Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover the topic of “freedom of speech” and the American notion of exceptionalism at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about freedom of speech and gender equality. So is freedom of speech unique to America? Is gender equality unique to America? Hell, no. Hell, no! [Laughs] People in America have no idea and I blame the American media. People here think that like we’re the best country in the world because we have freedom of speech, not realizing that the entire Western world has freedom of speech. There’s nothing unusual, absolutely nothing.

The problem is that the media, we don’t hear anything about Germany, we don’t hear anything about UK, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea. These are all developed countries around the world. The only countries we hear about on our media are these developing countries that are struggling and having problems like Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria. That’s what our media tells us about – Egypt, India. We hear about those second-world nations, third-world nations that are struggling, and of course in those areas there’s no question that there are more restrictions and they don’t have freedom of speech the way we do, and gender equality issues or there’s really no gender equality in those countries. But there is a huge Western world. We are just one country of many developed countries.

Now, there are things that distinguish America and reasons why we should be proud of being Americans and certainly why I am proud of being an American and why I moved to this country from Canada, and I’ll get to that in a second. But freedom of speech and gender equality? No way, man. They’ve got that all around the world in the developed parts of the world. And in fact I had a conversation, I was at a dinner party and I was speaking to a woman who was at the party, and she was saying that there isn’t any gender equality in Europe and that we’re way ahead in gender equality. This is categorically untrue. In fact, the percentage of women who are graduating with university degrees is much higher or significantly higher in Europe than it is in America. Of course, many of the countries in Europe have had female leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel and many others. So they’ve elected women to the highest offices of their land whereas we have absolutely not done that so far. So gender equality – Europe is ahead.

Now, I’m not necessarily a big fan of Europe, but the fact remains that in terms of gender equality they are ahead of the United States. We are not ahead. We are behind. We are more conservative and more traditional than Europe. Europe is more progressive, and certainly with respect to gender equality they’re ahead. Same is true in Canada. Canada is ahead in terms of gender equality.

Freedom of speech – freedom of speech exists across Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia. All these countries have freedom of speech, so that does not represent something unique that makes America the best country in the world. It’s very common, and I think Americans need to know that that is not the distinguishing factor.

So what is? What’s the distinguishing factor that makes America better in my opinion than the rest of the world and the reason why I moved here? The thing that distinguishes America is entrepreneurialism – individualism, entrepreneurialism, and innovation. People here think entrepreneurially. They’re very independent, they’re very self-reliant, and that causes some problems politically. That’s one of the biggest motivators behind the American gun culture, is that everyone wants to be able to protect themselves against anyone including their own government. Americans hate their government. It’s different than Europe; they like their government and they take ownership in their government. But here in America, people hate their government, which is what fuels the gun rights lobby and the NRA.

But the point is that that individualism and that entrepreneurialism and that self-reliance and that whole entrepreneurial perspective breeds innovation, which is why the US leads the world in business innovation, why a lot of the tech startups come from here, a lot of the innovative new ideas, technologies, thought leadership – a lot of it comes from the United States because of that entrepreneurial individual, that rugged individualism. That is something that we can be proud of.

The fact that the media and even our political establishment tries to sell it to us that we’re the best nation in the world because of freedom of speech, I mean I agree, freedom of speech is excellent, but it’s nothing unusual. It’s very common and they have it all around the world. In the developed world, freedom of speech has been around for decades. And gender equality? We’re not in the lead. We’re doing pretty good, but there are a lot of countries, mostly European countries and Canada, are ahead of the US in terms of gender equality. What we have that they don’t is rugged individualism and innovation.

So let’s get that straight. Maybe this video will help, and I certainly appreciate you watching. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.