“What Does America Get Right?”—20 Wholesome Replies

what america gets right

We hear a lot of the time about the things America does wrong. It’s not difficult to understand why, given that our nation is currently facing a public health crisis and the climate crisis, with a recent president who did his best to fuel both exponentially. We also have social epidemics of racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ, and ableist violence. We have mass shootings. At this point in time, there’s not a shortage of things that we’ve royally f—ked up.

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However, sometimes it can help to look on the bright side. At the very least, it offers some perspective. And when we get caught up in all the awful, terrible things that happen, it can be easy to totally forget the good things we also do. So, when Redditor u/jenzredz asked:

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“What does America get right?”

People had some pretty interesting—and often uplifting—answers that were right on the money.

1. Libraries

“The public library system—in my county alone, we have over 10 different libraries with transfers between them so there’s a vast selection of movies, books, magazines, etc.”

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2. Public restrooms and water fountains

“Public restrooms and drinking fountains. In NZ, you’re lucky to have a public toilet within a block of you if you’re downtown. In the US, every shop has one.”


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3. Central Air

“There is no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater… than central air.”


4. Order substitutions

“Altering your restaurant order. I visited Spain, and I couldn’t find a place that let me substitute or change things. Wanna replace the ketchup on your burger with the bbq sauce they serve with the chicken strips? You’re SOL.”

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5. Historical documentaries

“Revisiting its history in TV documentaries time and time again. Here in Canada we’ll do it once, rerun it, and then bury it in a vault or archive, never to be broadcast or available as a DVD (or vhs back in the day) ever again. There’s a lot of Canadian documentaries and broadcast tv rotting away like this.”


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6. Individual kindness

“Canadian here.

My near universal experience with Americans is that they are generous and helpful. Many would give someone the shirt off their backs if asked.

Collectively, y’all are crazy, but individually, the best people I’ve ever met.”



“NASA. Even with all the government and political bullshit, it’s still taking great strides in taking humanity forward, but more importantly they focus a LOT on educating the common folks during missions.

I love that all the information and pictures and everything NASA produces are publicly accessible for free, and not even under copyright. I’m not even American but NASA had a great role in creating interest in me about Space and Astronomy when I was growing up.”

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8. National Parks

“This country has remarkable natural beauty. The national park system was a good idea even if it’s underfunded and overcrowded now. […]”


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9. Individuality

“The ability to be an individual is something I appreciate about America, even coming from Australia which you should THINK is just as open about that kind of thing.

You guys have this impressive level of “fuck you, I’m gonna be who I want” that nowhere else on earth can match and I am definitely envious of.”


10. Variety of available cuisines

“That’s a funny thing about America, in every part of the country there are cuisines you can trust and cuisines you avoid. If you’re in the Deep South? Avoid Mexican food. If you’re in California, you’re probably okay. But you may be let down by Cajun. If you’re in upstate New York good luck getting Japanese food. If you’re in central US …. I’ve never loved most non American food in central US. but coastal areas you have plenty of choices… especially California.”

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