You talk about the U.S. as if you are talking about your favorite sports team. This isn't football or baseball, this is politics and government, and the U.S. wasn't supposed to be a country, our founding fathers only intended for it to be a union between small countries or what we call states. "The U.S. is the best and all the rest suck!" type of mentality should be kept on the sports field.
Well, we are a country, as well as a collection of states within that country. I have lived in at least 5 different states in my adult life, as well as another country, and traveled all 48 continental states. The one thing that flies in the face of what you say is that this collection of states considers itself one. Take a good look at your money friend. E Pluribus unum - From many, one. You don't like that?
As for whether we should try to get back in the "number 1 spot", again, we aren't talking about college football rankings so I just don't see why being in the number one spot really matters. As long as our national defense is strong enough to thwart off any invasions, and our economy is strong enough to keep a high standard of living, what the hell do I care about were our union is ranked amongst the rest of the world? You say you've been to a lot of countries, so then you must know, people in Japan, France, South Korea, the UK, Argentina, etc. are living just fine and could give a sh*t that they aren't ranked number one in UN reports. Blending sports and politics doesn't mix.
There was a time when America believed in what its President said, and had some sense that he knew of, and trumpeted American exceptionalism. Those days seem sadly gone....Tell me If Obama is on this trip to drum up business for America, then he is a crappy salesman. Would you buy a car from a guy that starts out his sales pitch with, "It's ok"?Obama didn't say anything that was untrue. So, according to you, he should lie, either based on reasons of pride or a belief that simply saying America's economy is as dominant as it was 20 years ago will somehow make it true.