I do find it interesting that Canadians and Europeans have such strong opinions on this, considering that there are many more pressing issues to be concerned about. Perhaps the steady Canadian and European refrain of "Americans are stupid" is a reflection of their own deep-rooted insecurity. You know -- an inferiority complex." --Mohammed
"As an American, please allow me to begin by asserting that our nation has had its strengths and its weaknesses, its successes and its failures, and its justices and injustices throughout history and continuing into the present. Although I sense much patriotism for my homeland, I recognize our need for humility to understand that our country is not above questioning or reproach but is rather under the same standards as all other nations of the world. I would simply like to ask those who view our country from afar to maintain a balanced perspective and realize too that there exists good and bad in America, both in terms of its domestic society and politics as well as in its relations with other nations.
Whilst there may be growing anti-Americanism in the United Kingdom I do not believe such sentiment to be reciprocated on our side of the Atlantic. I viewed a recent survey that indicated most Americans view England positively, and never have I seen the flag of your country (or any other foreign land, for that matter) burned in the streets of our cities. Clearly we as American citizens have not meant to be your enemies." --Seth
"As someone who takes human rights seriously, I'm appalled by the lack of sympathy the left feels toward the victims of any regime other than the Bush administration. Let's shout it to prisoners everywhere: If you're not harmed by an American, your suffering doesn't count." --Erik Svane
"Ambivalence, antipathy, and resentment toward and about the United States have comprised an important component of European culture since the American Revolution at the latest, thus way before America became the world's 'Mr. Big' -- the proverbial eight-hundred-pound gorilla -- and a credible rival to Europe's main powers, particularly Britain and France . . . . While the politics, style, and discourse of the Bush administration -- and of George W. Bush as a person -- have undoubtedly exacerbated anti-American sentiment among Europeans and fostered a heretofore unmatched degree of unity between elite and mass opinion in Europe, they are not anti-Americanism's cause. Indeed, a change to a center-left administration in Washington, led by a Democratic president, would not bring about its abatement, let alone disappearance." --Andrei S. Markovits (author of Uncouth Nation - Why Europe Dislikes America)
"Is Euro Disney Land a threat to the French Culture? If French culture can be squashed by Mickey Mouse, or more exactly by simply moving Mickey geographically, it would have to be disturbingly fragile." Moreover, Revel argued, culture always circulates and, in the case of Euro Disneyland, California was merely repackaging for Europeans such European stories as Cinderella and Pinocchio. According to Revel, French culture was not being colonized and if any culture was in crisis, he contended, it was that of America with its fad for political correctness and other forms of "neoprovincialism." --Jean-François Revel
"Anti-Americanism is the only face of xenophobia still broadly accepted in Europe." --Mary Fitzgerald (New Statesman)
"Americans find themselves damned either way. If they remain within their own borders, they are isolationist hicks who are shirking their responsibilities. If they intervene, they are rapacious imperialists." --To hate America is to hate mankind
"The British find it very difficult to come to terms with the loss of their global dominance. We felt a deep sense of hurt and loss. We used to run the world, and we don’t anymore. So, in order to palliate that insecurity, we tend to run ourselves down too much. And we’re also snooty about the people who DO run the world." -- Boris Johnson (Member of Parliament)
"It is tragic that Anti-American ideas are so easily passed through rumour, while reconciliatory ideas and notions must be backed up with catalogues of evidence before they are even considered, purely because of the fact that it is so much easier to hate than to keep an objective open mind." --David Hatton
"Other common anti-American objections are ignorance and stupidity. In dealing with these two, I have no reason to suspect that the average American is any less intelligent than the average person from anywhere else. One trait I have noticed is that other cultures are generally much more ashamed of any deficit in the intellect of the individual, especially ours (the British), and as such will make a much greater attempt to hide it. If all cultures bar one are scared of looking stupid and take action to prevent that happening, then that one remaining culture is inevitably going to be lumbered with that image." --David Hatton
"We became not a melting pot, but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams." --Jimmy Carter
"Most of the anti-Americanism these days stems from plain old nationalistic jealousy by a lot of countries that are born of insecurity about their own place in the world and their painful self awareness of their own failings and shortcomings...like the kids in the next block who are jealous of the boy who has a better bicycle or a newer fancier skateboard....phuque 'em all." --Robbins Mitchell
"Europeans, like the rest of the world, hate America and Americans, but love our aid when in distress, and our soldiers to die for THEIR COUNTRIES. You need to work, live and pay taxes from this side of the Atlantic to understand our vision of Europe and the rest of the world." --Jerry
"Unjustified hatred of Americans: There is much unjustified hatred in the world. There is unjustified hatred of the USA. Much of this arises from the victimisation complex that sweeps much of mankind. Whoever is in charge, whoever is powerful or successful will also be hated. This immature hatred often evaporates quickly with a little reason or thought. There are some some invalid, unjustified criticisms. The most widespread hate is the hate by people the world over who fall victim to their own shortcomings, and want a scapegoat." --Vexen Crabtree
"USA citizens are not given world news in the same way as most the other developed nations, and may well be genuinely unaware that much of the world is as poor as it is. European news is highly world-centric, whereas due to its size most USA news does not have enough time to cover news in all neighbouring states, let alone news from around the world. " --Vexen Crabtree
"Despite the USA's dominance of mass media, it is frequently only the pro-USA, self-congratulatory messages that seem to arrive in Europe, the USA citizens criticism and disbelief of their own government is not apparent, which gives the overall impression that Americans are either gullible, ignorant or honestly uncaring." --Vexen Crabtree
"If a person outside of American culture is a hateful person, they may actively hate and verbally attack America. If the person takes this to include a hatred of Americans themselves, they are inconsiderate and have become a fool. If a person like this is brought up by people with vested interests in attacking America (and there are many), a person can be driven to take his opinions to a violent level. Generic hatred is not solved or soothed by adding more layers of hatred.
There is a belief and hope that if enough nations oppose America, the American people will realize what their government has been doing and will overthrow them. This hope is misguided, as anti-American actions are causing the opposite"--Vexen Crabtree
"I think it is best, when faced with people from other nations, to treat them as individuals. Yes, you can "hate" the injustices that governments perpetuate on us all, and yes, you can despise ignorance in all its' forms. But any sort of blanket prejudice punishes yourself more than anyone else, because it thwarts the opportunity to learn from someone else. It stops you from making potential connections that could ultimately change your life. As an "american" living abroad, I pity my fellow countrymen who still have the wool over their eyes, but I don't hate them. The fact that when I meet them, they are indeed traveling at the time, says to me that they are in the process of opening their minds. Being in Europe, for many Americans, is the first step to realizing that other cultures do indeed exist and thrive, and that other forms of social structures are both possible and desireable.
----------------- Many ask me why I left. Political reasons aside, when I mention that my family now enjoys free health-care and that my daughter will have the opportunity to go to university virtually for free (O.K. not free exactly, because we all pay taxes, but these services are included in what we as citizens receive for our tax dollars here in Europe,) they always respond with a sigh as they realize that this is the way all societies should be run. They know that something has gone terribly afoul in their beloved "homeland."
Americans, in essence, need to be re-taught what is possible in the world, they do not need to be shunned. Shunning them will only help to produce more negativity in the world. If we all, from without, can help them to change what is wrong with their country from within, by sharing our knowledge of alternatives, then the whole world will benefit." --Lily
"Sometimes the caliber of a nation is found not in why it is liked, but rather in why it is not." --Victor Davis Hanson
"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage." --Winston Churchill
"With a military that has become a laughing stock and her increasing irrelevance in the world around her, I believe that the Canada I know and loved is gone. The sad truth is, Canadians have only themselves to blame since they meekly chose to accept everything without question and without fighting back. Most of them even pat themselves on the back for being so “progressive” and “multicultural” and “diverse,” while failing to recognize that all of those things will bring about Canada’s demise. America may not be perfect, but at least there is a strong conservative movement and a population who will fight to keep their rights." --Jayne Gardener (Why I left Canada)
"Regarding Race Relations in the South:
I once read an observation that ONE (and there are many) of the differences between the Northern and Southern approach to race is that the North tends to reject the Individual while embracing the Race. The South conversely seems to have prejudice towards the other Race while embracing the Individuals. It's a generalization to be sure but one with more than a grain of truth. Blacks and Whites have always lived closely in the South, most southerners have an aquantince of another race whom they like, while at the same time generalizing about the 'others'.
The North has always been more segregated and less mixed in ordinary commerce and interaction. They accept the race but interact with few individuals of another group. Leading to less real experience with the other group. Fewer Northerners subsequently have friends of a different race.
I think we a need to be cautious when making these generalizations but I believe they still offer food for comment.
I guess I'm just saying that one shouldn't assume the South has a less open society because of some who have lingering, isolated, racist attitudes towards 'Canadians'. It just seems that these notions, are more exposed, and carry more gravity due to their past. --JG (reply #70)
"My “two cents” to all you Americans out there: speaking as a Brit, it pains me to see some of the comments emanating from this page by alleged British sophisticates. Much of the real reason for anti-Americanism of this type — though it will be hotly denied — is nothing more than envy. Truth be told, many an Englishman yearns for the day when we were the number one dog in town, with the world sitting obediently at the feet of hordes of short-back-and sides public school boys lording it over primitive tribes of Africans and Asians, whilst men such as Joseph Chamberlain and Winston Churchill sincerely speculated on the chances of the USA being welcomed back into the imperial bosom.
Americans, don't lose heart; you are the great power of the age. It is your lot to be envied and feared. Do not fall for the soft hearted illusion that this translates into moral superiority of any variety." --James
"It is sick that to be Canadian one must hate other people. I've been to US hundreds of times and England as well and they never equate their nationality with hatred of others. It seems we are a nation of people that are in serious need of therapy. Thank god I enjoy visiting other countries and felt no need to hate or denigrate others. When ever I go to United States or England I always leave the Canadian stuff at home and I get along just fine. I would recommend this for others." --Nov. 12th, 2005 5:08PM
"The only thing more annoying that a 'typical American' (and they do exist!) is a Canadian with a superiority complex! Americans do get the piss ripped out of them behind their backs but with the flag on your pack you probably will as well." --travoholic
"I grew up on army bases my whole life and nothing makes me prouder than watching Canadian soldiers do what they can, when they can, to help out more impoverished nations. I do, however, become angered at people who begin talking about who has the better, or bigger army and who can beat whom. Soldiers sacrifice their lives for the betterment of mankind, not to win pissing contests." --Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:12 pm
"I attribute European anti-Americanism to a state of prolonged “adolescence” from being protected by American treasure and military might throughout the post-WW2 era. I think about how teenagers rail against their parents actions and restrictions, all the while knowing, deep down, that they cannot provide for themselves.
On a somewhat lighter note, there was a program on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) a while back about why Europeans don’t like America. One interviewee attributed it to the Europeans knowing that America won’t hurt them." --Denis Eugene Sullivan
"In spite of the constant accusations of “arrogance,” Americans are really very self-deprecating in many ways and often place the French, and other Western Europeans, on a pedestal of cultural superiority; this probably goes further back into world history than virulent anti-Americanism does." --Jennifer
"Yes, anti-Americanism is a sad reality all over the world. I feel its simply part of "hatred of the superpower". Britian for most of its empire's history was mocked harshly by English speaking colonies and much of mainland Europe. Nobody likes the "big kid on the block". I think the fact that American media plays a more dominant role in English speaking societies around the world further reminds us of our inferiority complexes. In short, America's ok with me. I can only hope that reason and the shedding of jealous ignorance can let other people see that America isn't that bad." --Matt
"Conservatives love America the way a six year old loves his mother. Mommy is perfect, don’t be mean to mommy, etc… Liberals, according to me, have a grown-up love for America — the kind that recognizes faults and works to improve the nation out of love." --Al Franken