- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The New York Times opinion team released a video ahead of the Fourth of July that attempts to dispel the “myth” of American greatness, declaring that “we’re just OK” when stacked up against other industrialized nations.

“The myth of America as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated and at worst, wildly inaccurate,” The Times opinion team tweeted Tuesday. “If you look at data, the U.S. is really just O.K.”

The video, produced by Taige Jensen and Nayeema Raza, uses the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as an indicator of America’s pitfalls, claiming that while the U.S. is the richest nation in the group, it is also the poorest, “with a whopping 18 percent poverty rate, closer to Mexico than Western Europe.”

The video also claims that the U.S. has fallen significantly behind in high school science, reading and math levels compared to other nations and that Americans live “sicker and shorter lives” than people in other Western countries because we’re “fatter” and spend more money on health care per capita.

“So what, besides our economy and military are we actually No. 1 at? Turns out, a lot of things,” the video’s narrator says. “Civilian gun ownership, mass shootings, TV watching, prescription drug abuse, prison population — Oh, and almost No. 1 on environmental damage, edged out by China.”

The video then compares the U.S. to countries like Pakistan and Nigeria, “where the rich don’t worry about the sad state of electricity or police, because they have generators or private security.”

“When health, education, and safety are increasingly privatized or driven by privilege, the truth is ‘how great America is really depends on how rich you are,’” the video’s narrator says. “Now, I’m not saying we’re Pakistan or Nigeria or any number of what we like to call developing countries, but we’re not perched as high above them as we like to think.

“So as we gear up for another election season when politicians tell us America is great, or that it isn’t and proceed to make it worse, let’s try a more truthful approach. America may once have been the greatest, but today America, we’re just OK,” the narrator concludes.

The video, which has been viewed more than 1.6 million times, sparked backlash on Twitter and is being heavily ratioed, meaning it’s receiving far more angry replies than retweets and likes. 

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