The Greatest Country in the World? Sorry America, It’s Not You and Here’s Why.

The Guiri Dispatches

The Guiri Dispatches

The Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. But, is the United States of America really as amazing as people paint it to be? Is it really the greatest country in the world? Statistically, the answer would be no. A U.S. News survey released in 2018 reveals Switzerland as the best country in the world, a position they have held since 2017. In early 2017, after the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump, the United States went from No. 4 on this list in 2016 to No. 7 in 2017 with many survey respondents citing a loss of respect for America after the 2016 election. Now, in 2018, the United States has slid to No. 8, only retaining its spot in the top ten for having the largest economy and most military power in the world.  


With a clear pattern of moving away from the top spot, many are led to wonder why America, with its vast power and influence, cannot reach this coveted position. When President Donald Trump was elected, foreign countries began to question the United States’ future on the global stage. Foreign countries, even allies, viewed Trump’s rhetoric and political stances as dehumanizing and disrespectful, especially where immigration and foreign trade are concerned.


However, the United States’s issues began far before President Trump’s rise to power. America was a country built on the backs of slaves, indentured servants, immigrants, and the deaths of millions of Native Americans, a fact that has still never been addressed properly. The U.S. is culturally and racially diverse, but the history of why this is should not be lost because of ignorance.


Though America remains the greatest economic and global power, there are a variety of social issues that continue to polarize the nation. In the past decade, awareness around racial issues has risen with the help of social media and various social justice movements. The same type of awareness has been spreading for women’s rights in America. However, this year the U.S. was ranked No. 16 out of 60 on “Best Countries for Women” by U.S. News. Despite the recent rise of social activism, political action has mostly been scarce or denied in the area of human rights, with some of the most polarizing issues including immigration, gun control, and income inequality.


President Trump’s election may have been the tipping point of the culminating polarization, one between liberals and conservatives in America, but that is all he was, the tipping point. He became the symbol to represent just how polarized America is and has always been. Maybe it is going to take becoming split to become whole. Not whole again, because that would imply that the United States has been, at one point, truly united. And to be the greatest country in the world, well, that will take us being united, once and for all.