Wildhorses, nice to know I am not the only one that feels that way....
outnfree, WOW nice one...you 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 said...you 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 time...lol 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 politicians...lol 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"....plus 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 myself...lol 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 country...lol 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 pies...so 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 country...you know people tend to accept criticism much better when there is some commendation in there too....it'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