108 Reasons Why You Love America (The Privileged Liberal’s Edition)

The other day, a friend inspired me to put out a Facebook ask. For every person who posts a comment on my status with a reason they love the U.S., I’ll donate a dollar to the ACLU.

This was all well and good. I raised $108 (and counting), and I managed to double it by matching with a friend. People who looked at my comments thread got a dopamine hit of gratitude and kindness during a time when we need it most. My echo chamber of well-to-do progressives grew a little bit louder.

It’s been a rough week for many of us. We’re afraid for the future of our country and feel like that fear has been exploited.

Perhaps this list is a necessary reminder that all hope is not lost (hence why I am posting it here). But in reading through it a second time, it became obvious that it captures a version of America through a very specific lens: one steeped deeply in privilege. A list that might not ring true for all citizens of this country.

A young black man may not feel like the police are there to protect him. Creativity isn’t limited to Burning Man and a $500-a-ticket Broadway musical. Marijuana isn’t even close to legal for everyone. New York and San Francisco aren’t our only vibrant cities.

Yet I was still struck by the beautiful simplicity of many of your responses. I’ve grouped them according to category: diversity, opportunity, education, the First Amendment, our natural wonders, our towns and cities, gay rights, legal weed, larger-than-life food, larger-than-life art, our power in numbers. You can read then, verbatim, below.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together to treat strangers with compassion, communicate with one another, strengthen our existing communities, and work toward building new ones.

So let’s call this list what it is: motivation to do just that. A dopamine hit for the privileged. A biased viewpoint. A particular perspective. But perhaps by starting here, more people — in communities all across the U.S.— will begin having similar conversations.

Without further ado:

We are beautifully diverse.

I love America because we have historically been open to immigrants, and our current composition shows it.

The rainbow of beautiful people. And National Parks!

Our diversity!

It’s the birthplace of the American Dream, a place where people can build a better life for themselves.

My dad came here with just a suitcase and became a successful businessman. I as his immigrant daughter could grow up here and become whatever I wanted truly.

Diversity of our people and our love for fireworks!

I love how we take food, music, etc., from other countries and make it our own. We change what is foreign and, in turn, become slightly more complex and diverse.

I love America because it provided a better life for my mother, who immigrated 40+ years ago.

I love America because our rich diversity of nasty women and men from all walks of life!

Immigrants have a home in America.

I love that we are a land of immigrants, the ultimate melting pot, that our differences are celebrated and encouraged.

I love America because I have the freedom to learn about everyone in it, and accept them all with open arms.

I love America because it’s the only home I’ve ever known.

I love America because of all the culture that is mixed and accepted within our communities.

DIVERSITY.

Most people speak at the very least a little bit of Spanish!

Immigrants’ stories about why they’ve come here.

Our culture, how diverse and mixed it is. We have a little bit of everything here.

I love the opportunities in America.

The strength of the U.S. passport.

I love America because just an ordinary guy can become president. Amazing.

Because any asshole kid can dream of growing up and being president someday.

Opportunity.

Free public education, pre-K to 12.

I went from Kindergarten through J.D. in America’s public schools. So I like that!

Because we have civil liberties to protect.

Because we have the ACLU.

Because I can be openly against any religion and not be persecuted for it.

I love America because here I can be free in my thinking and action in a way that is not possible in my home country.

People on the streets who are protesting these days…taking ownership over social justice issues for the betterment of their society.

The general tolerance for differing opinions and beliefs.

Rocky mountains and whistle blowers.

Because we can stand by our inspirational black, brown, female, gay, Muslim and Native American friends feeling vulnerable right now through peaceful protests protected by our First Amendment rights.

I’ll second the “because we have the ACLU.”

I love that the values of this country are bigger than one man could ever be.

The freedom to explore.

I love that in the U.S. literally anything is possible. It’s a double edged sword at times but ultimately it really shows our freedom to change and eventually grow.

Because people aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in!

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the press freedom it guarantees.

I love the undercurrent of the permanent adversarial culture in America that will never die!

Because we are free to have organizations like the ACLU.

Religious freedom.

Freedom to express our views.

Our National Parks System.

I love the preservation of the west coast! The redwood forest!

Our beautiful woods and forests, particularly in the fall!

The ability to get out into a wild natural world.

I love America because we created the National Parks System.

Among other things, I love it for our rivers and lakes and oceans and mountains.

Diverse landscapes, climates, and natural resources.

Because it’s geographically diverse and beautiful.

Rocky Mountains. Brilliant Plumbing. Fact that we mostly sing America the Beautiful instead of our silly anthem whenever we can. Immigrants.

It’s the only place I know where you can go skiing and surfing in the same day.

National Parks.

The long beaches of Martha’s Vineyard.

The land!!!!! Mountains and forests.

I love the beautiful natural landscapes from sea to shining sea.

I love our land. It’s beautiful and so incredibly diverse. It heals my soul.

Our incredible National Park system!

The beauty of the land!

I love the national parks and the land trust alliance. And home grown veggies.

The mountains, the rivers, and the kindness.

National parks.

All of the natural wonders we have access to!

Small towns and big cities and big towns and small cities.

The West Coast and New York.

I love that there is Oakland and the Bay Area! Not only beautiful, but full of wonderful people, tons of diversity, lots of intellectual thought and discussion, tech innovation; incredible, fresh organic food, year-round. It’s Nirvana, and it’s in the US. And I don’t really know anywhere in the world quite like it.

California.

The view of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge and feeling safe when I go to bed at night.

Nebraska.

The magic of wandering around New York City with nowhere in particular to go.

Summer nights in the city.

The kindness of the Midwest.

My current right to marry whomever I fall in love with.

Because you can be anything and there’s a community for everyone.

Small portions are usually still large.

I love Thanksgiving.

We have a LOT of different types of food.

In-and-Out Burger. All burgers for that matter.

The coalition of humanity in one nation, and….free refills.

Waffle House.

Ethnic food (and people).

I love that we’re a country that accepts so many different cultures and people (and selfishly, of course, the food that comes along with it!).

Purple peppers.

Protected land, iced coffee.

Has anyone said bagels? Bagels.

We have pretty good pizza.

1) Nachos.
2) That we have so many people willing to fight tooth and nail for the rights of others. 
3) You can post this very status.
4) Ben and Jerry’s.

Because America is open to creative ideas.

Because Hamilton.

Burning Man.

I love America because anything is possible here, and despite the many problems, it seems that our imaginations can be met in reality no matter how outlandish.

Unquenchable optimism.

All the musical genres that emerged in the US.

The can-do attitude.

Because I (usually) feel very safe here.

The rule of law for an unruly people.

Because we still don’t have to lock our doors in my little suburbia land … and the kids go in and out of their friends’ houses on the block just like I used to when I was a kid. Really.

I can openly march in protest against the outcome of the election and feel that the police are there to protect me, not to intimidate me.

I love that the states have the power to challenge the federal government.

Because even when we elect someone crazy, there are systems in place to prevent a total meltdown.

I love America because weed is now legal in California!

I love America because legal marijuana is way more popular here than most politicians are, and in many states we can just put it on the ballot and prove it.

Best weed on the planet!

As Americans, when we are unified we are unstoppable.

Because when something awful happens, whether it be 9/11 or someone getting breast cancer on your street, there is a generosity of spirit that’s amazing.

Because there is solidarity among people!

Because it’s the homeland of some of my most beloved friends.

I love the hope and passion of our young and the wisdom of our elders.

The fact that, importantly, the majority of voters voted for unity and inclusion.

I love America because although we’re faced with some much hate right now, I know we will overcome it with love.

People who care.

I love that difficult times for our country serve as a crucible, and we come out of the fire, like steel, harder and more resilient than before.

I love baseball.

America is the shit.

Facebook post inspired by Chris Pitzer and Cory Rae Shaw.

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