Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hating America

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.


  1. The only thing I can think of that really pisses me off about Americans ... I mean really pisses me off ... is just the way they shout "U S A, U S A" over and over again.

    Don't know why this riles me so much ... it's just so damned annoying.

  2. 2,3 & 9 are irrelevant.

    Arrogance, oh yes, even the English are not as bad. Lacking knowledge of the world, certainly those not from the coastal regions.

    Do we hate America? No. 9/11 (which ought to be 11/9) showed that the UK would stand with the US when attacked, even though we understand the reasons for the attack which Americans never can.
    Hate is the wrong word, laugh at and get annoyed by are more to the point.
    However as the US thinks it is the centre of the world, and it isn't by the way, we have every right to indicate our opinions.
    You will note the spellchecker is a Yankee one and fails to spell properly! US imperialism once again!

  3. I'd love to know where the stats come from. Do the people who say they hate America, hate all America and Americans? If they do, they very likely hate a good many things. If it's one particular aspect, well many of us have pet hates but don't necessarily extend it to a much larger sample.

    I suspect that the people spewing the venom are very much the same type as the one who wanted to rename French fries. I think we're all guilty of over-generalisation at one time or another.

  4. @Symdaddy - It began with a spontaneous chant at a sporting event in 1984. I doubt if the current crop of chanters even know that. It has been taken up as something else now, and saw a renewal the day after 9/11. Some of it COULD be in defiant response to the America haters, but I may be wrong.

    I intended the U.S.A chant to be included in number one under "too much outward patriotism is in bad taste and we have come to hate you for it," although it is mentioned separately as often as any hate reason on the subject blogs this stuff came from.

    Thank you for your input - you are not alone on this one! Maybe it would be interesting to analyze some of these on a future post since this was just a collection without any attempt to validate.

    @Adullamite - They are ALL irrelevant. They are simply a list of the things people say on "Why I hate America" blogs that they hate America. None of them are valid reasons to actually hate. Do YOU hate America? I will say no. Don't be so quick to say "we" though - many of your countrymen do. And it isn't an "annoyance", it is hatred. At least they SAY they hate America. No matter. :)

    @A. - The source is blogs on the internet whose title or premise is "Why I Hate America." The "stats" are from counting the number of hate posts and the number of hateful comments by country of origin, and also taking the blog-owners' word as to home many comments they get from various countries. I started to keep a list of URLs and soon lost track. It is easy enough for you to google the proper search terms to find long lists of such blogs. You sound as if you doubt me. I was hoping I was wrong, but I'm thinking not. As I said to Adullamite, it is irrelevant to most Americans (they aren't going to change), and very popular among non-Americans. The hatred in this world is always just a stone's throw away.

    I would dispute your comment about the french fries as being hate-based. That was betrayal-based. There are only two groups that Americans truly hate at this point in time and one of them is internal. Not the French. (My opinion, without stats.) :) :) You were very brave to comment, and I take your skepticism as a ray of hope for us all.

    Incidentally, I also think "hate" is too strong a word, and many of the blog comments start out by saying that too. But then they usually continue on to say, "What I REALLY hate about Americans is..."

  5. @A. - Do they hate ALL things about America? I don't think so - just the main things I listed that they said they hated. And I don't think they hate the actual land; they just think we should give it back to the Indians. They would come and visit the land if Americans would just disappear, I'm pretty sure.

    Much of Europe's hate is hard to define: they hate McDonalds and our movies because they are symbols of our intrusive and unwanted culture that is changing the things they love and remember. Yet they line up to pay for both. As I say, some analysis in the future would be interesting if not fun.

  6. Interesting post and fascinating discussion topic. I was talking to a Canadian friend of mine once and I asked her what it was like having to live next to the U.S. Her answer surprised me. Sometimes, she said, she wished Canadians were a little more like Americans. Showed a little more outward pride in being Canadian like the way Americans do in being American.

    There are many reasons to dislike or hate America and Americans, and you're right, none of them are rational. Some would say we have an outsized influence over the rest of the world. But America is the third largest and third most populous country in the world, so there's not much we can do about that.

    Yes, we've started two wars in the last decade that we've dragged our allies into. But I believe it's a lot better to be fighting people who really do hate you as far from your shores as possible. And, while I really hate to fall back on a tired and perhaps trite concept, but a lot more Americans have died protecting and freeing countries whose citizens now profess to hate us than the other way around.

    I have friends who've come from around the world - Canada, England, Ireland, France, Australia, Chile, China, Ghana, Egypt and more - who've come to America, become citizens and made it their home. I know of no Americans (aside from those fleeing a felony indictment) who've moved overseas and become citizens of other countries.

  7. Max you show a typical American misunderstanding.
    Those three I mention are irrelevant, the rest are factual!

  8. @Adullamite - Americans typically misunderstand? Why? Because we are too obtuse to get your lofty meanings?

    This post is simply a collection of things people claim they "hate" about Americans. NONE of them are valid reasons to hate. ALL are therefore irrelevant.

    I respect your right to form opinions about what statements you agree with (and are therefore "relevant" in your mind) and which you dismiss as trivial. But arguing validity is not what this post was about.

    If Americans bomb the town you live in every Friday, that's a valid reason to hate. Waving the American flag may be an annoyance to you but it is not a valid reason to hate.

    Somebody obviously hates Americans because they drive on the right side of the road. That doesn't make it irrelevant. That hatred is just as valid as Americans being hated for not following soccer.

    I thought about changing the title to "Things I Find Annoying about Americans," but what is the point? What would I care? What would YOU care about a list of things that annoy me about the British?

    Every single item on this list was listed by SOMEBODY as a reason they HATE Americans. That's much more serious than simply being annoyed.

    I know you think America is on the wrong track and has been for a long time. (I do too, but not in the same way as you.) I know you think America should care more about how the rest of the world feels and how they want things done. I get that.

    You know me well enough to know that I feel America is mainly doing only one thing wrong, foreign-policy-wise, and that is entangling itself in the affairs of other countries that is simply none of its business.

    All the rest is small stuff, in my opinion, and not reason to hate. None of them. YOU don't like American's being proud of being Americans and chanting U.S.A. over and over again within earshot of you. As for ME, I don't like your chanters at football games being obscene and pissing off the upper deck onto the crowd below. Are you going to change that? I think not. Neither are we going to tone down our public displays of patriotism and pride of where we live.

    We simply can't HATE because we are annoyed with part of someone's culture. Unless that culture wants to kill us. Then we can hate back.

    Palestinians burning American flags is not a reason to hate Palestinians. It simply lets us know where they stand, so when it comes time to decide whether to send more missiles to Israel or not, we'll know what to do.

    Personally, I am a very independent person. I don't like being told what to do. As a result, I have needed to be self-employed all my life. I don't like being told what to do by my government, either. That's a family thing and not an international thing. A lot of Americans think that way; they don't like being told what to do. By their boss, by their government, by the U.N., by Germany, by Russia, by anyone else. If someone doesn't like the way I do my work, then the thing for them to do is to do it themselves the way they want it done. If the the U.K.doesn't like what the way the U.S. is doing things, then they should go out and do things the way they want them done, and stop pissing and moaning about how we "drag" you into our affairs. Just don't follow us. See? It is really quite simple once you get the hang of it.

    May god grant that this is the year NATO collapses and the U.N. building tips over and floats down the East River. May god open our leaders' eyes and bring all of our soldiers home. From Germany and the U.K. as well as from Afghanistan.

    But I don't hate you or anyone else in Western Europe that I can think of.

  9. I'd just say "Ignore them".They are, indeed, mostly irrelevant. Let's face it, there's a very low likelihood that any of those haters will be driving their tanks up middle-america's main street any day soon.
    Yes, there are things I dislike strongly about america. but there are far more that I admire.
    Whilst I might poke fun at some aspects of america, it's in a friendly way. I think I say no more negative things about america than americans say about my country.
    The whole french-fries question is a nonsense. The things you used to call french-fries, and are now encouraged to call freedom fries, are, in fact american fries. Unless, of course, when you order them, they're couriered over, fresh and hot, via warp-drive from france.
    We just eat chips, made from free-range spuds caught in britain.
    I'm ever mindful of the fact that a great many young americans volunteered for service, and came over here to help ensure that I didn't have to grow up in a land ruled by nazis. And a large number of those young men never got to grow up, nor to return home.

    Regarding Foggy Dew's comment, I do know americans who've moved overseas and taken citizenship in other countries, who are not fleeing justice. They're just americans who aren't so keen on america, and prefer to live somewhere else.

  10. I don't know that I care much myself what others think of us. I'm with Adullamite in that many things on the list are effectively true, from my viewpoint. As an American, the ones I perceive as failings don't engender hatred in me so much as frustration.

    I'd like to see us do better, not because we're worse than everyone else in the world, but because I always want to see us do better. Education, in particular, I find frustrating. Sometimes, when I've been overseas for work, I've found myself embarrassed by boorish behavior by other Americans getting loud and rude at perfectly reasonable French shopkeepers because they didn't speak English. But then there are always plenty of others who behave with perfect courtesy and efforts to overcome the communication difficulties.

    Our politics I find embarrassing (and I feel that way about all the parties at this point).

    I find that finding information on anything outside our shores (like the current state of recovery in Japan unless we're talking specifically about the nuclear reactors - which never really interested me) challenging. One of my personal pet peeves is that the world heard about Katrina for months but I couldn't get information after the devastation Mitch left in Central America and Mexico before the clouds lifted. That's a direct result, in my opinion, of our general population's disdain for everything that doesn't involve us. That makes me sad.

    But then, I'm a humanist.

    I don't care how I'm perceived. I want to be the best I can be. To a lesser extent, I want the same for my country. If people hate me for something I'm proud of, it doesn't bother me in the slightest (which has happened personally and "as an American"). I'm only spurred to action when I see something I (or we) could do better.



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