Columns / Discourse / April 10, 2013

Debating columnists: The U.S. versus the U.S.?

Many countries pose a threat to the United States. Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea are all leading candidates, but the greatest threat of them all is not foreign. The most significant threat comes from within.

We are our own worst nightmare. We are the ones that debilitate our standing in the world. It’s our failed foreign and fiscal policies that get us in trouble.

Terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida killed 2,753 Americans on Sept. 11, 2011, but our own government is the one that provokes fundamentalist organizations by intruding into other countries’ affairs without permission. That’s what many of their leaders said, instead of neoconservatives who claimed that they attacked us because of our own freedoms. Just look at the U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

Our own country creates many enemies around the world. Our government gets involved in order to spread democratic ideals around the world because we are the “Shinning City on a Hill,” as President Ronald Reagan once said.

But are we really a great example for the world at large? Are we that perfect that we need to look for problems abroad? Was this country intended to be the policeman of the world and lead everyone? Should we look at our problems before helping others? These are all very important questions that all statesman should ask him or herself.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful country. I’m in the United States because Argentina failed to live up to the public good. I didn’t become a U.S. citizen because I hate America. I love America. After all, my parents didn’t decide to move in 2003 because Buenos Aires was all blue skies. Argentina was in shambles and America was our strongest, safe haven. The U.S. still harbors many immigrants, like myself, who wanted a better life.

The U.S. is exceptional, no doubt. Our laws are the most exceptional. Many countries utilized the U.S. Constitution to establish their own governments. In fact, more than 160 countries used our Constitution as a blueprint. That shows America’s might.

How about the economy? A $15 trillion Gross domestic product is nothing to scoff at. America is powerful and robust. No one can beat this country when it comes to our commercial strength.

On the other hand, America is struggling. The U.S. is not perfect. It is overstretching itself both domestically and across the globe. The fact of the matter is that the U.S. needs to improve its mediocre economy.

The latest jobs report came out last week and pointed out that the workforce dropped to 63.3 percent — the lowest since 1979. Our debt keeps growing as a result, and throws us deeper and deeper into a $16.8 trillion debt hole.

Is this really a role model for others?

This country will lead again if it takes itself seriously. It has to reevaluate itself. The U.S. will lead by growing the economy by channeling new investments into the markets, lowering the debt, fostering a welcoming environment for new immigrants with valuable skills, minding its own business instead of getting involved in every foreign affair, strengthening and developing new alliances in regions like South America and, once and for all, following the U.S. Constitution instead of ignoring it.

The U.S. needs to stop neglecting itself and should start taking care of itself. We will lead if and only if we are strong at home.

Alex Uzarowicz
Alex Uzarowicz has been a weekly conservative political columnist for The Knox Student for three years. He also writes for The College Conservative. Alex will graduate in June 2013 with a degree in political science, after which he will head abroad to begin his Peace Corps service.

Tags:  al-Qaida Debt economy global impact investment market neglect Reagan South America struggle U.S.

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