze more money out of the working poor. This is never going to work because the members of the working poor don’t have any money. Even if you took every penny from every struggling and impoverished person, you’d still have a crushing national debt.

The truth is that there are a lot of people living in poverty in the United States. Some people say “all lives matter” but it doesn’t seem we do a lot to help people in poverty. If we did, they wouldn’t be in poverty. Why are we incapable of finding a solution?

Some politicians say that the fact so many people want to come here proves the United States is the greatest country in the world. But why is that proof? The people who try to come here don’t know what it’s like here. They haven’t lived here. They’re listening to the propaganda.

Has everyone failed to consider that maybe if we were more honest about the problems in our country, we’d have less of an issue with immigration? If we told the rest of the world, “Don’t come here because we’re a mess and we can’t even take care of ourselves,” perhaps people wouldn’t be flooding our borders.

Did you ever think of that? But no, if you say something like that, people become enraged. It’s like some people in our country don’t want to solve anything.

Let’s talk about how the United States has more people in jail than any other country in the world. Let’s talk about private prisons that are funded by taxpayer money. Everybody knows that the United States military is the most expensive in the world, but did you know that the United States police force would be the third most expensive military in the world?

We like to say that the military and the police are there to protect us, but at the same time, they are there to control us. Many people recognize that the government represents the single greatest threat to your freedom. Well, the military and the police are part of the government.

But when people talk about reducing the debt, they always talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare. Those programs are funded by money that’s taken out of our paychecks. Why do Americans stand for talk like that? If we are spending too much money, let’s cut our inflated military, police, and prison budget.

The government is going broke taking money from us to put us in jail. When all the workers are in jail, where will the money come from?

On top of that, our healthcare is the most expensive in the world. Even if you have insurance, you’re likely to get sick and lose everything you own. I’d rather work hard all my life and have something to give to my children. It’s not right that I’ll get sick and have to spend all my money paying for a medication my taxes probably funded in the first place.

We need to be honest about the reality of our country. There’s a massive propaganda campaign that trains people to become hostile whenever a reasonable person points out the real problems. Instead of discussing realistic solutions, people start saying “Move somewhere else! We’ll pack your bags for you!”

I think the people who truly care about the future of the United States of America are those that recognize we have issues and who are willing to propose reasonable solutions. The way we’ve been doing things until now hasn’t worked. It’s time we recognized our problems and worked to create a better society.

The way we start is by respectfully acknowledging that things aren’t as perfect as everyone likes to claim. Saying that means you love the country.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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