Reddit community responds to ‘best things about America’ query: ‘God bless Teddy Roosevelt’


A user on Reddit posted this open-ended question this weekend on the popular subreddit known as “Ask Reddit”: “Americans, what is a good thing about your country?”

Some of the answers reflected strong and abiding patriotism — and elicited thousands of other responses and pieces of conversation — while other answers were thought-provoking.

Here’s a look at some top responses.

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(And please weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments section below.)

“I am a naturalized U.S. citizen, have been living here for 12 years now — and I am still in awe and disbelief [about] how amazing public libraries are here.”

This comment spurred a long thread of chatter. 

One person wrote, “In my area (and I’m sure in others in the U.S.), if my local library doesn’t have what I want, they will obtain it from another library in the state for me free of charge.”

Another individual cited “the size, resources, funding and amount of items that can be checked out” as a positive. 

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“Good libraries in the U.S. have obviously a huge variety of books, but can also have computer services, 3D printing, telescopes, tools, boardgames, videogames, movies, career services — and host all kinds of events and programs throughout the year.”

Said another person, “Many libraries also have items you can check out online if you have a library card. I’ve listened to a number of audiobooks without having to actually set foot in the library.”

The same person wrote, “They also offer e-books, which is great.”

This individual continued, “And some libraries allow digital access even if you’re not in the immediate area. I know the Brooklyn Library and New York Public Library both allow digital access to residents of New York State, even if you’re outside the NYC area.”

Someone else wrote, “Which makes it a shame that so many people are frothing at the mouth to have them defunded and erased. Libraries are one of the few services provided by civilization that you shouldn’t have to inherently pay money to enjoy.”

On the topic of America’s national parks, scores of posters got involved in the chatter.

One Redditor said simply, “Yellowstone.”

The person then added, “Yellowstone is like being on an entirely different planet at times, with a ridiculous amount of flora and fauna that either want to eat you or build a nest in your car — not to mention the geysers and springs.”

This person added, “It’s absolutely essential viewing and God bless Teddy Roosevelt.”

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Another person wrote, “We have a bit of everything, deserts, forests, swamps, mountains, tropical (Hawaii), etc.”

“Access to public education for children with special needs,” wrote one poster, “is a right guaranteed by law, and those protections are stronger and the educational services for special needs children are better than in most of the rest of the world.”

The poster added, “The ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] is also pretty amazing, and the United States is a lot more accessible than most other countries. Some of that’s because the buildings are newer, yes.”

Added this same person, “But it’s really nice to go on vacation and know that your hotel will be able to accommodate you, tour buses will be able to accommodate you [and] most tourist attractions will be able to accommodate you …”

Said one individual, “I live in Seattle and I love that you can find any kind of food from anywhere in the world if you look hard enough.”

The person who posted this added, “I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and each city has its own food history, since everyone’s families originally (99%) came from somewhere else.”

Someone else chimed in with “beer and food. The USA is a diverse nation and it allows a person enjoy food from multiple ethnicities and areas.”

This individual continued, “I never thought I’d be able to eat Ethiopian food in my life or Mongolian, but being in the U.S. made it possible. Also, it has a rich beer culture.”

Said someone else, “In my town I get authentic Mexican, Thai, Ethiopian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Jamaican, Korean, Vietnamese, French, Greek, halal and so many fusion restaurants. And they are all run by immigrants or first-gen kids.” 

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This poster added, “Not all are my favorite or as good as going to the actual country and getting the food, but at least I have endless options. I don’t even live in a big city, I live in a mid-sized city surrounded by smaller towns and cities.”

The individual added, “So fun! Moving here made me realize how good Korean food is.”

Wrote one person, “I know on media and social media we get to see the worst of the people in U.S., and there are people who are bad — but there are good people as well, and they don’t mind helping. Good, kind-hearted folks quirky in their own way, of course.”

The individual who shared this selection also wrote, “I have had the pleasure to know some fine people who welcomed me with open arms — and now have become a part of my family.”

Said another person, “There are far more good people here than bad ones. Sadly, [the] news only covers the bad ones.”

Said one person, “You can work in any industry you want in the U.S. You can also switch career paths and start over at any time.”

The person who posted this noted that, yes, “There’s red tape and BS.”

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Someone else wrote, “While it’s not a level playing field, you can make a living doing almost anything as long as you are very good at it and passionate.” 

This individual added, “You want to give ghost tours? [Be a] dog surf instructor? … Someone will pay.”

“It might not show on the news or even on social media, but the diversity is truly amazing.”

Added the writer of this response, “You can have a group full of different types of people, and it’s always a good time.”

Said the same person, “I’ve never been out of the country, but I find it neat that we can get a taste of almost everything here. It might not be perfect or authentic, but at least we have an idea.”

“Nearly every major invention of the past couple hundred years” has come from America, wrote one person — “and as much as we’re made fun of for being dumb, we still have some of the smartest [people] in the world as well.”

Wrote another person, “Americans are entrepreneurial and risk-takers. Our system has an abundance of capital to fund any idea that might generate returns or improve life for the world.”

Added this same poster, “Our culture incentivizes and fosters innovation more than any other large country. It also allows us to draw dreamers from all over the world and make them American. It’s in the DNA of the country and I hope we never lose it because the world needs it.”

This person said as well, “No one will read this [post] … but it needs to be said.”

In a similar vein, a number of people added America’s space program. 

“Was waiting for this one,” wrote one person. “The commercial space industry fostered by NASA growing in the USA is incredible.”

“I know most people like to b**** about things like the DMV and the IRS. But … American bureaucracies are doing more to make the world a better place than they get credit for. The amount of money and manpower dedicated to data collection and deciphering is hard to fathom, and we’re the only ones doing it for the entire world.”

The poster of this comment added, “Agencies like the DOT do massive amounts of testing on everything from train tracks to seat belts — testing that goes far above and beyond what nearly any manufacturers do. The increase in road and travel safety in the past 100 years is unbelievable. And we share all of our data with every nation.”

The person also said, “The NOAA collects weather data used by every news channel, every weather agency, every government and military force, etc.” 

“The data we collect and the research we’ve done on meteorology have taken weather prediction times from one day to about 10 days in the past century.”

The individual added that this has “impacted billions of lives.”

This poster also wrote, “Military initiatives like DARPA have created things like GPS satellites. We made them. All of them. We maintain them. Everyone else just gets to use them. And everyone does.”

The person said as well, “We aren’t perfect. Far from it. But our intense efforts to collect and interpret data in every field — from food and drugs, to technology, to medicine and hospitals, building codes, chemical classification — the list goes on and on and [has made] an unparalleled contribution to our species.”

Wrote another person, “You don’t have to bribe anyone to get stuff done, either. Different than lots of [other countries of] the world.”

“I am not a U.S. citizen yet,” wrote one person, “but I have lived here for 18 years and traveled all around the country. People have already mentioned things like geographical diversity, state parks, food etc.”

The person added, “But from an immigrant’s perspective, I would like to add civil rights and justice. You can be from any part of the world, but you would be treated fairly by the law. You can go to a restaurant, or a store or a workplace, and you will not be discriminated based on who you are.”

The person added, “And if you [are], you will have the law on your side. People who [have been] discriminated [against] have filed lawsuits and won huge settlements.”

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The poster added as well, “I used to work for a company, and I was part of a team that had six other people who were all U.S. citizens and then me … a brown immigrant living here on a work visa.” 

The person added, “The management wanted to promote one of us into a lead position. And they decided to pick me because I was the most qualified. I have lived in two other countries and something like this would have never happened in those places.”

The poster wrote as well, “Sure, racist people do exist, but for the most part people here are nice. I have lived here more than any other country in the world and I have always felt like home.”

Added a different individual, “The American justice system is generally quite mediocre and has issues with systemic racism, but it is still far better than many other places in the world.”

A number of people said that “Dolly Parton” belongs on the list of the best things about America.

Wrote one person, “I don’t even like country music, but I love her.” 

This person added, “They were trying to put a statue of her in Nashville, and she told them not to — she wanted those funds to go to helping kids.”

Commenters on the “Ask Reddit” social media site shared compelling answers to the question, “What is a good thing” about America? Here are some top replies — including libraries, parks and more.

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