Verbum Incarnatum

 THE SHAME OF BEING NUMBER ONE

Philip E. Lampe
University of the Incarnate Word

Abstract

Americans are accustomed to saying and hearing that the United States is the greatest, most powerful nation in the world.  Citizenship is considered to be a source of pride.  Although the United States is, in fact, number one in many areas, not all are something Americans should be proud of.  There appears to be a greater concern for, and focus on, those at the top than those at the bottom.  The result is great inequality The United States, which claims to be the world leader, should attempt to be the leader in social justice.  To accomplish this, policies and actions should be guided by the principles of social justice, and all Americans should spend more effort in societalizing our youth as we are socializing them.

Introduction

     It feels great to say “We’re number one,” “numero uno,” unless, of course, we are talking about problems, something wrong.  But if we are talking about our country, the United States, we must be referring to something good or right.  We are the best.  Everyone wants to live in this country.  That is one of our biggest problems, immigration.  We do not have to worry that too many people want to leave.  No, the problem is too many people want to come. Consequently, Congress has passed a bill authorizing the building of 700 miles of fence along the Mexican border and has ordered national guard units to patrol the border.

     The United States is like the baseball field in the movie The Field of Dreams.  Americans have long believed we are the new “Chosen People” and that this is the new “Promised Land.”  Our ancestors, inspired by these same beliefs, acted on the assumed Divine command to “build it and they will come.”  It has long been accepted by governmental leaders that the United States has a corresponding “manifest destiny” which has motivated (and required?) them to spread its influence from “sea to shining sea.”  The divine mandate is a matter of faith, something to be accepted.  It should not be questioned. If it is, then, as the bumper stickers state, “America, love it or leave it.”

ΚΚΚΚ Most Americans probably believe this is the best country in the world.  Politicians constantly tell the voters that the United States is the greatest nation on earth, and a vote for them and their party will keep it that way.  It is fair, therefore, to see how it is and how they want to keep it.  Candidates often invite voters to look at their record.  A look at the record reveals that the United States is, in fact, number one in many areas.  For example, it is currently the most prosperous and powerful nation   It is the recognized world leader. Compared to other major industrial nations, the United States “ranks Number One in real wealth, number of billionaires, the amount of space in homes, defense spending and military capability, executive salaries, physicians’ salaries, ethnic