US Patriotism VS the Rest of the World

by Xena 107 Replies latest jw friends

  • Xena

    Wildhorses, nice to know I am not the only one that feels that way....

    outnfree, WOW nice made some great points!

    I think we find it hard to conceptualize living in a place (like Europe, for example) where the people over the state line, so to speak, are completely different in language, culture and, sometimes, morals.
    Our next door NEIGHBOR might be all of those things, but has come here for a reason and is assimiliating U.S. culture. We revel in our neighborhood's diversity. We feel welcoming (even patronizing?) and glad that they've reached out for the American dream. We are happy with their success as they begin to melt into the same "pot" that our forefathers sampled. But we are all pulling together, citizens (or soon-to-be-citizens) of the same, very large, country. In other parts of the world, the next state, with its 'foreign' populace, is NOT pulling together with me and mine for the common weal. They are nation-states, in the U.S. we just have states (and Texas ;) ).

    I think this might be a part of the big difference some have in understanding Europeans, and some Europeans have in understanding us. I, also, think that some might also not totally understand just how diverse the US is....they see us as middle to upper class, consertive white america, without realized how much more we are. And I suppose in some ways it is an honest mistake because that is who you see depicted on the media to a greater degree and those types do tend to be the people who travel more and uuumm make themselves heard.

    To the U.S. bashers here I say: Yes, our country is self-serving -- isn't yours? Doesn't your country try to protect its self-interests? Does your country's self-interest never conflict with another country's self-interest? If your country had the means (hard, cold, cash, technological know-how, resources, military force AND diplomacy) would it not employ those means to further its own interests, foster its ideals, preserve its own autonomy and safety?

    Very good point! And I appreciated in your post how you brought out some of the GOOD that comes from this country.

    Prisca, lol when you call people ignorant they tend to get a bit uuumm pissy don't ya know? I agree though you do see some of that type of attidude in American. I see a bit here in Austin, generally in the cowboy sector, but is certainly isn't reserved for that element nor are all cowboy types that way...Austin as a whole is a very liberal city, with very liberal ideas, but I am aware that there are area's where this type of thinking you describe are more predominant. I tend to take issue when people from other countries blanket this assumption over the entire USA.

    Why do some people have this attitude? Personally I liken it to some Christians...I went to church awhile back with a friend, just to see what it was like. It is almost chilling to see people just blindly agreeing with whatever the minister can see by looking at their faces they they aren't even thinking about it....just getting caught up in the emotionalism and agreeing...BUT not ALL Christians are like that are they? Some have a more balanced reasoning on their religion and don't mind discussing it along with all it's faults...kinda like some Americans, huh?

    So tell me what is patriotism like in Aussie land thru your eyes? BTW when you call us "locals" that just cracks me up for some reason

    XW - I agree it bothers me when I see others slamming American without taking into consideration all the aspects of our country...plopping us into one "ignorant" catagory. It's like they watch a few media shows about the US and visit New York, or one other US city and feel qualified to judge the entire nation. I honestly think it is because they have no clue how big we are...and how different we are from region to region...heck city to city.

    But we do have to face facts too and there are SOME Americans who continue to lend credence to the Ugly American myth...I don't think it is the vast majority, but I know I have met a few in my probably even dated a few

    mattnoel, thank you for your comments. Very insightful to me regarding British patriotism. I think you are right that Americans in general tend to be patriotic, but honestly there are degrees So from your perspective Britian is not patriotic enough? That is interesting. So it has been downscaled to make immigrants feel more comfortable? (Please feel free to correct me if I am mis-interpeting what you said, this medium of conversing tend to lend itself to that type of thing! )

    I doubt Britians in general would ever exibit the same type of patriotic behavior that you see in some Americans. I think outnfree hit on a main difference when she said they Americans tend to be less cynical and more naive, we WANT to believe our country is good...Europeans have been around a bit longer and tend to look with a more jaded eye at politics and of course this is just my opinion based on what I have been and heard here...I could be totally off base.

    berylblue, I understand your comments...sometimes I wonder why I bother, but then I get a note from someone who got something from a post I made...and I think to myself, "Wow, maybe what I said did make a difference at least to one person" I get a lot from this...I have to admit I had pretty much NO knowledge of how other people viewed their own counties and now I have gained some insight win win situation

    Realist - Glad you are enjoying the topic, I feel like if you can get people to talk you can clear up a lot of misunderstandings. lol or you can figure out the people you don't really want to talk to anymore

    one should not get so attached to a country that legitimate critisims is taken as a personal insult

    I agree, but then you have to discuss if EVERYONE involved feels that the critisims are legitimate. Sometimes we only see our side of the arguement and our own view point as being legitimate (we being anyone of any nation). But yes, when there are legitimate critisims (and believe me I KNOW there are some when it comes to the US) they should be dealt with as just that, critisims of the politics of the country we live in, not critisims of ourselves personally..and whether we agree or disagree with the critisims we should acknowledge the viewpoints of others and that they do not necessarily have to agree with ours.

    I think outnfree made good point when she said this about the critisims the US receives:

    I suppose it's the price to pay for living in a free land that has more wealth and power than many others.

    You also made this point in your post, but her quote was shorter. We are a very BIG very IN YOUR FACE kinda just about anywhere you go or anywhere you look you see SOMETHING Ameican there..and we do seems to have our fingers in a lot of I guess in some regards we bring it on ourselves, but that doesn't always make the criticism right or more palatable, you know?

    BTW thank you for acknowledging the good things about this know people tend to accept criticism much better when there is some commendation in there's human nature.

    so imo it is absolutely ok to be proud of being a US citizen but it should be moderate.

    Again, I totally agree. Unfortunately there are some US citizens who go overboard....I wonder are there people like that in other countries? People who make you your eyes at having them represent your country?

    and let me if I may paraphrase you in this paragraph:

    about my country...i am proud of the land i live in...if the US win in a sport event i cheer for them etc. but i don'T view it as the greates country in the world, i don't be oblivious to the wrongs we did in the past and i certainly do not condone everything thats going on today. i am also not blind to the faults in my society. therefore i would most likely (my words there since I am still not sure about how I feel about the flag salute) never salute my flag, i would never view the US political institutions as something holy and would never say i cannot imagine to live anywhere else

    funny when you actually sit down and chat with people you find out that perhaps we are not so different after all

  • LyinEyes

    Well said, Xena, OutnFree, Xenawarrior , Sadie, WildHorses and Dana,,,,,,,,,,,excellent.

    Prisca you do sound pissy ,,,,,,,,,you can't possible know what living in America is like by just visiting here, in other words it would take a life time to see the many different viewpoints people have in the many facets of life here in the USA. Not all are patriotic, some hate the government, some love it, some don't care, many see what our own government does and doesnt do. You can not lump all Americans into saying that they can not discuss negative things about their own country that is not the case.....we can look at ourselves objectively.

  • tyydyy

    I just have one point.

    Just because an american agrees with one of the official positions of the American government doesn't mean that they are guilty of blind patriotism. It sometimes means that they have made a decision based on the imformation available to them. Others make a decision based on the imformation available to them. Sometimes two different people will make different decisions based on the same imformation. Imagine that.


  • Realist


    its really good clear up these things! i think it was time a girl takes over these discussions!

    BTW thank you for acknowledging the good things about this know people tend to accept criticism much better when there is some commendation in there's human nature.

    yes i know ... if i might add...i wouldn't mind to live in the US at all .... i really enjoyed my time there!

    so imo it is absolutely ok to be proud of being a US citizen but it should be moderate.

    Again, I totally agree. Unfortunately there are some US citizens who go overboard....I wonder are there people like that in other countries? People who make you your eyes at having them represent your country?

    of course! since austria is now such a small and politically irrelevant country (thank god!) the number of overpatriotic fools is pretty low ...but that wasn't always the case and there are still some weirdos left.

    funny when you actually sit down and chat with people you find out that perhaps we are not so different after all


  • BeautifulGarbage
    It is very noteable that Americans take any type of criticism of their country so personally. I think that is one thing that makes these sorts of subjects difficult to discuss - the inability of Americans to look at themselves objectively

    Actually, Prisca, some of us are quite capable of looking at ourselves with an amazingly objective eye. Though, it can be difficult to express this outlook when one is constantly, and nearly to the point of exhaustion, responding to inflammatory and IGNORANT, comments, such at the one you expressed above.

    I have no problem with critiques that are FAIR and do not paint ALL American's with the same crude brush. Granted, I will agree that American's, as a whole, can be rather obnoxious with their patriotism and pride of country. After all, ours was the first revolution that actually succeeded in the history of the world. The US has had some amazing achievements and some appalling failures since that time. I suppose like the individual that prefers to focus on the positive; we also tend to do that as a nation.

    I think that those that don't take the time to get to know us well, that is, other than movies and TV, and make such comments, are N0 DIFFERENT, than those they aim their caustic remarks. And especially, after even living among the locals, they STILL manage to spout such rude commentary.

    And no, I haven't travelled to any foreign country. Unfortunately, finances haven't allowed that. I did manage to view Tiquana, Mexico, over the border when I visited San Diego a couple of years ago. And, have read A LOT, though, and would love to travel all over the world. I do have an appreciation for other countries and realize we can learn from them.


    Whose daughter, IRONICALLY, is going to be a student ambassador to Australia this summer.

  • xenawarrior


    I need to say this and if you feel the need to boot me out of here for it- so be it.

    In minimus' thread about whether other forums should be mentioned here you said this:

    If people prefer to go elsewhere then I wonder why and try and fix things (though I realise it's impossible to please everyone).

    There is a problem here with the anti-american sentiment running rampant. Yes, there are many things said which couldn't be considered by a reasonable person as anti-american which are being labeled as such. But there is so much more which is and there are alot of folks screaming from the rooftops, as it were about it only to be told that their own responses to it are out of line or they can't take criticism or they are being too sensitive.

    This is what Prisca said:

    but I'd have to say I don't see such blinded ignorant patriotism as expressed by the Americans.

    "blinded ignorant patriotism"??

    I think the response to this topic about patriotism illustrates the point: immediately we see aggresive defense of the country and insults towards the person with no thought to challenge any of the actual points or answering whether they are valid or not.

    I'm sorry, but that is not a criticism. It's a slam. And a blanketed one at that. And it's hardly a reasonable contribution to the subject of the thread. I did answer her points and told her exactly why they held no validity IMO. Was I being agressive?

    If I, or anyone else takes offense or any acception to that direct slam we are wrong? We are warned ?

    I would remind everyone who wants to use the forum that personal insults are not allowed and if they continue they will be removed. If anyone disagrees with something then debate the topic.

    I could copy and paste many similar sentiments to Prisca's from other posters here in other threads; including you, but if I have a problem with what is said and say so I won't be able to use the forum any longer?

    I am getting quite tired of the constant whining of "America bashing" whenever any post that is critical of America is made. It really is a lame excuse for not addressing the topic and issues raised. If you do not wish to address them, fine ... just skip the topic.

    This has the potential to be an interesting and informative topic but we can already see attempts to drag it down.

    To say that folks are "whining" or they can't take criticism of America here and that you are getting tired of it, is, IMO adding insult to injury. Prisca's statement wasn't a criticism of America it was a slam on the PEOPLE - of which I am one. And it's offensive- period. It's a blanket negative slam on a group of people who post here and addressing it is not a lame excuse for anything. To defend this and warn others who speak to it is, IMO, facilitating and exacerbating the real problem.

    It boils down to respect. I'm expected to respect someone's ability to insult and offend and I'm to say nothing? And if I do I am out of line I'm to be warned? Doesn't make much sense to me. Seems only certain people's opinions are to be respected, no matter how nastily they vocalize that opinion.

    We have a wonderful country here. And in it are great people (nope, not all of them) And they all don't think the same way or feel the same way. I had a problem with Prisca's blanket negative slam on American citizens in general and I addressed it. I didn't do so aggressively and the fact that I did does not mean I believe all of a certain way about anything; including our country and it's politics or foreign relations or how we have behaved in the past towards anyone.

    As a country we have had many problems and atrocities and as a continually growing nation we will continue to have them.

    And I do believe that I can see things objectively and I don't really care for the inference by some that I'm not able to because I happen to take exception to certain people's words in a particular post on a specific subject.

    To threaten banning of people who respond to this type of insult is totally unfair and does nothing to further any effort to "try to fix things". Instead of realizing that people have a legitimate gripe here (and many reasonable people have been voicing it) and doing something proactive to deal with it you basically come out and say- "too bad, if you don't like it, it's your own perception problem and there's the door" The thing is- people are finding the door. And they aren't being dragged out or lured by anyone else. They are walking away from the discomfort.

    XW of the "frustrated" class

  • WildHorses
    It is very noteable that Americans take any type of criticism of their country so personally. I think that is one thing that makes these sorts of subjects difficult to discuss - the inability of Americans to look at themselves objectively

    Simon, that was a terrible thing to say, far too generalised IMHO.


    English, didn't you know that ALL of us Americans are all alike? We can't even think for ourselves. We let our government do all our thinking for us.

  • Sadie5

    don't want to come across as insulting or sarcastic, but how do people(in other countries) show their patriotism.

    If you don't like the flag waving, flag saluting,hand over the heart, bowed head, national anthem singing stuff we do, what do you do?


  • Simon

    I think Prisca can make snide comments and these are not welcome but she is entitled to her opinion about how she see's American displays of patriotism.

    What I was trying to get across is that we should debate the topics and issues and not get into personal insults.

  • LyinEyes

    I think Prisca's comment on" blinded ignorant shows of patriotism" are based on her own ignorance, of the USA, and of it's people. JMO and I am entitled to it.

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