The American Way: 15 Things That Prove the United States ‘Got It Right’

Say what you will about our healthcare system or the political climate, but you shouldn’t rule out the United States just yet.

Despite our flaws, we still know how to grow and improve. These are some of the things that America got right.

1. Restaurant Menu Substitutes

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In other countries, swapping out ketchup for barbecue sauce is sometimes nearly impossible. In the U.S., however, you’re more than likely to be able to sit down at a restaurant or order takeout and swap out ingredients without a problem.

2. Theme Parks

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Call us thrill seekers because we enjoy a great theme park. Roller coasters, great food, and live entertainment — what’s not to love? With over 400 amusement parks throughout the U.S., there’s no doubt that Americans know how to have fun.


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The final frontier will always be a mystery to humankind. But thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration here in America, the U.S. continues to lead space exploration and discovery. Not only that, but their data is free for the public to access, encouraging young scientists and future astronauts to pursue their dreams.

4. Public Restrooms

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Believe it or not, some countries make you pay to use the restroom. Here in the U.S., chances are the nearest restaurant or convenience store will gladly let you use their restroom free of charge.

5. Central Air Conditioning

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Jason Lee, as Azrael in Dogma (1999), put it best: “There is no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater…than central air.” You’re welcome, rest of the world.

6. Higher Education

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You don’t need to attend an Ivy League school to get a great education. America boasts some of the best education systems in the world, allowing students from all backgrounds the chance to further their education.

7. National Parks

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Thanks to the Congressional Act of March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as the first National Park and began a movement across the U.S. Now, there are 425 national park sites throughout the country, 63 of which include “National Park” within their name.

8. Halloween

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Other countries may do trick-or-treating and put up a few decorations. But no one loves and commits to the entire Halloween season quite like Americans. We’re talking festivals, haunted houses, and theme parks and towns transforming into spooktacular events for Halloween.

9. Freedom of Speech and Press

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Many countries throughout the world don’t grant their citizens this freedom. The right to express your opinion is in itself a privilege— something we should all respect and be grateful for.

10. No Smoking Sections

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Smoking in public is still allowed in other countries. However, 28 of 50 U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia) have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws. This means enclosed workplaces, restaurants, and bars prohibit smoking so customers don’t have to suffer from the effects of secondhand smoke.

11. Adoption

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In some countries, adoption is frowned upon, despite how many children and orphans need a home. Thankfully, the U.S. adoption process is a little easier to navigate, making America the country that adopts the most children in the world.

12. Public Library System

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Libraries in the U.S. offer more than just books and quiet spaces to read. Many libraries offer free passes to museums and zoos, musical instrument rentals, as well as free concerts and classes, such as cooking, dance, and tech classes for seniors.

13. Community and Compassion

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Whenever there’s a crisis or tragic event here in the States, people answer the call. Americans, despite our different backgrounds and beliefs, always seem to find a way to band together and help our neighbors.

14. Diverse Cuisine

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America is a melting pot, after all. Each culture brings food and traditions to the masses, celebrating their differences over the most common and universal thing: food. No matter where you are in America, you can find a range of food and drinks to enjoy.

15. Optimism

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Americans and their “can do” attitudes are a point of pride. Whether you’re passed over for a promotion or your favorite team has a losing season, Americans, despite all our faults, will pick ourselves up again even if the odds are stacked against us.

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