Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All this rhetoric about the United States being the greatest country on earth only serves to incite the emotions and passions of voters. Each candidate seems to believe that if he can incite enough positive nationalistic feelings associated with their campaign, then they will win the votes of the people. And with the way politics seems to be run these days, who could blame them?

Strangely enough, that manipulation of voter patriotism is not the thing that upset me the most about the speeches made at both of the political parties’ conventions.

What upset me was the fact that I thought politics had finally grown up out of this mentality that “America will always be the number one nation in the world,” and “We have to work hard to beat the other countries in their quest for becoming number one!”

Why does America have to be number one, anyway? What sort of juvenile competitiveness motivates us to be so blinded as to say that people in America are the smartest, most creative, and hardest working people in the world?

I may sound unpatriotic or even treasonous, but I’m not. I just can’t convince myself that because I happened to be born in the United States, I am more intelligent, creative, and hard-working than someone born in China or Africa or Europe.

Yes, America is a great country, and yes, we have pioneered the technological revolution and redefined the industries of all types, but that does not mean that people in our country are better than anyone else, or that great achievements don’t happen in other countries all over the world as well.

What really upset me about the political conventions this week was not any of the actual “politics” being discussed, but the underlying mindset of the American people that they revealed.

I hope that American can finally grow up and realize that this competition between nations to be the “best” is unnecessary, and that together as an international community, we could accomplish and achieve so much more than we ever could by ourselves.

I stand behind my country as a citizen, but I stand first behind the world as a member of humanity, and refuse to place the welfare of our citizens over the welfare of the rest of the world.

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