America-bashing has been a popular world sport for the past... I don't know... couple of decades or so. Maybe longer. Most Americans couldn't care less but the 18% of Americans who live on the far left (and think they are 99%) are driven absolutely CRAZY that they are not universally loved. I'm one of the ones who don't really care (because I don't know what I could do about it anyway) but there are some interesting stats out there as to where the primary venom is coming from:
#1 anti-american bloggers and commentators are from Canada;
#2 are from the United Kingdom;
#3 are from Australia (but closing in on the UK fast);
#4 are Germans, believe it or not (they like to call Americans warmongers and racists. Go figure.)
France is not in the top echelons of the Hate America and all things American crowd. I am embarrassed to admit I just assumed France would be right up there. I'm sorry, France.
I had intended to reprint some of the more inventive invective in this post, but I will spare you. Instead, I summarized and aggregated for you below. There really aren't that many variations or reasons people hate America; they are just phrased differently. The main ones, repeated over and over, appear to be:
1. Americans' patriotism and flag-waving is sickening to the world.
2. Americans are fat, stupid, arrogant, and uneducated and don't have "free" health care like the rest of the world does.
3. Americans don't know enough to drive on the left side of the road (Honest! That's one of the reasons we are hated! - not by Canadians, though.)
4. Americans eat fast food. Their fast food franchises pollute the civilized world.
5. Americans don't know shit about hockey or real football.
6. Americans can't even find Australia on a map.
7. Americans don't know how to hold elections. They elected George Bush. George Bush wasn't really elected. Americans elected George Bush twice. The American way to elect presidents is stupid.
8. Only a few Americans have passports. Americans don't travel abroad very much. Americans don't know ANYTHING about Europe or Australia, think Canadians live in igloos and ride polar bears.
9. American beer is cat piss.
10. Americans are bullies who drag the good countries into their wars with them.
These are not meant to be true or false; they are only summaries from various blog comments and posts. Some are probably true and some are probably false. They are only meant to be a list of repeating reasons of why people in other countries HATE America, when asked why.
Some of them would be hilarious if they weren't serious about what they were saying. For example, one guy went on and on about about the deficiencies of the American school system and how stupid almost all Americans are, and his entire rant was full of misspelled words and bad grammar. A German guy said we should be ashamed for attacking our neighbors. He didn't specify. Poland? Czechoslovakia? France? Russia?
A purpose of this post is just to remind you that there is still hatred out there, and that it is not all coming from America. If ANY of the things I read were to have the name of any other country substituted for "America," you would think it was shockingly racist and unfair.
I started this post by saying I was among the majority of Americans who don't care. After some soul-searching, I find I truly don't care (at least not in such a way that it makes me tremble in anguish or lose sleep.) So that part was true. (I have had many debates with people in the blogosphere from other countries who try to explain to me why I SHOULD care. Usually these people also try to explain to me why Obama should be king forever. Foreigners know a HELL of a lot more about American politics than Americans know about foreign politics, I'll say that.)
Does anyone have any favorites I didn't mention?
I'm not trying to embarrass anybody. I really want your comments about this subject. We know each other well enough that you can speak plainly here if you feel like speaking to this. I just want you to think twice in the future before you enter into any generalized conversations about how crappy Americans are. I am guilty of generalizing about certain groups as well, and I promise to start trying not to do it anymore.
Yes, that includes the far left, the far right, Muslims, liberals and anyone else I have mouthed off about in this blog in the past. I even promise to keep my opinions about marmite to myself.