America is Not the Greatest Country in the World

Sean - Newport, North Carolina
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I hear Americans talk about how wonderful their country is; they will talk about our amazing education system, or possibly our democratic ways. But the Americans who talk about their top-class country seem to forget to mention that citizens of the United States are the most surveillanced citizens in the world, are sometimes not granted their rights, and are not always lead by the most capable leader.

First of all, the US is becoming more and more like the literary Big Brother. This is evident in the US Congress passing the Patriot Act literally days after the attacks of 9/11. The act gave the government the right to spy on its own citizens any time they wanted to. I think this act invades our right to unreasonable warrants. Spying on your citizens is an invasion of privacy, is it not? Americans are being spied on entirely too much, and it’s getting out of hand.

Second of all, there are times we are not granted our right to remain silent, free speech, etc. A personal example would be the underage drinking ticket given to my older brother, Bob. He was never mirandized, or told his rights, such as his right to remain silent. He was bombarded with the same question five times: “have you been drinking tonight”? Four times he answered “no”, but the fifth time–he was so tired of being irritated with the question–he decided to answer with “one beer earlier tonight.” If the police officer had read him his constitutional rights, he would have never received the ticket, as well as the headache, for underage drinking.

Lastly, the heads of government are not always the most capable leaders. I hate to say it, but George W. Bush may have been the worst President we have had in the past half century. He has doubled the national debt to eleven trillion dollars, after Bill Clinton had cut it to just around five trillion. And some citizens believe Bill Clinton was a horrible President. Also, the cabinet Bush chose (the cabinet is a very influential part of our government) was made up of questionable people and oil tycoons. Some of the biggest names in this cabinet resigned, because they were too incapable to do their own job. To me, these do not seem like the right people to be running our nation.

Any one who reads this, and is a strong American, think about what I have said. This country is beginning to lean towards a Big Brother-like nation; we are being watched and listened to 24/7, and our rights are slowly disappearing. Plus our leaders are becoming incapable of their jobs.