One of our (Americans in particular) most powerful motivators is winning. From its inception, America has had to fight for what she believed, and keep fighting to achieve progress. More often than not, America won - the economy grew, its role on the world stage grew, its contribution to the sciences and entertainment grew, its ego grew, etc. It is therefore clear why this competitive instinct is so deeply-rooted in the American "system," and how it is fundamental to her approach to life, the universe and everything.
From birth to school to work to love to death, Americans view life as a zero-sum game. At birth we're competing for cutest baby, baby closest to the XXth percentile of development, etc.; next it's getting in the right schools; then the best jobs; the best girl/guy; etc. In every instance, keeping score is about besting someone else - the pie is only so big, and for us to win, others need to lose.
The competitive instinct can sometimes lead one astray - there have been many American declarations against rather unlikely foes. Some of these "Wars" include: Poverty (Johnson, 1964 - winner: poverty); Drugs (Nixon, 1969 - winner: drugs); Terror (Bush, 2001 - winner: terror); Greed (US Congress 2008/9 - winner: greed); ...
Even corporations have gotten into it - one recently declared War on Cost. If they actually win, price = free; success = bankruptcy. Not sure the shareholders will approve.
It is pretty hard to spot(!), but did you notice a trend among all these wars? Each has cost a ton of money, wasted a ton of lives, burned a ton of energy, and in every case, resulted in more of the "bad" thing than before the "war" was declared.
"My fellow Americans there is a cancer among us, it is evil, it is insidious, and it is fomented by those will not stop until they have found the best in every one of us. I call upon every red-blooded American to stand with me, and in the spirit of our founding fathers who prevailed against a superior foe armed only with the power of their ideals, rise as one to combat what is surely the most diabolical axis of evil that has beset our glorious nation.
My fellow Americans - I stand before you today with pride and purpose to declare War on Peace. Peace is the most powerful foe America has ever faced, but I am confident that our relentless pursuit of failure will once again restore our faith and ensure our prosperity.
This is just the beginning - lead by Peace, this axis of evil contains two other collaborators that must also be quelled. Immediately upon losing to Peace, and in the spirit of all that is great, we will first declare War on Wellness, and then War on Education.
Thank you, God bless each and every one of you, and God bless America."
Yes we can!