Tired of America-bashing?

Are you tired of America bashing? If you are, refresh yourself by reading Edward Bernard Glick’s article explaining why you probably shouldn’t take it all that seriously:

When European intellectuals and their U.S. counterparts proclaim that the peoples of the world hate the U.S., they have it backwards. Americans are not the ones who are paying fortunes of money to be smuggled into other countries. Do Europeans see Floridians rafting to Cuba in order to live under Fidel Castro? Do they see Texans crossing dangerous deserts in order to work in Mexico? Do they see Canadians spending their winters in the Sudan and Saudi Arabia, instead of Florida, Arizona, and California?

We should certainly look for the few grains of wheat in the constant stream of European chaff thrown our way, but we make a terrible mistake if we allow ourselves to fall into paroxysms of self-loathing because the British, fed on their unrelentingly anti-American BBC diet, don’t like us today.

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  • JJ

    You have to love the way the psychological self-defense mirror works. I looked at the Daily Telegraph poll referenced, and just about fell off my chair at the final paragraph:

    “In answer to other questions, a majority of the Britons questions described Americans as uncaring, divided by class, awash in violent crime, vulgar, preoccupied with money, ignorant of the outside world, racially divided, uncultured and in the most overwhelming result (90% of respondents)dominated by big business.”

    Excuse me – I lived there for years: That’s England! That would be looking in a mirror, seeing themselves, and calling it America.

    There are few things in life more uncaring than a Brit, especially a well-off one; we don’t have classes (except as occasionally imputed by the NY Times, and they don’t matter across society), they do have classes there, and they do matter; crime in London is five times what it is in New York; ask the German World Cup hosts to evaluate British vulgarity; everybody in that country is preoccupied full time with money, probably because so few of them have any – or have any prospects of getting any (class, again, there isn’t to this day much upward mobility and education does not work well enough to be a leveler in any meaningful way); England has always prided itself since colonial days on quite deliberately ignoring the outside world, (“wogs begin at Calais”) the idea being that if you ignore them and their annoying customs they’ll go away; the racial divide is every bit as broad there as it is here; there is nothing less cultured in the world than a British teenager, though we generously tend to regard them as “quaint” rather than as “morons”; and I have to confess I’m unsure what “dominated by big business” even means in this context. The only thing more pervasive in British society than big businesses might be the gigantic, overarching government. But if they don’t think their lives are just as dominated by vast forces then they’re deluding themselves. At least here they tend to be market forces.

    I just found that last paragraph hilarious, it so perfectly describes their own society. Far more accurately than it does America – speaking of general ignorance about the world.

    And yet, I must confess I like the UK. I lived there, as noted, and though I wouldn’t do it again (who the hell can afford the taxes?) I’m always happy to visit. The cities, particularly London, have become crime-ridden disasters (well, Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff – haven’t “become” crime-ridden disasters, they always were) but the countryside remains extraordinary.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Projection’s not just a river in Egypt.

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  • jg

    From your poll:
    “a majority of the Britons questions described Americans as uncaring, divided by class, awash in violent crime, vulgar, preoccupied with money..” (Somebody’s been reading/watching our MSM/TV haven’t they?)
    AND
    ‘The YouGov poll found that 77 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that the US is “a beacon of hope for the world.”‘
    Please answer this illiterate, despairing, and callous thinking with the link below:
    http://bluecrabboulevard.com/2006/06/20/for-a-hero/