Minyan Mailbag - American Perception
Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next column with that very intent.
Thought you might find this survey of Australians interesting.
Indeed. I saw this survey in the SMH but didn't think I should comment in Minyanville due to the "U.S. centric" focus of most people involved and I don't want to get into political/social arguments with people in the U.S. about what other people think of the state of "their" nation. The truth, no matter what people's perception is, can send normally reserved people on the very defensive and aggressive, no matter how irrefutable or compelling the facts are. I don't want to pi$$ anyone off but I don't hide from the facts.
But, that said, I will throw in my 2 cents just for the record. No offense intended to anyone, just the opinion from down here and the truth from what I see and hear. I can only comment on what I have seen and experienced in the past 30 odd years. What I remember about the USA back in say, 1980, is very different to what the USA is now. Sure, that was only high school studies and stuff but.... anyway, I first went to the U.S. in 1986 and have revisited, socially and professionally more times than I can remember.
I think 57% of Aussies being "very concerned about the U.S." is understating the actual groundswell of disaffection regarding where the U.S. is "leading" the world.
People down here are VERY concerned about the USA's leadership and where it appears to be heading. It is not the American people (with whom we have a great affinity and affection), but its leaders and their recent policy - finished.
The U.S. used to be the blueprint for a free and open society. Interestingly, many ex-pats I speak with (along with us Aussies), cannot believe that "the people" are allowing what's going on with regard the trampling of the Constitution, Imperialism in the name of "freedom", the outright deceit of the government, the abuse and restriction of individual freedoms of U.S. citizens, let alone "others", the economic/financial focus of everything "American" or the corporatization of the U.S. government.
Many Americans, when asked by us "locals", say they are from Canada. Why is that?
The perception of the U.S. from elsewhere is very different to what you will hear or see in your media. We get that papp down here and it is laughable (and that is being kind), when looked at from where we sit. That "the people" accept it without question is lamentable.
A great international relationship, built strongly by mutual cooperation, respect and sharing of ideals for well over 75 years is being destroyed by OUR leaders. Australian leadership is just a lapdog of yours. The people of both countries are waking up, ours faster than yours, it appears. Europe's already awake.
If the survey had asked " who is the greatest single threat to world peace today", I bet 60% (or more) would say George W Bush. Not Iran or Korea or any other "evildoer". Sorry, but that's the sad truth from down here.
Don't shoot the messenger. Remember, I fell in love and now live very happily with one of "yours"!
Thanks for the heads up and great to hear from you again...
Thanks to you for all of the very thoughtful comments. I've always been a proud American, but I also pride myself on being more aware of the world outside the U.S. than the average citizen. I rarely bother to read or listen to the U.S. media except to contrast it to what the rest of the world sees. In this way, I'm able to arrive at what I believe is a more accurate picture of reality, and I agree with everything that you have written.
I find it hard to succinctly express my feelings about my fellow Americans and our government, but let it suffice that I'm frustrated and disappointed with the population for choosing to be so lazy and ignorant, and I'm truly afraid of the government. Until recently, I always considered people who feared the government to be part of the lunatic fringe, but the evidence of what is happening to our society at the hand of our leaders is too obvious to ignore. Unfortunately, the legislative framework that has been lain in the past few years is only in the early stages of manifesting itself. There is much more to come in terms of loss of personal freedoms and increased government/corporate control of society.
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