Actor Jeff Daniels, speaking from a script by Aaron Sorkin, delivered a lot of truth in the first season of HBO’s “The Newsroom” with a powerful condemnation of America as anything close to the “the greatest country on earth.”
Says Daniels on how America was once great but no longer is:
We stood up for what was right, we fought for moral reasons, we passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured disease, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy.
But now, Daniel’s character said, America is far from the greatest. The only first places the nation has is in the number of incarcerated prisoners, the number of people who actually believe in angels and a defense budget that dwarfs others.
As a nation, we rank woefully short of education, leadership, caring for people and human nature.
It is unnerving that such truths play out on a television show and not in what substitutes for news nowadays.
And, yes, I do think that America is a far cry today from the greatest county in the world. It was once and it could be again but it will take time.
You can watch the entire sequence here. The series ends with a third season soon.