The Best of Andy Rooney

(This classic Andy Rooney column was originally published May 29, 1995.)

Columnists make a living pointing out things that are wrong with America. There isn't much money in talking about the all the good things because it's dull.

What are some of the things that are right with America? Let me count the ways:

We choose our leaders. We vote for officeholders all the way from minor officials in our small towns to the president of our country. Americans accept the authority of the person the majority elects, whether they voted for that person or not.

The stories in the newspapers and on television are of murder, rape, theft and fraud, but by several hundred thousand to one we are honest and law-abiding. We stop for traffic lights, not because we're afraid of being arrested, but because we live by an unwritten covenant. We abide by the law because it's the law.

We complain that they are too high, but we pay our taxes.

Millions of men with normal sexual desires are thrown together in all kinds of situations with millions of women and in all but a tiny number of cases, rape is unthinkable.

The average American eats better than anyone in any country in the world. The shelves of our supermarkets runneth over with good things.

Our government is not oppressive. It does what we ask it to do. We give up our freedom to do as we damn please all the time because we understand it is in the best interests of us all. We agree not to smoke in public places, and not to drive over the speed limit. We agree to having inconvenient caps on potentially dangerous bottles of things because we recognize a little inconvenience to us will save the lives of others.

People are suspicious of journalists, but those in the news business are, 10,000 to one, driven, not by a desire to acquire money but by an obsession to find the truth and reveal it. And the other good thing about our news is, newspapers, radio and television are free and independent of government control.

It is not Us against the Government. We ARE the government. The number of nuts who belong to some kind of quasi-military, anti-government militia are vastly outnumbered by the people who meet at noon or Wednesday evenings for fellowship at Kiwanis, Rotary or Knights of Columbus gatherings in every city in America, none of whom would dream of blowing up any part of the country they love.

Our telephones work; electricity is dependable and available to all of us with a flip of a switch; water flows into our homes to drink and to wash with; we have heat when it's cold and now, even the miracle of air conditioning when it's hot.

When the British colonized much of the world, their interest was money. Our actions in world affairs in the recent past have been motivated not by greed but by a desire to do the right thing. We can't police the whole world, but it's nice when we see some great injustice and use our power to try to correct it.

The Best of Andy Rooney - Humor & Satire Classics

Humor & Funny Stories - What's Right in America? A Great Deal! | Andy Rooney

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services