In general, the US's tomfoolery just makes us a devastatingly easy target to hate on, not just from non-Americans, but from my fellow Americans as well. So, when I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share what they actually like (maybe even love) about America and American culture, the patriot in me suddenly made an appearance. Here are some of the best responses from Americans and non-Americans:
1."I know us Americans can be a bit much when it comes to sports in the US, but baseball games (Chicago Cubs, specifically) are one of my favorite 'Murican things in the whole world."
2."NASA. I love the space program, the brave astronauts, the dramatic voyages, the images, and that Buzz Aldrin is still with us! I grew up learning all about space stuff, and I still get the tingles."
3."ICE. IN. OUR. DRINKS."
4."I genuinely love the way we have each other’s backs in this country — at least where I’m from. Politicians and local leaders may only keep their own interests at heart, but I know for a FACT that if there was a major disaster in my city, or something tragic happened just to me, the people around me would stop at nothing to fix the situation. I don’t think that’s a uniquely American thing, but I definitely think that the heart and grit of the American people gets overlooked because our celebrities and politicians are generally not a good representation of our people."
5."I’ve never been to America, but I love how Americans completely embrace seasons and holidays. Christmas and romance movies probably paint small-town America in a somewhat untrue light, but I like to think that Christmas really is as magical in some of these towns as the movies depict them to be — the events, the decorations, the atmosphere, etc. And while I guess it’s trickier now, when I was younger, America was always the place where you could go to be accepted and welcomed and make something of yourself."
6."I don't think anywhere else can touch the US on the global cultural impact of the musical genres and artists we've produced."
7."The diversity — yes, in terms of people, race, religion, and ethnicity, but also topography. I've been to Mount Whitney (not the top) and the bottom of the Grand Canyon, I've fished at the Chesapeake Bay and the beaver ponds in Montana, and I've experienced -38 degrees and 122 degrees. We have everything from rodeos to Broadway, to state fairs to charity golf tournaments. The point is that everyone can find something somewhere that's for them."
8."There are many paths to higher education in adulthood, and career change is also relatively easy in the US compared to, for example, much of Europe. It’s also fairly easy to get medication prescribed here (paying for it is another matter). It’s possibly the only meager benefit of our nightmarish healthcare system. If I have an allergic reaction, I can get something at my local pharmacy in 30 minutes. In the UK, trying to get anything other than antibiotics basically requires a concierge doc."
9."We have a history of composers, musicals, and jazz second to none. I read something about how American musical theater will always be superior because of the 'Tin Pan Alley' — a group of composers and musicians mostly made up of immigrants and children of immigrants. The history of these composers and their works is fascinating to me; no other country seems to have this unique background."
10."Americans are generally just really friendly. While traveling abroad, you don’t see too many people smiling at each other, going out of their way to say hello, or asking about your day. Sometimes a smile from a stranger, someone holding the door open for you, or just a simple 'Hi, how are you today?' can turn someone’s day around, and I personally love that about America."
11."I like the accessibility aspect. I think we're much more progressive than the majority of other countries when it comes to people with disabilities. Not that we couldn't do better, because we totally could, but we're miles ahead of a bunch of other countries."
12."The diversity of people. So many people come from different backgrounds — whether it's race, religion, culture, ethnicity, etc. And, for the most part, Americans are open to that and don't treat people with different backgrounds like complete outsiders. I've walked around other countries where people stop and stare because I'm white with red hair, and I often got treated differently because I was an outsider. America isn't perfect, but we do a decent job at accepting diversity."
13."When I moved to the States from the West Indies, I had to practice the 'American accent.' But I didn’t know that New York has a totally different accent than Georgia! So I guess I enjoy all of the different 'accents' the US has."
14."I love that America offers free refills on many beverages, particularly coffee and soda. I don't have to worry about measuring my sips to avoid my drink running out halfway through the meal."
15."I lived in East Africa for two years, where folks there express and discuss emotions and feelings in different ways than Americans do. They don't do it 'wrong' by any means, just in a way that's not immediately intuitive to me. As a result, it was difficult to form close friendships for a while until I learned the culture of expression. I love how Americans express themselves, and because I grew up immersed in American expression culture, I can express myself much more spontaneously now that I'm back home. I see visitors to the United States struggle in similar ways, which allows me to be more patient and considerate with them."
16."I’m a big city girl, but I've lived in a couple of small towns during my lifetime. I love the friendly, mostly-trusting nature of small-town folk. I love how they wave at you on dusty roads and help you if you have car trouble, no questions asked. I also love their camaraderie when it comes to high school sports. High school football is definitely the night of the week, with families and friends out to support their kids. County fairs are also dizzyingly delightful events. It's truly Americana."
17."I love the American land itself. There's everything: mountains, deserts, forests, warm climates, cold climates, tropical, and tundra. It's just plain awesome. And the national parks are AMAZING."
18."I’m an Eastern European living in the US. One thing I genuinely like about Americans is the strong sense of community. In the same vein, if people here see something they don’t like, you go and fix it. Us Czechs are really good at complaining, but we generally don’t do anything about it. Meanwhile, when Americans see something they’re not happy with, they’ll go and change it."
19."I love that each state has its own 'identity,' per se. We all naturally have a lot of pride in being from the state we're from. I'm from Michigan, and I love bragging about our lakes and miles and miles of sandy beaches. Also, raising your hand to show which part of the state you're from is always fun in a dorky way."
20."I like how accepting America is of the LGBTQ+ community. Where I'm from, you can die if you're even caught kissing someone of the same gender. When I moved here, I was in tears of joy when I saw my first Pride parade. I wish other countries were like this."
21."Efficiency! In an Italian pastry shop, I waited in four different lines to get a coffee and a pastry. It took 25 minutes, but it was one of the best pastries and espressos I've ever had. Then I got back to Boston Logan Airport, and in 30 seconds, I had a donut and coffee from Dunkin'. The quality sucks, but the efficiency can't be beat. Americans do fast and efficient better than anyone."