Schuyler Machcinski

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Schuyler Machcinski


Project 4 Rough Draft
The United States prides itself on being the strongest nation on Earth. We are a nation that can and will do what ever we want, and what we feel is best for our country. This can be considered arrogance and is a little bit unsettling. All of the famous world powers of the past have had their good days, but they eventually became corrupt and collapsed. However, Americans believe that this criteria does not apply to them. This type of cockiness will only lead to the eventual downfall of the United States. Most Americans pride themselves on their patriotism. However, this patriotism can lead to shunning other countries advancement, make us disregard the way other countries choose to live, and specifically after 9/11, make us view other countries as non-democratic or possible even demonic.

Many Americans believe that we are the greatest nation in the entire world, and that no one else can compare. Although this can be considered true to an extent, we as a country fail to realize the advancements that other countries are making. For example, most of the products that are bought in America are a direct result of foreign manufacturing. In other words, these products are made in other countries. Manufacturing as a share of the economy has been declining steadily. According to Benson’s Economic and Market Trends, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the United States economy in 1965. Today, that number has dropped heavily in accounting for just a mere 9 percent of the U.S. economy. We are becoming a nation that lacks strong domestic manufacturing. If we continue to go down this path and rely heavily on the dependence of foreign products, it will lead to our country becoming more vulnerable. One concept that we continue to hear through our government and the media, is the idea of “Buying American.” This means to try and stay away from foreign produced products and purchase the ones that are manufactured here in the U.S. Although this idea sounds very patriotic, it can also be very misleading. Consumers who do not choose to pay attention with regards to where their products are made, may be in for quite a surprise. “Buying American” is not easy and is actually quite difficult to do. For example, go to any grocery or convenience store in town and look at the items that are displayed on the shelves. It will not be hard to realize that American made products are actually quite scarce. If we are truly as patriotic as we say we are, we need to either accept that other world powers are becoming just as strong as and more advanced than us, or we need to take initiative and start making these products ourselves.

Another type of arrogance that Americans tend to display is the idea that our way of life is superior to other countries. Of course, every country likes to believe that they are the best, but Americans are constantly preached to with this nationalistic and false idea that we have the most desired lifestyle. We are told growing up that the harder we work in life, the better the job we will get, which will eventually lead to making more money. Although this is good in a way, it can also be problematic. This idea can encourage greed and since you spend all of your time working to achieve this goal, it diminishes the quality of people’s lives immensely. In other countries, they work to live as opposed to the American point of view of living to work. For example, people in Spain take time off work to take daily naps during the day. If anyone in America decided to use this idea, they would be considered a slacker in society because they choose to enjoy life’s simple pleasures instead of not consuming their time with making money. According to the journal article entitled Suffering, Selfish, Slackers? Myths and Reality About Emerging Adults, young people entering adulthood are considered selfish for trying to enjoy life instead of “growing up” and contributing to society. The idea of enjoying life’s simple pleasures is derived from our own Constitution. It is our right to pursuit happiness, and it seems that people have gotten caught up with their job and the highly competitive job workplace. So much so that just enjoying life is now frowned upon. This should be a violation of the U.S Constitution. Americans fail to realize the importance it should have in our daily lives. Finally, it is not made well known to the public just how much we exploit other countries and their resources in order to have the lifestyle that we do. The government and the media do a very good job of hiding all of the bad things we do. If it’s made well known, perhaps Americans would not look down on other countries for the way they live.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, Americans seem to have a renewed sense of patriotism. Although this is great in some ways, we have taken this patriotism to an extreme. Americans have developed intolerance against a certain population. Specifically, the Arabic and Muslim people in our country. People will not enter elevators or even eat in the same restaurants with people of this race. Just because certain people look like the terrorists who committed the attacks on 9/11, does not mean that they are as well. As mentioned before, Americans can be arrogant people. Their opinion of these people will not easily be swayed. According to the book entitled Race and Arab Americans before and after 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects, “Arabs and Muslims possess neither the resources nor the power nor the media necessary to alter mainstream public opinion. The tides of public opinion continue to operate against them.” Also, the attacks of 9/11 have led to the United States committing what many people call acts of terrorism. These acts are results from the increased patriotism we felt for our country after 9/11. It is only normal to feel proud to be an American after such an event, but we have gone overboard with this newfound feeling of patriotism. Now, we are over in other countries committing terrorist acts on countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. We feel that this is the only way to get back at these people. Americans are too arrogant to realize that we are not making anything better by acting like “terrorists” as well. Finally, the attacks on 9/11 have caused the United States to move into racially profiling people. For example, citizens entering an airport that are of Arabic or Muslim descent are looked at as possible dangerous passengers. Not only is this unfair, it is morally wrong. Americans are violating these people’s basic rights to travel and are only questioning them based on how they look. Racial profiling is a form of discrimination. We need to stop judging if people are criminals just upon how they look, and use other methods to find out if certain people are dangerous.

After looking at the things that patriotism can lead to in our country, it is important to look at how other countries deal with the patriotism that they feel. One country that is worth taking a look at is China. Throughout the entire history of China, they have gone through some rough times as a country. This includes times of starvation and political upheavals. It was only necessary then for the people of China to develop a strong sense of patriotism to make it through these tough times. Today, the Chinese people still have a fierce faith in their patriotism even after so many years. It is also believed that if the Chinese did not have a strong faith in patriotism through the hard times that they faced, they most likely would not have survived as a country. This example of unity and coming together shows that Chinese patriotism can be very similar to the patriotism that we show in the United States. However, there is a darker side to the patriotism that is present in China. The concept of patriotism is pounded into the Chinese children’s heads from a very early age. Children are taught growing up that there is nothing more important in your life than what is good for your country. Another example is the anti-government protests that took place in 1989 at Tiananmen Square. The Chinese people wanted change in their government and used these protests to get their point across. You could say that this was their way of expressing their patriotism, but the Chinese military killed hundreds upon hundreds of these protesters. As you can see, there are similarities and differences between the patriotism that is being expressed.

The American people are great at expressing their love for their country. The patriotism that they show is second to none in the world. However, Americans can lean towards being arrogant when it comes to expressing their patriotism. We sometimes shun the advancements that other countries are making and disregard the way other countries live. Also, the extreme patriotism that we showed after 9/11 has lead to intolerance and racial profiling. Americans need to stop putting down other countries for succeeding and instead start to respect them. As history shows, the path we are going down has only lead to failure in other world powers. Therefore, we need to start changing our ways and do our best to reverse that trend.

America’s patriotism can be considered very arrogant to the outside world. For example, we come off as arrogant towards all aspects of other countries. If we continue to possess this arrogance, it can pose as a serious problem towards the advancement of our own country. Therefore, it should be of the utmost importance to fix our problems which includes us to stop shunning the advancements other countries our making, putting an end to disregarding the way other countries choose to live their lives, and we have to do our best to tone down the extreme patriotism that we have after the September 11th attacks. In order to fix these problems, I will propose a plan to solve them and ways in which the plan can be put into action. Finally, it is also important to understand why the current things solutions are not getting the job done. Hopefully this proposed plan will put an end to the arrogance we possess and the resentment we sometimes show towards other countries and people of a different race. This will only benefit the United States and turn us into a better-rounded nation.

In order to stop the problems that are beginning to plague our country, it is necessary to propose a solution. First off, many Americans believe that no country comes close to us, but in reality, they are gaining on us fast. We either need to respect those countries who continue to advance to our level, or we need to address this issue internally. My solution is for America to continue to “Buy American.” Although this concept is constantly used in the mainstream media, it can still be more beneficial. Buying more American made products would reduce how much we rely on other countries for goods. In order for this solution to work, we would have to build more factories to produce these products and continue to promote “Buying American” in other ways. This could include on billboards, buses, and even bumper stickers. This would be a great way to ensure that the American people will “Buy American.” This plan would also be beneficial to our economy and the job market. Increasing the production of goods that we make in this country can create hundreds if not thousands of jobs for those that are unemployed. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the way that we disregard the way of life of other countries. Not only is this very disrespectful, it makes Americans come off as self-centered and arrogant people. Instead of being a nation that seems to promote greed, perhaps we can take a fresh and new approach. Previous generations have taught their kids that the goal in life is as follows: 1.) Get a college degree, 2.) Find a good paying job, and 3.) get married and have a family. Young people should not have to follow a certain set of steps in order to believe that they have achieved happiness and success. The new generation of young people should be taught one simple goal in life. Do what makes you happy. If you find your pursuit of happiness, then that is what should be considered a success. Imagine living in a world where people are not fighting each other to make that extra dollar. A place where your job never comes before your family. This could be a reality in America if we teach our kids to have this type of mentality. I believe that we disregard and put down the way other countries live because we are actually envious of them. America needs to adopt the mantra of working to live, instead of living to work. Perhaps, this mindset would result in Americans having relatively stress-free, healthy, and happy lives.

The final problem that needs to be addressed is the extreme and out of control patriotism that has been expressed after the 9/11 attacks. This includes acts of intolerance, terrorist acts on other countries, and racial profiling. There are many forms of intolerance in the United States. Perhaps the biggest kind is religious intolerance. This has led to numerous violations of human rights and continues to today. Not only does it take place in America, religious intolerance is the driving force behind many of the world’s armed conflicts. In America, people continue to disrespect the religious beliefs of others just because it is different from their own.

Therefore, we need to what we can to make sure we do not end up like these countries. To solve this, I believe we need to come together as a country and try to promote and protect the freedom of thoughts, religion, and beliefs. Terrorism is also becoming a problem in our country. After 9/11, it was only normal to be upset at those who committed those heinous acts on us. But, we have taken those strong feelings to an extreme. Not only have we committed similar terrorist attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, some people actually consider them worse. Ideas to solving terrorism are difficult to execute because it is simply something that cannot be completely eradicated. There are some ways in which we can try to prevent it. First off, we can try to stop the production of chemical weapons that are being produced. Also, we should try control the production of war machines in other countries. Finally, our country needs to continue to carry out investigations in countries that still have production plants for chemical weapons. These ideas are a better alternative as opposed to violence and war. This way, we can do our best to eliminate evil in our world in a peaceful manner. Finally, racial profiling in our country needs to be resolved. According to the article entitled Defining Racial Profiling in a Post-September 11 World, a public poll revealed that Arab Americans, more specifically those with Arab appearances, increasingly were singled out for questioning and security checks based on their skin color. Racial profiling occurs when police or government officials target someone for an investigation based upon the person’s race, national origin, or ethnicity. Examples can include people being searched at airports for illegal things just based on how they look. According to Amnesty International, racial profiling is actually counterproductive. Also, thousands of innocent people each year are the victims of racial profiling. Government officials need to develop other ways to determine if people are dangerous because it is a violation of human rights otherwise. Officials need to do all the background and research work possible to make sure they are searching the right person.

Thus far, America has not done enough to solve all of these problems. This is due mostly because we can be ignorant and arrogant people. It also seems like no one wants to take initiative to solve these problems. Therefore, we need to come together as a nation and get rid of the problems that include shunning the advancement of other countries, disregarding the lifestyles of these countries, and stop expressing this extreme patriotism after 9/11 that is starting to plague our nation. By becoming less arrogant people, perhaps Americans will be open to new ideas and possibilities for our country. Not only will this gain the respect of fellow countries, it will be considered the beginning of a new era in America.

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