AMERICA ISN’T ALL BAD

Although it seems America is in a rough spot, there are many good things we should be looking at. The survival of the Affordable Care Act, America’s withdrawal in the Middle East, a larger effort towards ending misogyny, and a large reduction in teenage pregnancy are helping in improving American society.

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If you ask anyone about their outlook for the world, their attitudes tend to be quite a downer. There are plenty of reasons people choose from all the time. Gas attacks in Syria, an increasing numbers of mass shootings, hurricanes devastating cities in the United States and an undeniable political mess. Take your pick, there are plenty of reasons to choose from. This negativity dominates our conversations, and as a whole, our lives. However, there is more than enough positivity where there may seemingly be none. You just have to look in the right places.

 

Protection of the Affordable Care Act

 

The Affordable Care Act (Also known as Obamacare) has survived multiple attacks made by the Trump Administration. This act has been in debate for a good amount of time, and has been subject to change by the Trump Administration. Trump and the Republican party have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but have repeatedly failed. Based on statistics and facts, this is significant news. 60 million people did not have health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act, but now only 27 million people remain without healthcare insurance, and that number keeps decreasing.

Some Americans are less economically fortunate than others, and because of Obamacare, 19.4% of lower class Americans are medically covered by Medicaid, another quality that helps millions of Americans everyday. Whether you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act, it has helped millions of Americans, and facts can back that up.  However, the system could be improved, like everything else in life. We all hope to see these improvements in the future where this act could help all Americans.

 

Withdrawal from the Middle East

 

After presidents Bush and Obama deployed many American troops into the Middle East and in Afghanistan, many have been killed and more terrorist groups seem to keep developing. US drone air-strikes haven’t been very effective, and the tactics they used have  not delivered any result. Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops, and in general, evacuate American military movements from these areas is a good decision. According to the Huffington Post and the New York Times, over 6,500 American troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. This is a large amount  in comparison to results in recent years. If 6,500 soldiers isn’t enough to make the U.S. evacuate its troops, then how many people have to die? One-million? Well it’s getting closer to that, because the number of wounded soldiers have already exceeded that. These wounded soldiers not only come back home with physical injuries, but also return suffering from mental illness. Another aspect readers should take into consideration would be the cost that these wars are having on the United States. They have already cost America well over a trillion dollars, and if it is to continue, it is estimated to reach over 6 trillion dollars.  Terrorism is an issue all over the world, and Trump removing troops from the Middle East does not remove the idea of the “War on Terrorism.” Instead it changes America’s tactics in this battle on terrorism. Direct military actions have not seemed to work in the Middle East, and if anything, they keep creating tension with Russia and Iran, as well as power vacuums that open a door that terrorists can use to come into power.It is about time to try a new method and new tactics to win this war, and American troops shouldn’t be pointlessly dying while these problems are still being worked on. This evacuation has shown through facts that it will aid America through saving lives and keep the government budget in check. This process will take time, and will not be done overnight, but looking at the results, it will be worth it. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean the “War on Terrorism” is over, but our government is going to work on a better way to accomplish victory without sacrificing American lives.

The Me Too Movement

 

One event that has been on everyone’s minds in the past year or so is the rise of sexual harassment allegations. Sexual abuse is a heinous and scarring experience that remains prevalent throughout society. Especially against celebrities and popular figures, ability of this caliber to speak up against abuse mirrors the courage of other great movements. The movement, called “Me Too,” is not entirely new. The Me Too movement was started back in 2006, but it has recently come into the limelight after a string of accusations came out. The main case that brought this back was against Harvey Weinstein, who was accused by around 84 women. After Weinstein, more than 100 public figures have been accused of sexual misconduct.

 

It’s not just women’s rights, but the treatment of women which is an incredibly important social improvement in the United States. One century after women obtained their right to vote in the United States, we are still struggling with misogyny in our own country. We can see this through the vast amounts of sexual harassment that women are subjected to. In fact, the numbers are higher than one would expect. In a survey conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 40% of employed women stated that they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace (Source). This ties right in to the #MeToo movement, as we see that not just celebrities, but many women in America experience much sexual harassment. There have been two major public showings against sexual harassment that occurred in Washington D.C., taking form as the women’s marches. These took place in 2017 and 2018, having been the two largest protests that have occured in the history of the United States. The 2017 march had over 3,000,000 people, and the 2018 march had over 1,000,000 people. These marches show how America’s problem with misogyny is improving.

 

Lowered Teenage Pregnancy Rates

 

There’s another noticeable social improvement occurring in the United States that has seen a major improvement in a short span of time: teenage pregnancy. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the amount of mothers from ages 15-19 has decreased 67% between 1991 and 2016. In the past, teenage pregnancy has been a peculiar social issue particularly for the United States, occurring because of the contrast of natural human development vs society today. U.S. society favors a much more abstinent and reserved approach to motherhood, compared to other countries. Here, it is difficult to hold a family at such a young age. It tends to lead to higher high school dropout rates and increased health care costs. Coupled with the lack of economic income for anyone of that age, it becomes nearly impossible to live a comfortable life. The recent decline is in part due to the increased access to contraceptives, and the improvement of teenage pregnancy programs in the United States. As such, it makes it all the better to see teenage pregnancy decreasing throughout the United States.

In essence, although the world could be better, we should still focus on what’s improving. Many of the good things tend to go unrecognized, partially because people tend to focus on negative events in the world. However, being able to look at our strengths gives us the ability to see what we are doing well, and use the same mentality to apply them to other parts of America that need working on. Hopefully, we will continue to improve so that one day we can say, “Maybe America isn’t all bad.”

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AMERICA ISN’T ALL BAD