Growing up in a border town in Canada, I, for much of my youth, identified as being American. I watched American news, I listened to American radio, I belted out the American national anthem while jumping on my parent’s bed imitating Curly Sue and I understood Fahrenheit and Imperial more than Celsius and Metric. It probably helped that I’m from a part of Canada that not only identifies as being American, but also much of the time feels excluded and forgotten by our own government. As the majority of Canadians pride themselves on the fact that they are not American. I actually used to dream of becoming the president. I was sure I could do it. I was going to be the first Canadian female president and it was going to be amazing. I know now that as a Canadian, being president isn’t possible, unless you’re Ted Cruz. But he’s a republican, so he’s great at finding loopholes.
When I was a kid I believed that America truly was the best county in the world; a place where you can immigrate with nothing and die with everything, a place that fought for equality and empowered its people, a land with the best schools and worlds best hospitals. But like Santa, as I grew up, I learned that America, best country in the world, doesn’t actually exist.
But it should.
America should be the place where every kid has a chance to get the best education, so that it has the smartest population. America should be the place that separates God from State so that religious biases don’t get in the way of being humane to its people. America should be the place that has the best health care, but not just for the rich, for everyone. No one should have cancer and go bankrupt at the same time. American politicians shouldn’t be tied down to corporations, oil or pharma. Medical discoveries should be shared with their people and the world to better the health of the world in general and not held back for the sake of pharmaceutical profit. Political decisions should be based on whether things would benefit the greater good of the people vs. the greater bank accounts of the rich. America should be a place of science and discovery and a place that leads the world in green energy with leaders who believe in science and global warming. America should be a place where all people are created equal. Where a woman’s body is her body that she can do what she pleases with it. Where birth control is a personal choice, and no one else’s. Where leaders believe in common sense, put the people first, act rationally, and where party leaders embody sanity and decency. America should be a country where each neighborhood feels safe and not like a warzone. Where foolish wars on drugs are abolished and non-violent offenders are able to move forward with their lives. Where best food practices are adhered to and animals live in a cage free safe environment. A place where people can order cheese and not be served wood pulp. It should be a country with a people who is informed about the world with actual facts. A place that looks at factual history to see where they can learn, evolve and grow as a nation. Where people who take advantage of the disadvantaged are punished and not rewarded with wealth. Where the international world looks upon them for leadership, guidance and mentorship. A place that welcomes immigrants from impoverished nations with open and warm arms. And a country that isn’t too proud to look to its peers to see what they are doing right, and implements and improves programs that would greatly benefit its people.
A country with an educated electorate that would not elect a president who doesn’t believe in science, climate change, equal rights, and humane treatment of others, nor a president who wants to defund education, health care and social security programs. Or would elect a president who wants to keep its people uninformed, uneducated and malleable enough to follow them blindly.
America should be the place that embodies the good in human nature, its people should be the best and the brightest in the world and its government should empower its citizens to be smarter, healthier, kinder and more active in making the world not just better for themselves, but for everyone.
I wish wholeheartedly, that in my lifetime, America would live up to its promise of being a great country. That it will be the envy of the world. That it will be a true leader that demonstrates kindness, empathy, education and good values. Not religious values, but values that put open-mindedness, acceptance and compassion above fear, hatred and stupidity.
I truly hope that America will finally live up to its motto of being the best Goddamn country in the free world. Because when it is, we all will be better for it.
NOTE: I know that this is a comedy blog and I shouldn’t get political, but it’s hard to watch and the current state of American politics is frightening for other countries, because the US is one of if not the most influential country in the world that has way too many bombs and weapons for someone who believes torture is a good idea to be leading their country. Also, I know I may lose readers over this, but what can you do? What’s that all about?