The Greatest Things About America

2011 Ford F-150

On the list of things that make America great, the Bill of Rights would seem to rank pretty darn near the top, right?

Sure, there are some modern feats of awesomeness that might outrank the freedom of the press and the right to bear arms, but I would assume that duct tape probably wouldn’t be one of those things.

Fortune seems to disagree. The financial magazine has published its top 100 things about America, and duct tape (number 16) outranks the Bill of Rights (number 17). That should be the first clue that the majority of this list is exceptionally cheesy, even listing Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Gmail, the Grand Canyon and Geico commercials above the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.


Among all the nonsense, though, Fortune managed to tip its hat to the U.S. auto industry. A few car-related items even show up in the top 25: the interstate highway system (number 2), the Ford F-150 (number 11) and Detroit (number 14). Others on the list include (seriously): the Honda commercials voiced by Kevin Spacey (number 41), NASCAR (number 51), drive-in movie theaters (number 87) and Exxon Mobil (number 88).

If I were doing a list, I’d certainly change some things around and slide the Armed Forces to number 2, take NASCAR off, add Hyundai and Toyota for their commitment to build cars here and boot Exxon Mobil to the curb. (Even though we need its product to fuel our automotive passion – a necessary evil, I suppose.)

In the top spot, I’d place the freedom that defines this country and allows, even condones, anyone to harbor an unnatural affinity for anything… even a certain silver-backed adhesive tape.

Have a wonderful and safe Independence Day, fellow car gurus.


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  1. Scott, have a great trip. Of all the places I love, the West is the best, especially Colorado.

  2. My wife and I are on our very first road trip to see the wonders of Utah and Arizona – Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, the deserts of Arizona, the Hoover Dam. What we realize on this trip is how damn big and beautiful this country is, and how lucky are are that anyone can hop in their car (domestic or import) and drive. It’s July 4th and we are sitting on a patio of a very nice resort, observing and meeting people from all over the country – Florida, Pennsylvania. Minnesota,California – you name it. What do I think should be in the top 100 list – the ability to move about our country and enjoy what is in our back yard.

  3. Gosh, Exxon Mobil is on my best 100 list too,now that they have trashed the Yellowstone river with oil. Since probably a big percentage of Americans don’t know when American independence was declared or the country we broke away from, duct tape makes sense. I can’t personally rate the armed forces very highly because I just can’t figure out why anyone would volunteer to be cannon fodder in America’s ongoing war against Islam. But then again, we Americans love to wave the flag as long as we don’t have to actually do anything patriotic that involves any real sacrifice or discomfort. We’ll hop in our Toyotas and drive down to the Mobil station to tank up. Hooray for America.

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