It’s Independence Day, a.k.a the Fourth of July. Which to me is the day I close all my windows and sit around the house in a Benadryl haze because the sulfur dioxide fallout from fireworks feels like it sucks all the air out of my lungs. This lackluster approach to the 4th has led some of my friends to suggest that I’m somehow “allergic to patriotism.” Which is nonsense. Regardless of the strong association I have with smelling brimstone and sensing evil, I am not unpatriotic or anti-American. I love this country. Which is why I’ve compiled this list (not exhaustive) showing just all the wonderful ways in which America’s No. 1.
• So we’re totally the baddest motherfuckers out there. The US has the world's largest military and we lead the world in military spending. But our strength doesn’t stop there.
• At home, the US has more guns per capita than another other country. That’s right. We’re secure!
• But we also lead the world in school shootings. But that’s okay… because when people go bad…
• We’re the most anxiety-ridden nation on the planet. But that’s okay, because we’ve found the cure.
• We spend more per capita on pharmaceuticals than any other country. (OECD data) In 2004, $2.1 billion of that spending was on anti-anxiety drugs. And all that anxiety appears to be making us more productive.
• America is No. 1 among advanced nations in not giving its citizens paid vacations or time off. We don’t even stop to have our kids.
• Unlike every other industrialized nation, the US has no federal mandate for paid maternity leave. But who needs anything like that, because, frankly, it stinks of socialized medicine? Who needs that commie shit? Self-reliance, that’s the key.
• That’s right. We’re No. 1 in the developed world in letting our sick and ailing citizens fend for themselves. And we must be doing something right because we’re the world’s second biggest spender on healthcare.
• So what if we're a world leader in obesity and fast food joints per capita (no connection)? So what if we have a lower life expectancy than many of our industrialized peers? (OECD data) Or if our kids are among the poorest in the developed world. We’ve got faith!
• By many measures we are one of the more pious countries on Earth, certainly the most religious in the industrial world. And there’s a kind of enduring strength in that. Because having faith means we can
overlook overcome anything.
• Like being the most economically unequal country in the developed world. So what if we’re ranked with countries like Uruguay and Cameroon? And so what if Iran is more equitable with their money than we are? Eat it, bitches. We’re still number one!
So praise God, pass the antihistamines, and repeat after me: “USA! USA! USA!”