America is the greatest country in the world…really?

Watching the CNN debate yesterday I heard several occasions again one of the Republican Presidential Candidates citing some version of the phrase “America is the greatest country in the world!” I just really want someone to inform me how is America the greatest country in the world. Seriously, can someone please educate me as to the rationale behind that statement, because if it is the greatest country in the world I will happily support the statement.

It would seem that the citizens of America don’t think it’s the greatest, and the younger the age of the person surveyed, the less likely it is that they believe that the US is #1.

I ask this question genuinely looking for people to tell educate me as I want to understand how so many Americans continue to tell us that they are the best in the world. A quick scan of the internet makes it difficult to see how anyone can read any international standards that rank them at #1 in anything other than incarceration rates of their own population.

Now I want to make it clear, I am not suggesting they are the worst country in the world, I am also not suggesting that it isn’t a ‘great’ country, what I am wanting to know is is it the greatest? Show me the markers and I’ll accept them.

There is a very famous scene from The Newsroom’s very first episode of the very first series where this question gets asked.


Now this is fictional, but fact checking his information at the time the episode was filmed…he seems to be basically accurate in the statistics he is giving out although there is a little wriggle room depending on the research you cite.

Please, educate me, is America the greatest country in the world? Why, or why not?