The world is ready and willing (probably rightfully so) to tell the U.S. and her citizens everything that we’re doing worse than our counterparts around the world, so it’s nice to stop and consider that there are still some things we’re absolutely doing right.
Here are 30 things that the people of Reddit are giving the States credit for these days.
30. There’s literally nothing better.
I had my first corndog last year when I was on vacation.
Dear god they are delicious.
29. A near endless source of entertainment.
We have Florida man.
Both an exceptional individual and a near endless source of entertainment.
28. It’s delightful.
The variety, the output, the grand scale of it… no other country comes close.
27. We’ll take any compliments we can get.
Just look at the USA Patriot act or Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism
26. Hence our weight problem.
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr Pepper were all created in US.
25. It’s all about balance.
We are simultaneously one of the fattest countries in the world and one of the most athletic countries in the world.
Sometimes we combine the two and make Offensive and Defensive lineman.
24. It definitely beats an English breakfast, that’s for sure.
As a Mexican it pains me to say this, but Breakfast food.
Dear God there’s nothing like an all American breakfast.
23. Everyone knows faster is better.
racing in general. The minute you make two of something we’re going to race them.
Barstools, lawn mowers, even cooler racing.
22. Fried cheesy corn ftw.
Turn corn into things that are not corn.
Edit: Obligatory and heartfelt thank you for the silver!
21. Born and bred.
The Blues and Jazz music
20. Americans do love their choices.
Love em or hate em…..buffet restaurants.
19. We do make the best guitars. Ask anyone who uses one.
Almost every significant guitar ever made is American. Bands from every part of the world use American guitars.
18. You’re never very far from your next burger.
17. Rivaled only by China, really.
Having big names in technology: Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Google, NASA and on and on….
16. This just made me lol.
Calling ourselves world champions in national leagues.
15. We don’t like to wait.
Turn right on red
14. It literally stops foreigners in their tracks.
Grocery store variety. No other country that I’ve been to has grocery stores that compare to American stores in terms of sheer quantity and variety. I’ve seen grocery stores where the quality is higher, or where you can find things that you wouldn’t in American grocery stores, but they don’t touch the variety. Most of the things I need to make any type of cuisine are not only readily available, but I can usually pick between several brands.
Occasionally, there will be some vegetable or spice that isn’t available at my local grocery store, so I drive an extra 10 minutes to go to the farmers market that has a more international selection. Absolute worst case, I may need to drive to a specialty store. Since my family is originally from India, we make a trip out to the Indian store every few months, but really there’s only a few things that are available there exclusively.
Now granted, I live in a large city and that certainly helps. But I think even small town US grocery stores have greater variety than their foreign counterparts.
13. I mean, we like to complain but it is pretty impressive.
Might sound dumb but mail. USPS handles half of the world’s volume of mail any given day.
Edited due to wrong numbers. I don’t know what it was but clearly I was wrong. I’m at the Pittsburgh D&C. We handle most of the mail going to and from the NE seaboard and the Mid Atlantic. Either way, I’m glad I’m not a mail handler.
12. Just ask Joey Tribiani.
All of the best sandwiches were invented and perfected in the United States. This is due to having the widest variety of sandwich ingredients (due to size and the whole “great melting pot” thing) and the willingness to put anything edible between two carbs to see what sticks.
Edit: Where does it say in this post that the first sandwich was invented in America? Because I didn’t type what some of y’all are finding.
11. At least the ones we know about.
Stealth planes. Since the 70s, the US has developed four iterations of stealth aircraft: The F-117, the B-2, the F-22, and the F-35. In the same period, the European military-industrial complex has further refined the fourth-generation fighter concept, Russia has designed a single half-assed prototype, and China has put together a few different airframes trying out a few different stealthy techniques but nothing completely integrated yet.
10. Am from Kansas City, can confirm.
As a Belgian who lived in Texas and NC for about a year, barbecue and a welcoming attitude to strangers. I was blown away by the hospitality like random strangers helping me out or inviting me to their homes, I really miss that in Europe where that is reserved for acquaintances and friends only. And before you ask Kansas>Texas>NC BBQ…
8. You can definitely have too much of a good thing.
Confidence. There’s a reason that the type of impossible rags-to-riches story is branded as “the American Dream;” because by and large, the people most likely to follow that dream and believe in its achievability are American. The creation of the country in and of itself was an impossibility given their opponent in the Revolutionary War, and yet they succeeded. I don’t remember the exact quote, but a general in the early days of the country said, “A British soldier will do what you tell him. An American will as well, but he will first want to know why you told him to do it.” That sort of confidence to challenge authority in such a brazen manner is intrinsic to the nation and its people, and it’s unlike any other national identity on the planet.
Oh, and chain restaurants.
7. Go big or go home.
Extremes. The nicest/most humble and rudest/most arrogant people I’ve ever met are, in both cases, Americans. By far. Most foreigners I’ve run into fall somewhere in between. And the same goes for weight. Most obese, most skeletal, most fit? All been Americans in my experience.
Edit: since I realize it slipped my mind, some of the dumbest and some of the smartest that I have personally met have been Americans.
6. And we’re mighty proud of it.
5. We don’t really make new things, per se.
Find the best things from other countries and embrace them, if in a kooky or twisted way. An American can eat tacos while singing karaoke on St. Patrick’s Day and feel like they’ve had a red white and blue good time. France has to rename Big Macs.
4. As long as you don’t want to stay, sadly.
Seriously though, going to the US is amazing. People are open and nice and won’t hesitate to chat up strangers. They seem geniunely interested in who you are and where you’re from.
I could write a book about all the things wrong with the US, but despite all that it remains my favorite place to visit due to the way they treat foreigners. There’s no other country quite like it.
3. A very good idea.
National Parks are often considered “America’s Best Idea”. It’s interesting that in a country that prides itself with private ownership, is the same country that develops the world’s first free-to-use public land system. Anyone from prince to pauper is welcome and encouraged to enjoy the same mountains—it’s really incredible when you think about it.
But we have to remember, the national parks weren’t made for environmental reasons (Environmentalism didn’t exist and wasn’t understood back in the late 1800s). Nationalism, not environmentalism, explains the origins of the Yosemite Grant.
2. Love it or hate it…
There’s genuinely nothing quite like American optimism.
I know, I know… the done thing is to shit-talk America in threads like this, but speaking as a Brit, that’s what really makes the USA special and relatively unique in terms of national histories. America is a country that’s (at least theoretically) built on the idea of equality and justice quite literally for all. You had the sheer brass balls to put a big ol’ statue up at one of the most trafficked entryways in the world — yes, yes, OP’s momma notwithstanding — that literally asked the world to give you its tired, its poor, its huddled masses yearning to breathe free. You built an entire mythology around the idea that, by pulling together and with a little elbow grease, you can make something of yourself no matter where you start from.
Is it true? No, not completely — not for a lot of people. But it is important. It’s a hardscrabble world out there, and the idea that Americans are better because they’ll do the right thing, the honourable thing, the decent thing no matter how hard that might be makes things a little bit brighter. It’s important that the first thing countless immigrants got to see wasn’t a display of America’s power and strength and prosperity but of America’s guidance: a torchlight in the darkness. That most mythological of figures, Superman, espouses the idea of Truth, Justice and the American Way for a reason. That’s not because it’s the way things are, but because it’s the way things can be. It’s something to aspire to. It’s Atticus Finch and Jefferson Smith and Rocky Balboa and the Little Engine That Could.
You lose your way sometimes — and you really, really do lose your way; no one should dispute that, especially given recent events — but you’re never so far gone that you can’t pull your way back. America is one of very, very few countries where you always feel that that return is both possible, and something that you root for. It’s the world’s largest superpower that has never quite learned that it isn’t the plucky underdog.
Don’t let that optimism and hope for the future die out. Don’t let the feeling that you can step up and change things even when the odds seem stacked against you become apathy, hate and fear. Don’t be afraid to learn, to improve, to be better. I spend a lot of time writing about American politics, and I know full well how stressful it can be, but without hope there can be no change for the better. Improvement is aspirational, and it depends on people getting out there and choosing to try, even when it looks and feels like it makes no difference at all — because it still does.
If anything, that’s when it matters the most — and it’s worth keeping.
1. We’re so forward thinking…in some ways.
Tech innovation. The space industry.
I have to agree with all of these things, though some can certainly be a double-edged sword.
What would you say the US does better than other countries? What are some things your country excels at? Let’s compliment each other in the comments!