The anti-American comments pervading this board on every side are a bit perturbing. I’d just like to point out the original poster is clearly not American, as his writing is full of grammar mistakes a native speaker would never make. Furthermore, he clearly implied an anti-US bias in his early references to the “American media” (not that Americans are pro-everything America).
It is very easy to make ignorant and superficial comments about people from different cultures and countries, usually based on a few bad experiences (I’m including posters on both sides of the issue here, especially the original poster and LaMa). Those experiences are just that: isolated, individual events, which may or may not be related to larger trends and statistics. It’s also important to note that in these situations, it is easy to resort to saying that all people from that group are bad in some way. It gives a quick and immediate satisfaction to be able to strike at others so easily and deeply with so little effort. I believe this is one reason racism is more common among less-educated people, perhaps because they are unable to think objectively about the reasons for their dissatisfaction and thus lash out at the most immediate and surface-level characteristics of their perceived enemy. I know its trendy to hate the US, but all this “all you Americans are like this” talk is generalization and does nothing to open useful dialogues. It really reminds me of the anti-Semitism that has become almost acceptable in recent days, especially since the financial crisis.
On a side note, this strangely turned into a debate about the US healthcare system, something which again was not included in the original posters comments (he talked about bad Danish healthcare, not bad universal healthcare. Somehow the assumption that he was American turned the conversation towards “my country/culture is better than that one” again). There are many studies as well as papers by prominent economists showing that the issue is far more complex than stated here, with many, many tradeoffs (Thomas Sowell’s articles and books provide many well-researched examples).
There have been too many clearly incorrect statements to list them all, but an example is that “healthcare in the US is only for the few.” This is clearly not true, as the majority have health insurance, including all children under 18, all people below a certain income level, and all elderly above a certain age. The actual argument is about people who are above the health insurance “poverty line,” but for whom getting insurance would still be a hardship.
But my basic point is to request that you all please stop making generalizations about all the people in other countries. That kind of superficiality is too easy and too hurtful in this amazingly interconnected day and age.
Since I am mentioned in this, I’ll react:
First: it was the OTS who started with an extremely negative portrayal of another nation & ethnicity. It is the anti-Europeanism of the OTS that annoyed the hell out of me.
You call me anti-American. I am however, like many Europeans, simply fed up with the anti-European attitude displayed by a vocal group of Americans on the internet, who have no real clue about the world outside the US, yet feel the need to proclaim about that world outside the US in ways that are often very derogatory. And these people go from the basic assumption that things are always better in the US than outside of the US and the US is top of the world in everything (and hence the rest of the world should do as the Americans do). Which is simply incorrect.
As a European, I am fed up with that kind of nonsense. My comments are aimed at the particular vocal group of Americans I mentioned: and to open their eyes, I in turn critique aspects of US society, which in the view of the rest of the world isn’t really always that great a nation, sorry to say that.
The problem is, that people like you automatically denounce any critique on the USA as “anti-Americanism”. That however, is as stupid a generalization as denouncing any country (or President) who gives a crap about social-economic equality as “socialist” (or even “communist”).
I’ll keep criticasting US society as long as the vocal group of Americans I mentioned are displaying their attitudes towards other countries on forums like these. And the more sane segment of the US population will be well aware that my critique on aspects of US society is not the same as “anti-Americanism”. You won’t see me screaming for the erradication of America from the globe, Ahmedanijabad style. You will see me wish for America as a nation (and people like the OTS) to develop some more self-deprecating abilities, and some more realistic insights and attitudes towards the outside world.
The problem with Americans and the USA “as a nation” is that it seems to lack any self-deprecating abilities: in terms of its position and role in the World, it is something most Americans apparently can’t. It’s always “we are the greatest!”, “God’s own Country”, and “the rest of the world can’t match us on any aspect” as soon as the focus turns outwards of the US. And you do not seem to be able to see the relativity of this. And yes, I am very well aware that not all Americans are like this, on the contrary: but as a nation, you really signal this message acrosse the world (and this is the reason why people in the rest of the world sometimes get annoyed with you, which you then denounce as “anti-Americanism”).
- cont’ued below