The soliloquy given by the character in the image portrays a world in which Americans should realize they are no longer living in the best country in the world.
The video starts off with a girl posing a question to a panel of people on stage. She asks them, “why is America the greatest country in the world”? The first two people answer with very simple responses to the question. The third panelist starts out by refusing to answer the question seriously. He looks uneasy as the moderator prods him to actually respond to the question. As he pauses and thinks about how he wants to respond, he notices a girl in the audience holding a small board with the words “it isn’t” written on it. That board seems to give him the motivation to suddenly tell the audience with a very harsh and commanding tone that America is not the greatest country in the world. He begins firing off statistics that show America is not the best at anything good. The audience is completely stunned and they all begin pulling out cameras and video recorders as they listen to his monologue about the shortcomings of America. He finishes his statement by saying the first step to fixing the problem is realizing there is one, “America is not the greatest country in the world… but it could be.”
With some context, that speaker is Jeff Daniels; the main character in HBO’s new hit ‘The Newsroom’. In the show Jeff takes a very hard line against rhetoric and the riff-raff that he believes plagues American news-casting and popular belief. This scene really shows how skeptical of everything he is, yet how difficult it is to choose to fight popular opinion. While two other panelists gave simple crowd-pleasing answers, Daniels went against the grain and argued in what he knew was truly right but probably not popular. One of the big symbols in this video is the girl holding the sign that helps motivate Jeff to go ahead and tell the crowd that he doesn’t like the way things are in the country. The sign helped validate in his mind the idea in his mind that our country is not what it used to be, and people keep that idea out of sight and mind. He said the first step to fixing a problem is noticing it, and that’s exactly what his soliloquy was meant to do: open the eyes of people blinding by ideas of American exceptionalism and supremacy.
People love to believe we are the best because everything is bigger here: our military, our economy, and our freedoms. What people love to forget however is that other places are living lives just like ours. Around 180 of 207 sovereign states have freedom. They aren’t inferior like people love to think. Jeff said it right, the first step to solving a problem is noticing it: there is no evidence to suggest that we are the clear-cut best country in the world today.
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Why America is NOT the Greatest Country in the World. Youtube. Google, Inc, n.d.
Web. 3 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMqcLUqYqrs>.