Americans?

Note: Because of the potential for inflammatory comments, I will block anything that is simply derogatory, nationalistic, or otherwise serves no constructive purpose.

__________________________________________________________________________

A friend of mind in the US relayed a conversation to me, between her and her teenage son. The topic being discussed was the current political posturing in preparation for the imminent Presidential election and the comment made by the son was this:

“We need to move to Canada if Trump is elected. Canada is the best place to go to, for everyone likes Canada. No one hates them!”

It could well have been a “tongue in cheek” comment. Perhaps it was accompanied by a wry smile, but it was the last sentence which bothered me and formed the basis of this Post.

Nobody can substantiate a comment like “everyone likes Canada”, but to contrast it with “No one hates them” is a very powerful statement because, by inference, there is a teenager in the US who believes that people hate “them” and, by association, hate him.

Of course Trump is not helping matters with his nationalistic nonsense, but there has to be something inherently not working in a country that can generate negativity…. and the US does do that.

When I left the UK in 1975, a large percentage of my income tax was still being used to pay off the US for debts accumulated during WWII. Yes, the US was a significant help in resolving that conflict, but their help came with a price tag which I believe was paid off in 2006 (70+ years later). Perception is reality, and the perception of many English is that WWII was a business investment opportunity to the US. The US involvement in WWII was not free!

Hollywood did not help the US image by the sheer proliferation of WWII movies which, quite naturally, focused mainly on their campaigns. During my time in England, they were known as the “How the Americans won the war” movies… which was usually stated with a tone of contempt.

Movies such as U-571 merely aggravated an already delicate situation. U-571 told a story about howΒ  the US Navy boarded the U-571 and captured the German Enigma code machine.Β  The reality of the situation was vastly different in that U-571 was in fact sunk in an engagement in 1944. The Enigma code machine was retrieved from the captured U-110 by Royal Navy personnel, and before the US had even entered WWII. There were a lot of negative feelings expressed towards the US on the basis of that movie and even Tony Blair (then P.M.) stated that it was an affront to British sailors.

While not everybody in the UK dislikes Americans, there is a significant proportion such that when my Canadian friends visit, I always tell them to make sure you let people know that you are Canadian. The English cannot tell the difference in the accents and if they think that you are American, you may get poor service, or very good service at 3 times the usual price!

To try and briefly explain an English perspective, you must visualize a very small but highly populated country, in which the population centers around key industrial cities. Those same cities were constant WWII air raid targets, and the continual bombing decimated areas of London, Birmingham, Coventry and many more industrial cities. What collateral damage did the average Englishman hear about in the US? For many years after the war, food was scarce and was rationed based on need. We had meat once a week. In contrast, the American Air Force personnel, who were still on bases in England and financed by the US, were very affluent. This fact was blatantly obvious even in the 1960’s when I was in my teens!

I am not suggesting that Americans deserve the reputation they have in England, and in fact not only is my largest reader base from the US, but I have friends there.Β  The issue seems to be that the various US Governments over the years have not seen the situation as needing any image change. In fact, reflecting on some relatively recent Middle East campaigns, I just shake my head and my thoughts go out to all the really nice people who live in the US and think “You deserve better than this.”

The circumstances and emotions around the US involvement in WWII, and the following years, will soon be history as generations are replaced but, unless the US foreign policies are changed, then it would seem that the antagonism towards the US will simply be perpetuated… and that is rather sad.

Donald Trump for president? I sincerely hope not!

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Americans?

  1. You have certainly set yourself up for “hate mail” and rantings from both sides. I am glad to see that so far at least everyone commenting has had the good sense to see what a disaster it will be if “The Donald” becomes president.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amy: Well I hope your first sentence is wrong because I haven’t said anything that isn’t factual based, and I tried to be very diplomatic given the obvious sensitive nature of the topic. Anybody who believes that Americans are loved all around the world are delusional. Anybody who thinks DT will improve that image are also delusional, unless he makes some major changes in his attitude.

      Like

      • Colin, you are approaching this from the view of a rational. Do you really think all those who are behind DT are coming from that perspective? I love my country, and it truly saddens me that there is so much prejudice and ignorance in the USA that a hate-filled, ego maniac who cares nothing about anyone or anything except himself could even get on the ballot. I am not a Clinton-lover either. It comes down to choosing what you think you can live with and voting against the other, as others have said here. Delusional? Yep, they sure are, and I just hope they don’t get cursed with what they ask for.

        Liked by 1 person

        • A rational perspective was entirely by design. Somebody once said “There’s none so blind as those who don’t wish to see.” My Post simply joined so many others out there in Blogland that are presenting a rational picture of these events. Hopefully there are people in the US who have not decided how to vote and, equally hopefully, somebody’s rational Post will be brought to their attention and maybe influence their decision. In the meantime, prayers might be useful.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, I’m afraid the US deserves the negative perception, we’ve earned it the easy way…through arrogance and capitalism. *Sigh* Fingers crossed people come to their senses and don’t vote that ignorant, hating con man into any office. The “Kardashian-ization” of American politics is particularly shameful and only underscores the fact that ignorance and stupidity are alive and well.
    Signed, a German-born, now naturalized American. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OH so much I could say, but you pretty much summed it up. I will say that this election appears to be so much the case of voting for the lesser evil. You have your die-hard Clinton supporters and die-hard Trump supporters, BUT the majority are “I’m only voting because I desperately don’t want the other party to win!” Not, “I’m voting because I really appreciate this candidate and what they stand for and I think they will make a great President!” I have seen more signs than ever before in a election saying, “Really America, these were the best candidates you could give us?”
    I do pray for our Country, for yes it really needs it! Plus like you said, there are “really nice” people here πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • The best thing that you “guys” can do is vote for the “lesser of the two evils.” The danger is that if a large number do not vote because of total apathy, then the “vocal minority” may just get their representative into the White House!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, let me chime in with a couple of things purely from my perspective. One, my young human is in school and they must take 4 years of history. The teachers at this school are very informed and enthusiastic, and tend to be, I think, more even-handed in recounting what happened in world events involving the US. For example, the principal, who is a Vietnam Veteran, gives the “Vietnam” section of the Seniors course and believe me when I say he doesn’t gloss things over. I think this is a good thing and gives our next generation a better perspective in that “we didn’t do it all ourselves” and where mistakes were made; also in giving credit where credit was due. I admit that (from what my humans tell me) things were quite different in WWII era vs. the wars going on now in the Middle East as far as nationalism and propaganda go. Access to media has taken the wool off quite a few, if not most, peoples’ eyes about war. Agreed of course that WWII was a business enterprise, but I do believe things are different now in that most of us do not want these continued aggressive engagements. Besides the horrific toll in human lives and heinous injuries, there is the out of control national debt to consider. Our economy is terrible. The politicians talk about the economy getting better and more jobs, but the jobs are not the same. People have to cobble together 2 or 3 small jobs with no benefits to piece together some kind of existence. Our healthcare system is seriously broken. This is a great country, but you can’t afford to get sick here. Which brings me to the politicians.

    Two, our country in my humble opinion, is facing a crisis in that we have two completely horrible and unlikeable, untrustworthy candidates running for POTUS. It is my further belief that the founding fathers did not want this exact type of situation to occur! I firmly believe this election is going to have the lowest voter turn out ever and we, the citizens of the USA, are going to be in deep doo by the time everything is over. It’s a sad time for the US. I love this country and Mom served in the Navy but now is a bad time. People are seriously divided over the campaign. Mom even heard people fighting at the store twice over the election when she ran in to buy milk. It’s really that bad. It seems we haven’t had such a horrible split since the Civil War. I would say there are the raving Trump-eters and the raving Clinton-ites and somewhere in the middle are people like my Mom and Dad, who are just holding their heads and praying for the best. I could say a lot more but I’m taking up all your comment space. Thanks for letting me share part of my views. Woof! Love, Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a good AND informative post. Thank you. I find it informative because I know little of WWII. It is good because I see no one having a reason to be offended by it.

    I think “some” (maybe majority of) people have become too overly sensitive. It’s the whole PC thing. I understand about being respectful but it’s like everyone is suddenly wrapped in cotton wool. Anyway, for some reason, what we (people I know) also have nothing bad to say about the Canadians although America has loads of jokes about them. Perhaps the only thing against them is a little bit of dullness maybe.. but that’s just perception. On the other hand, I seem to always need to defend my Americans (I’m not American), making others realize that they are NOT ALL the same.

    But yes, I pray for the country. I do want to move there. But Canada is definitely great, too. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Anne. I should not comment on the US education system as I have no experience of it, but my perception is that Nationalism is heavily emphasized. I have met so many Americans who have little knowledge of what is going on outside of the US. i.e. Their world is the US! This would seem to be a potential problem when voting for politicians who are going to be making decisions that have ramifications world-wide.

      Liked by 2 people

Any thoughts you would like to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s