Over my life, especially since I came to political awareness during the Bush administration, I have often thought about whether it would be worth leaving the United States. The United States has a lot of issues, until 2014 people like me had no guarantee of health insurance, college education is very expensive in this country, and racism is very much alive which can be seen all over American culture. With that being said… is there another country I would choose to live in? Is there anywhere else in the world I would rather live?
Prince Harry and Megan made a stunning interview with Oprah today about racism in the royal family, and all of the problems they have. While I love visiting Canada, they are still a monarchy, and I like how my head of state is elected by the people (even though I want to destroy the Electoral College).
I also do not wish to live in a country with a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. In a split election like happened in Germany in 1933 Parliamentary systems can be horribly unstable. It is very easy to pass such legislation in such systems which is a double edged sword.
I want to live in a country with a high freedom of the press, and low corruption.
If you filter all of the countries in the world which have a low corruption score (greater than 70), a high Freedom of the Press, have a presidential system, a high democracy score (greater than 7 using the Economist Intelligence Unit) and no monarchy, only two countries are left on the list:
The United States and Uruguay.
When determining a difference between the two, we have similar corruption perceptions index scores, similar press freedom scores, and America is significantly better on the Ease of Doing Business Index. The United States is significantly richer than Uruguay. America’s Democracy Score is slightly below that of Uruguay.
The United States can be reformed. I have seen it myself. Washington State now has a public option for health insurance, there is a major bill moving its way through Congress now which will expand voting rights, and America is drifting to the left on social issues very quickly. President Biden announced his support for HR1 today, COVID cases are diminishing rapidly, the vaccine is being distributed and most Americans should be vaccinated by June.
Donald Trump was a terrible president who killed many people, but despite his numerous attacks on our democracy, we still had a transfer of power, and America is moving forward.
America has one of the highest Ease of Doing Business indexes in the world. America has a high standard of living, and things are improving in our country.
We have many challenges we are facing as a country. We must tackle the challenge of global warming through legislation like Washington Strong. We must ensure that the health care reform Washington State passed last year is expanded on here in my home state and expanded nationwide as soon as possible. We should bring back the WPA, and use easy access public employment as a tool to fight the systemic racism which plagues our country.
I am under no false idea that America is perfect. We have many warts, our country was founded with protecting slavery, and some of the protections for that evil institution, such as the Electoral College still exist today. We must continuously improve our country. We need to make senior care more affordable, and improve access to stable retirement in ways which fights systemic racism.
But there is one thing that the United States is very very very good at… and that is we don’t go backwards over a long period of time. We have a legal system and cultures which is seemingly impervious to long term degradation. When fascists like Donald Trump have come to power in parliamentary systems around the world their countries have rapidly fell. Despite all of Donald Trump’s attempts to rig our elections to preserve his power, he failed. He was unable to stop the 2020 election, and his failed reenactment of the Reichstagfeuer in January failed miserably. He failed to kill a single member of congress. We still have the PATRIOT ACT and mass surveillance (like almost every country in the world TBH) and someday I expect we will remove that unconstitutional legislation.
Parliamentary systems like Britain are susceptible to degradation, just look at Brexit. The thing about the United States is that even though the Republicans have been trying to undo the Voting Rights Act for literally 50 years and all they could do is make it so congress has to reanalyze which states need pre-clearance. Pre-clearance is completely legal according to the Supreme Court, it just needs to be updated periodically to reflect the current situation in our country, which is not a wholly unreasonable requirement. Despite throwing all their energy to undo the Voting Rights Act they were unable to secure even one Senate seat in Georgia after over a half a century of working to destroy our election system and go back to Jim Crow.
This is at the same time that Brexit is occurring.
When Americans make progress, our progress sticks around. As someone whose great-great grandparents lived through a fascist regime, I highly value that type of politically stability, and this is why I absolutely love the United States, and as a member of a family which has been fighting for Civil Rights in this country since before our country was founded, I continue our sacred tradition because I know that when my family succeeds at making progress in this country, our progress will stick around for centuries to come because of the stability in the American system.
This is why I will never permanently move away from the United States of America and will continue to fight to make this country a more perfect union as much as I possibly can.