Op-Ed: Why America is a Much Better and Stronger Country than the Media Would Have You Believe

It may seem like America is struggling, and the media only perpetuates that belief. Here’s why I believe that couldn’t be further from the truth.


Sutton Howard '23

Sutton Howard ’23 and Paxton Matthews ’23 vote for the first time in the 2022 Midterm Elections.

Jack Mezey, Co-Editor in Chief

America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. Well, that’s what the media will have you believe. 

Anytime I turn on my TV to a news channel or open up the news app on my phone, all I see is negative headlines about the political climate in America. “The U.S. is Heading Toward a Second Civil War.” “America is Vanishing.” “The US Election System is Breaking Down.” “Your Votes Aren’t Equal.” “America’s Democracy is Disappearing.” Those are all real headlines I’ve seen over the past 48 hours before writing this. 

It’s time for the media to take a long look in the mirror and think about what their role in this country is. The most important part of an election is a well-informed electorate. America doesn’t have that right now. This is partly due to the younger generations seemingly caring less about politics and real-world issues than our parents and grandparents did. But the main culprit for the lack of political knowledge is the media. None of the headlines I mentioned actually did anything to inform voters. All it did was scare them. Lull them into thinking that America is a declining nation. A nation we shouldn’t be proud of. A nation that we are afraid to say is in a really good place. 

Does America have problems? Yes. Political strife is at an all-time high. Social media and other technology such as deep fakes are proving to do more harm than good. But take a step back. Look at America without the microscope on it. Look at America from a global perspective.

We have a well-functioning democracy. We have presidents that are almost guaranteed to last at least four years, not forty-four days. Ahem, Great Britain. Our citizens have the ability to read the news from impartial sources. Well, not really. But at least it’s not coming from a socialist or dictatorial government. Ahem, North Korea. Ahem, China. Ahem, Iran. We, as US citizens, have the ability to make an informed decision about who we want in charge of our country by going to the polls every two years and casting our votes. That’s something to be proud of.

America may not have the economy right now that it did in the 1920s or 1980s, but at least the unemployment rate is at 3.5%. And at least the average US citizen’s salary is up 5.2% from last year. That’s something to be proud of. 

Great Britain has had three Prime Ministers in the last 46 days. That instability is detrimental to a country. Vladimir Putin has been President of Russia for 18 years. That lack of change and prominence of corruption is detrimental to a country. America does not change presidents every 44 days unless something drastic occurs, like the assassination or impeachment of a president. America does not have a dictator that repeatedly has his political opponents killed and gains even more power, instead of facing consequences. America has an appreciable balance between stability and change. That’s something to be proud of. 

America is going through its fair share of economic struggle and political strife right now, but its citizens still have the ability to speak their mind on the current government. This is the ultimate checks and balances system. We could be locked up or disappear off the face of the planet every time we voice our displeasure at Trump’s immigration stance or Biden’s economic policies, but we can say what we want and do our best to inspire action and change. We can also do our best to resist a change we don’t want. That’s something to be proud of.

Lillian Buchanan ’23 celebrates her first time voting. (Photo courtesy of Lillian Buchanan ’23)

Seeing the recent shift of power in Great Britain from Boris Johnson to Liz Truss to Rishi Sunak has gotten me thinking about how America isn’t doing all that bad, despite those headlines that make it seem like our country is falling apart at the seams. 

Seeing the recent turmoil in Iran with the government cutting off internet access to its citizens to keep them quiet has convinced me that, even though there’s a common perception that the United States is on the brink of losing everything that it has, we’re relatively in a pretty good spot. 

I am proud of this country. I love America, despite its imperfections, for all that it gives me and you. I believe that America is the greatest country in the world, and it’s high time we all started appreciating that and believing it.