| | America is a great nation
I haven't lost respect for America. In the normal course of events I would be the first to bash it, but these days I usually spring to its defense. The American light is being snuffed out, and I hate to see it happen
As a Swedish person (yes I'm Sveeedish, go ahead picture me eating delicious meatballs and speaking in a funny accent), I happen to like Americans, a lot. Most Americans I've meet are impressive people. Europeans may be thinkers (and yes we have an aura of superiority, sorry about that), but Americans are doers! Highly energetic people. A nation unparalleled by any other in history does not just pop into existence - it is created by the vigor of its people. Americans have vigor.
Granted, the latest generations of Americans have been, according to most statistics I've seen (in terms of erudition, for instance), the least impressive for a long time. I've gathered it's partially due to a crappy education system, although cultural factors most likely played a role as well... there has been a gradual process of "dumbing down" the last few decades. Yet there must be something in general about the American spirit that made the country so powerful. America is still a youthful nation, not completely settled... America is still testing, pushing the boundaries for better or for worse. It's not just a talking nation, it's a doing nation.
I have only ever met expatriate Americans, and have never actually set foot in the country. So maybe I just met the "good" Americans, who knows. I refuse to base my view of America on cheap Hollywood culture though (we should really call it anti/counter-culture). I avoid that stuff like the plague, unless I'm forced into a situation where I can't.
Of course the world resents you by the way - America is the superpower. It's the nation that everyone likes to badmouth, yet the very same destination of choice for anyone aspiring to success. I would love to go there myself someday. If you make it in America, you don't have to make it anywhere else.
The problems facing America are more complicated than "Bush destroyed the world" however. If you think there are no other profound questions facing your society you are probably delusional. In fact I usually make the point that Western civilization as a whole has been on a slippery slope since Fat Man wrecked havoc upon Nagasaki. We're now facing a civilizational exhaustion of sorts, all across the industrialized world really... having failed so often in the past, the West is asking: what next? and not really finding any good answers.
Yet America is the only Western nation where ideas borne of the enlightenment remain strong to this day, where the state has not yet annexed every facet of adult life and where the citizens are not... dormant. (Australia may be a possible exception to this).
Go America! You ARE a great nation. You have lots of creative potential, and intelligent people if you seek them out. You just need to turn the tide and get yourselves back on track (OK, saying "just" is probably trivialising the problem, but anyway). Don't base your self esteem upon what other nations think of you, or upon your internal self-criticism. Nations have ups and downs - historians speak of 'A' and 'B' phases - just like every individual person has good and bad days. You don't give up during the bad times just because they're tough. Kudos on you all.
Last edited by Marco Polo; 06-16-2008 at 08:49 PM.