With every election cycle comes a surge of over-patriotic sensationalism designed to engage the voters and make those who choose not to wear an american flag ensemble while waving three banner and shouting “were number one!” feel as if they are somehow not American enough. Now this is not to disparage patriotism, I love this country, so much so, that I am willing to stand toe to toe with the rising totalitarianism in order to protect your constitutional rights, yet the overzealous push by the political elite to instill this sense of superiority over the rest of the world, is a cheap ploy that flies in the face of the facts, designed to assimilate those on the fringe, make them fall in line, lest they become labeled un-American simply for being intelligent enough, free thinking enough, to know when they are being lied to.
Can one born in America in fact be less American than another born in the same country? Legally that is not the case, yet the establishment drives that insinuation into the minds of all those too simple-minded to realize they are being manipulated for a greater and much more sinister purpose.
Americans continue to grasp at the now obviously incorrect idea that we are somehow, number one, as if we are in some dire competition with the rest of humanity, when in fact we should be seeking connection with our fellow inhabitants, not ostracizing them with petty and childish comparisons. The United States in fact does lead the world in a few categories, unfortunately those categories are obesity, soda consumption, military spending and, more to the point, number of incarcerated citizens. In the land of the free, almost 1 in every 100 americans is in jail or prison at this moment. Over 2 million people are incarcerated in this county, 50% of which are there on low-level drug charges.
This country is currently facing a multitude of systemic problems, but when human beings are being treated as a commodity, when their incarceration is privatized and a profit motive is introduced that motivates those involved to create circumstances that drive otherwise law-abiding citizens into a for-profit system, simply to enhance the bottom line, we lose the very thing that once defined this country, and clearly demonstrates that we are number one, just not in the way we think.