Not so Fast with the Greatest Country on Earth Stuff

Had an interesting conversation on a train recently with a woman from the Ivory Coast. She had a baby with her and was nervous being on the train after the horrible Hoboken train crash.  I expressed that I took trains all the time and never felt nervous about it, the Hoboken accident being such an anomaly.  We chit chatted mostly to relieve her nervousness.  She started to tell me about how she came here as a young girl and feels that America is all about “money and stuff.” She loves it when she goes back to the Ivory Coast and can relax.  “There it’s all about friends and family and life, you know?  Real things. You have things here, but really I believe my country is better.”

So there you go, a country most Americans have never heard of, never crosses their minds, could not find on a map, might actually think they have a pretty good country even if they don’t have a Super Bowl or walked on the Moon.  The constantly repeated and validated rhetorical trope that, of course we live in the Greatest Country on Earth, would be ridiculously arrogant if it wasn’t just nonsensically hyperbolic.  I understand why politicians say it because politics is fueled by bullshit, but why would anybody else?

But we’re Americans so of course it’s the Greatest Country on Earth, that’s why Jesus gave the Constitution to the Founding Fathers while riding a dinosaur.  That shit never happens in the Ivory Coast.

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