The New York Times delivered a questionable message ahead of Independence Day: “The U.S. is really just O.K.”
The official New York Times Opinion Twitter account tweeted the video just two days before Independence Day in an effort to explain why the U.S. is, it argues, mediocre at best.
“The myth of America as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated and at worst, wildly inaccurate. If you look at data, the U.S. is really just O.K,” the tweet reads.
The myth of America as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated and at worst, wildly inaccurate. If you look at data, the U.S. is really just O.K. pic.twitter.com/pFrWBH0Zfl
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) July 2, 2019
The nearly five-minute video makes the argument for America’s supposed mediocrity, calling U.S. greatness a myth and hitting a number of common left-wing talking points in an attempt to make the case.
“America. The greatest country on earth– a narrative packed and sold to tiny patriots, reinforced by every cartoon, movie, cheeseburger and mattress sale– a mythology so entrenched, our most beloved personalities urge us never to question it, “ the narrator stated with the video featuring passing clips of Michelle Obama, Jimmy Kimmel, and Sean Hannity praising the U.S.
“But what if we did question it?” the narrator asked.
While the narrator admitted that America has done some “pretty great stuff” – only considering building a functioning democracy, walking on the moon, and building “prestigious” universities as “great” achievements – he dismissed the “great” stuff and based the assessment on the intergovernmental Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) findings.
“Of course there’s no single way to measure greatness, but one good test is how we rank in the OECD, which is basically a golf club of 36 countries, predominately wealthy, Western, and Democratic,” the narrator stated before listing a range of stats on the U.S. poverty rate, health care system, as well as rankings in reading, science, and math.
“We spend more money on health care than any other country in the golf club, especially out of our own private little pockets. But we live sicker and shorter lives, we’re fatter, and globally we’re more likely to see newborns die,” the narrator stated.
“We’re even behind Bosnia. But we have freedom in America, and everyone’s jealous, or something,” he sarcastically added.
The insults did not stop there, with the Times‘ video mocking America’s “number one” status in negative areas such as TV-watching, prison population, drug abuse, and mass shootings. Notably, the Times lumped “civilian gun ownership” into the list of negatives.
The Times‘ narrator continued: “It’s gotten to a point where I think there are specific times and places where you can confuse America for a developing country as elections are tampered with…”
At that moment, the video showed a clip of failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who lost her election by about 55,000 votes.
The narrator continued, blaming America’s “just O.K.” status, in part, on the “privatization” of health, education, and safety which is “driven by privilege.”
“The truth is, how great America is really depends on how rich you are,” the narrator stated.
While the narrator conceded that America is not on the same level as corrupt developing countries like Nigeria or Pakistan, he said that we are “not perched as high above them as we’d like to think.”
The Times‘ video concludes with an obvious swipe at President Trump.
“While a bit of patriotism is great, jingoism is dangerous especially when it’s built on old or fake news,” the narrator stated, with a clip of Trump flashing on the screen.
“America may once have been the greatest,” the video concluded. “But today America? We’re just O.K.”