You know what I love? That I can move anywhere within the 50 states and just GO. I don't have to do paperwork or worry about immigration or new laws (sure, some state laws vary).
We live in such a beautiful country with amazing regions and landscapes. With the right amount of planning you can just go anywhere.
Let's not allow this to become negative, please, friends!
Excuse me. .. *barf* .. Sorry!
the national park system - so many beautiful places have been preserved
I love the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. One of the most beautiful and civilized parts of the country.
The First Amendment, which is the only thing standing between critics of the government and prison.
I love everything except our sick need of guns. All other prejudices and flaws are universal.
wide open spaces
lots of variety and choices across all categories
Optimism trumps fatalism.
Well, out of about 195 countries in the world, it's a better country to live in than about 100 of them, easy. Probably better than 30 or so, the better ones mostly in Western Europe + NZ and Oz.
Why should we expect to have the "best". "Good" is good enough. No ongoing civil war, pretty clean water to drink, levels of poverty generally not as bad as the 3rd world (and much of 2nd), relatively efficient services, relatively low corruption (bribery is a way of life in much of the world.)
So if you aren't being too greedy, in a relative way, it's a good country to live in and we're lucky to be in it, rather than Yemen or Liberia or Afghanistan, etc.
I love traveling out of the US. I've seen so many other countries that have more beauty, more gorgeous vistas, and less obnoxious Wal-Mart fatties. But, as a gay man, I feel much more secure here than just about anywhere else. And I love the Northern California coast, esp. the drive the Anderson Valley, through the redwoods, and out to Mendocino.
New Engaland/New York
I love the fact that lush mountains and sparkling beaches are in close proximity to one another.
Because the US is the most important country on our planet, the US gets a lot of bad press. That's the cost of rising to the top. Sadly our worst flaws and they are relatively few, played a big part in our country's rise to the top of world importance.
Listing these short comings is a waste. We all know those flaws that we need to address. Many of them are the same flaws that other countries have, but due to their lack of importance and smaller population and some with a controlled press, never make headlines.
The US for it's size and wealth has no peer group of nations. China, India, Russia and Brazil have decades if not centuries to even come close to providing their populations with an overall quality of life comparable to the United States. A few smaller nations have even more balanced and prosperous economies, but you can combine them all as a unit and they are but a fraction in economic size compared to the United States. Remember the US did all this even with rethuglicans in our midsts.
American men! Hottest on the planet. Seriously.
Brazilians are a close second.
The fact that you can still go from rags to riches (it's more difficult these days, but still doable) if you work really hard and have some good luck. Why else would millions of people from other countries want to move and live here?
^ Uh oh. Someone's getting ready to hide behind a proxy. Coward.
R22 = testing if he's been banned.
With all of our problems, (and we, also he, have a long way to go), I was able to witness our Country elect Barack Obama as President of the United States.
Great regional cuisines, from New England to the South, to the Southwest. Just about everywhere has its own great local specialties.
...and then re-elect him, R27. The only major Western democracy with a black chief of state (does SA count?), and this despite our horrible history of race relations.
Best food, highest quality of food, and best selection of food in the world
Best chefs in the world
Positive attitude, 1st amendment (as someone has already mentioned), diversity, innovative spirit, welcoming people, casual interaction at work (as opposed to very uptight European interaction), NY, LA, SF, New Orleans, Miami, gorgeous nature, second (and sometimes third) chances.
Jazz and blues.
The US is much more varied (I'm talking land-wise) than people give it credit for. We've got insanely big cities, then the coasts, the south, the Plains states, the Northwest, etc. And each region has its own look and feel. A lot of Americans even don't appreciate anything outside of the top 10 most populous cities.
For me, it's 24/7 culture. Which admittedly is only in the big cities, but even smaller ones have much of it.
I'm a night-owl by nature (google "Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome" if you're interested). The fact that I can do pretty much anything I want, at any time... I love it.
Any time I go some place rural or out of the country (again, save for some of the big cities like London, Paris, etc), everything closes too early, or they don't let you get breakfast late, or lunch late, some restaurants even close between lunch and dinner (!!!), stores close at ridiculous hours (like 7pm!!) and worse. I feel totally out of sorts.
But here, if I want to go to the grocery store at 11pm, I can. If I want to get breakfast at 2pm, I can.
Never mind amazon.com and next-day delivery.
The ignorance of people like R20 is our downfall. Prosperity can be destroyed virtually overnight. You don't understand what's going on. None of this "centuries" crap.
I like the free roads and relatively cheap gas. Naturally I've liked America less these last few years.
I'm not american nor do I currently live in the U.S. but the years I spent there have been the happiest of my life (so far). I love every- fucking-thing about the United States. It may have a lot of problems, but compared to the rest of the world, it's paradise.
Exactly R35. I grew up in Texas, went to college in San Francisco, then bummed around the Pacific NW just for fun for a couple of years.
Then I took a job in crazy FL, spent a year or so there, hated it, and got the hell out!
Moved to Maine to visit a friend, and decided to move up here, 8 pretty cool years now!
Naturally, my wanderlust has reared its wild head!
This summer I fell in LOVE vacationing several weekends in Newport, Rhode Island. So we are getting jobs and moving there! We are very excited.
It's a beautiful country, the coastlines are incredible. Feel so lucky to have lived near many of them on both coasts and even TX.
[quote]Best food, highest quality of food, and best selection of food in the world.
Hahahahahahahaha! That's good comedy.
The desert. The American desert.
Drag Queens can become famous on TV.
My favorite thing about America is it's beginning. I'm obsessed with our founding fathers (and mothers) and can't believe that such a collection of absolute geniuses were, firstly, born at around the same time, and, secondly, able to pull of this crazy experiment.
It's sad it's teetering now.
R43, they weren't spoiled by the things we are spoiled by. Establishing this country was life or death for all of them. No American in this lifetime will ever be able to empathize with that.
No caste system and no state religion.
Colorado and Washington for legalizing weed
The first amendment.
The flag. Not for jingoistic reasons, it's just such a great design and a versatile motif. (I know, MARY)
Our film industry, television shows and popular music.
The fact that there isn't an ethnicity on earth whose diaspora didn't spread here.
New York City, LA, Chicago, Boston, Philly, DC and SF, among others.
I love that there's a fence between us and Tijuana
I love the weather. Most of us get four seasons.
And, I love our people. Even as stupid as we've become, when the shit hits the fan, millions rise up!
I agree with the desert. And speaking of... Breaking Bad!
Those kooky but kool Latino Morrissey fans
Hard pressed to at the moment, after being unemployed for over 2 years.
I look so slim compared to the general population.
I prefer American desserts to American deserts.
I love it for responses like R60! We can be very funny!!
The diversity of people, places to go, and things to see and do.
I have to say...
For all the bullshit we hear about— political scandals, Racism, Sexism, etc.
At least we're hearing about it and people are responding to it.
The asshole cop who shoots a suspect 12 times — doesn't go without SOME kind of backlash.
Whenever I get depressed about bad news- I think well, at least we KNOW what's going on. We're not kept in the dark about this... and people have a change to react and respond and... make a PLEA for change...
or not — if they're too bored or comfortable.
Hairy Jewish lawyers.
Non-American here and here's what I love about it:
1. I love how varied the geography is. Canadians harp on and on about the beauty of Canada but I find that it's a very ugly, bull, identical beauty: the prairie provinces are all the same. The West Coast and the East have beautiful locations but again, there is little variation due to how high up Canada is, I guess.
2. I love how raw America is: if someone doesn't like you, they'll tell you.
3. The history - and perceived lack of culture - is also quite something.
I feel America is a great nation but sometime, after World War 2, something happened that robbed the States of whatever class and distinction it had.
I love the bossa nova
You need to see more of Canada.
Freedom of fucking speech bitches and the right to offend!!!
We HATE the concept of the Constitution and think because of the sins of our former and current political elites,corporations and our thoughtless forbearers present day America should receive total revenge from those it has wronged. Reparations are not enough...American culture and ideals MUST be negated to the point of total ANNIHILATION!
[quote]I feel America is a great nation but sometime, after World War 2, something happened that robbed the States of whatever class and distinction it had.
It struck me again the other day that everything seemed to change after the Kennedy assassination.
R70, I've seen a good amount of Canada. The north is rocky, cold and sparse in vegetation (pine trees suck). The growing season in the prairies is incredibly short and everything here is an ugly, dull green or brown. The mountains lack variation. The Okanagan is a weird mix of prairie, and mountain. The West Coast (BC specifically) IS varied but again, this is nothing the US cannot boast about. The East is gorgeous, but I wouldn't call it varied.
Compare this to the States; you have all of what I mentioned and you have actual deserts, swampland, and so on.
Tourism is also way better in the States; Canada is terrible for tourism unless you're wealthy and can fly everywhere.
Please note, I am not faulting the nation - the country is so damn big and sparsely populated that it's expected.
Considering there are more than THREE HUNDRED MILLION of us, it always heartens me when we quickly become one when it really counts. That's because we realize we are the luckiest people who have ever lived on this earth. We are also the ONLY people who have ever done things not in our own self-interest simply because it was right.
What I appreciate about the US since traveling to Asia, Europe is our emphasis on traffic safety and traffic rules. The driving outside of the US is insane. If you're a pedestrian in Italy, for example, you have to be cautious about walking across a small street lest you be run over...riding in a small cab in Asia where traffic signs and lights are ignored at your peril--what's the point of having them? If you crash into somebody--so what? Move on but not in the US where you'll be fined for going over the speed limit. I used to dislike how rigid our traffic rules were but having traveled where speed demons are allowed and pedestrians routinely run over, I came home and appreciated how orderly and safer the US roads and freeways are.
(However, Canada is pretty safe in that regards.)
The way we've cowed Canada into submission.
Jazz, Edward Hopper, Abstract Expressionism, The Great American Songbook, Broadway, Hollywood.
I am not "one" with R75 and I never will be. And you overestimate Americans, who have been cowardly when it comes to obvious conspiracies and coups. We are no different than the long suffering masses of Latin America, after all. When you put criminals in charge, bad things happen.
Where the US really is better is in road design. True, we use inferior materials for our roads compared to Germany, but in design, location, simplicity of use, drainage, signage, and traffic flow, our freeways are way above every country in the world, including Germany, Canada, and all the newly wealthy Asian countries. You bitch about traffic but really our congestion is so minimal compared to other countries. Now if we could just limit the trucks....
[quote]I feel America is a great nation but sometime, after World War 2, something happened that robbed the States of whatever class and distinction it had.
You must be white.
The sheer variety of things - music (from jazz to blues and electronica); the variety of seasons; the variety of landscape and parks; the variety of ethnicities and especially the ethnic foods and cultural differences they bring - yes, I really like that!
I think it's so cool that I can have a great Indian restaurant next to a great Thai restaurant and down the street is a great Mexican restaurant. The variety of holidays people celebrate and the history behind them.
When I was living in Europe, it was hard to find an authentic Mexican restaurant. It was. Maybe it's changed but I like having such a huge variety of ethnic foods here in the US.
I like that we're the only countr that has freedom of speech and that we set an example for foreign places like the Iraq and New England by giving a hot lunch for orphans.
Take off your hat, Sir, there's a tear-stained eagle passing, on the bridge at Gettysburg...
It's big. If you don't like one place, you can easily go to another.
Lack of a class system. Huge geographical differences. Unfailing optimism. I have to agree about the traffic / driving conditions the above poster stated - it's fucking scary what goes on in other countries.
And bribery is not a rule - not saying that inside things don't go on at a high level, but not in the every day to day activities.
Brazilian waxes? Oh, wait ... that's from Brazil, huh?
The amount of insatiable bottoms who migrate here from Central America.
This country is the ultimate smoke and mirrors illusion. And judging by the posts, many of you have bought into the illusion.
Well tell us where we are going wrong then?
The US is my favorite travel destination - I love the physical and cultural diversity. It is certainly a unique nation that should be proud of its positive influence.
But I couldn't live there. It's nice to live somewhere where health care, a progressive tax system, and a well funded education system aren't up for debate. Plus there are far too many religions nuts with far too much influence in the US.
I'm certainly grateful that the quality of life I have now is a direct consequence of US intervention in WW2, so thanks for that!
The Constitution/Bill of Rights
The National Parks System
The weather - both good and bad, it's an interesting weather place
I love how few of its inhabitants pollute the rest of the world with their presence. Now if only it could be none of them.
Twerking without shame wherever and whenever! Oh yeah!!!!!!!
Deep Dish pizza.
The ignorance based sense of superiority is breathtaking.
I love that it exists so those of us who are fortunate enough to live in great countries have a ready source of amusement. There is no other nation that comes close to being the butt of all jokes than the good ol' US of A. Thank you!
I love that even with our Space Program at its lamest in decades, it still is the envy of the world, out-classing every other country's.
I love all the obese people at Walmart because they keep me dedicated to avoiding fast food and going to the gym.