Now it’s my turn. I certainly wasn't going to do a “worst” list about Spain. That is just scary because I value my life. But let's just say that a few of my "10 best" are items that I think Spain could learn from.
1) Ethnic Diversity, Integration and Solidarity.
If you come to the U.S. from wherever, and you want to be part of the club, you will be. You will be an American and no one will tell you you’re not. I don’t care if you have an accent, are a funny color, worship funny gods, etc. This club is open to all and we are the best at the difficult task of integrating different people into our group. There is no Catalan silliness here. Texans may think they are “bigger” than New Yorkers, but in the end they know they are Americans just like the rest of us.
2) Continuity of Government, The U.S. Constitution, and Amendments.
We may fight and complain about who we elected as President but we know that there will be a President and not a General in charge. Even when all that crap went down with Al Gore and the Florida voters, nothing really nasty happened. Of course we knew there would be no Coup or something stupid like that. And the Constitution and Amendments? We really take those pieces of paper seriously. We have been discussing them, arguing over them, re-reading them, and following them, etc. for hundreds of years! Pretty wild.
3) General Honesty from People.
Generally speaking, I believe you can expect honesty when dealing with people in the U.S. We are taught that it is morally right to be honest. This is our strength and weakness. Sometimes people come from countries where this is not the case, where you have to screw your fellow citizen just to survive (not Spain). These people find that the U.S. is a giant playground made specifically for them to rip off trusting Americans, or the government – until they get caught. September 11 was possible because we trusted those scumbags to behave, just like we trust everyone who comes here. That one jumped up and bit us in the ass.
4) Best Movies, TV Shows, and Music.
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but our movies kick ass. TV shows also are really the best (of course there are crappy ones too). We even do it without government subsidies. All Spanish movie stars know they have made it when they can go to Los Angeles and make movies. American movies make the most money even in Europe where hordes of moviegoers crowd theaters then feel guilty about liking American movies. And music? Please… Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues… Everyone likes at least one type of American music.
5) Incredible Geographic Diversity and Beauty.
We really have it all from slimy cities to incredible unspoiled beauty and wide-open spaces and everything in between. There are beaches, deserts, mountains, forests, and junk yards. If you want to drive on a straight road with nothing in site for hundreds of miles you can do it. If you want to ski in Southern California and then surf the next day you can do that too. Oh, and the coast of California … No nasty hotels or apartments on the beach.
6) Best Customer Service.
We are reaching a critical level of people complaining about this in Spain - something has to give. In the U.S., businesses know who is the boss. When they forget - they go out of business. Businesses and service providers here better kiss your ass or we get pissed. Everyone here knows the saying, “The customer is always right.” We believe it and expect it. In Spain it seems like companies feel that, “The customer is the one we get to screw”.
7) Best Place to be Creative, Start a Business, Make a Million Bucks.
The U.S. is the place to think of something new, something off the wall, something creative, that new device, that thing that cuts onions better than anything, etc. and make a million bucks, or just a living. Maybe it is something boring like selling hangers… whatever it is you can start your own business, work your ass off, sell a jillion of them, and be an obnoxious rich American (wink). Sure there is red tape, taxes, and hoops to jump through, but there is less here.
8) Rule of Law, You Can Fight City Hall and Win.
We take the judicial system seriously and follow the rules. If you don’t like your government, something it did, something it ruled on, how it treated you… you can fight City Hall and win… It may not be easy but it’s easier here. If you think a company is screwing you or the people. You can sue, you can vote, you can run for office. You can go on the evening news and get people on your side.
9) The ACLU and the NRA.
We have all types, all free to try to get whichever crazy idea they have turned into law. We have the American Civil Liberties Union defending pedophiles and fighting for the rights of Nazis to march in the streets and we have the National Rifle Association making sure you can go buy a gun if you want to. Now that’s freedom!
10) Best Place to get an Education.
Let’s be honest. Some people in Europe like to say that Americans are stupid. Does this really make any sense? All the best universities are here. There seems to be a lot of research and innovation coming out of these stupid Americans. If you want an education and you are serious about working hard, you will get one. You will find grant money, or loans, or go to a state university basically for free.That's my list.