Non USA users - What do you think of America/Americans?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shacklebolt, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    I for one have been, since the first year of the Bush administration, desperately worried that the rest of the world considers America to be this horrible, horrible place, full of horrible, redneck people - and I don't blame them. But Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the USA don't represent the views of just SO MANY Americans. I for one am very, very sorry of the way America as presented himself on the world stage, but I really hope that you don't write us off as hopeless. Really, there are so many Americans who in their hearts want peace, wish that we had never gone charging into Iraq, think that personal freedom is important, and that France is actually a decent place.

    But yeah, to non-Americans, what do you think of America and Americans (there's a big difference, of course)?
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I wouldn't really want to make any generalisations about your country or it's people – there are way to many of you for that sort of thing. Some of the most obnoxious, most up themselves people I've ever had the misfortune to meet have been American, but then again so have been some of the sweetest, kindest and most considerate.

    One thing I think you do all have in common though is that you've been massively let down by your current administration. I'll say no more than that on that subject, though. ;)
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    And off to PRSI the thread goes :p

    Americans are mostly lovely people, at least the ones I've met in person. The only problem I have with most of you

    And then there's America itself. The great overreaching behemoth always trying to keep other countries down in order to maintain its own gradually fading supremacy. A darkening shadow of its former self, desperately in need of reform before it circles slowly around the bowl and disappears down the U-bend, yet every year falling further and further under the control of an elite whose only care is their own power and influence.
  5. smokeyrabbit macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    Escape from New England
    I think it's obvious that most posters here feel that if they constant berate all things USA they can raise their apparently low nationalistic self esteem. I am amazed at how intolerant, ignorant, and rude the comments are coming from especially the UK toward anyone not belonging to their ethnic utopia. (And I'm an anglophile - the only tv shows I can stand are british)

    For example, see all car/language/food threads in the last year.
  6. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I'd like to point out that most British people are thoroughly nice! It's just that having terrible teeth, awful cuisine and a non-existent car industry gets us all in a tizzy and we lash out! To be fair though, we are at least right about the spelling.

    This reminds me of a Harry Enfield sketch.

    I think that people can see the difference between individual Americans and America as a country. Even if people disapprove of how America (the country) has acted on various issues they probably have no beef with the American people themselves.
  7. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i think americans should also be asked, what they think of america/americans...

    not trying to make this political, but, i know some americans who feel that america post 9/11 has been a horrible place to be.

    as always everywhere, there are "ghettos", places and people you'd hate to be in and meet. and thankfully, that is in the minority.

    well actually, the americans will be written off as "hopeless" as long as they don't get their act straight.
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    It's not a nice place to be. more-so because the economy is going down then anything else, but when I live in the 'states, it's pretty hard to see how other nations perceive us.

    I just notice a lot of corruption I guess..
  9. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I am not proud of America, at least the current Administration, but it goes far beyond that. People in America today seem overwhelmingly concerned with their own affairs and acquisitions. Materialism is a state religion, so it seems here.

    In the city I live in, there are LOTS of people who are minimalistic, utilitarian-minded folks who believe in individual freedoms, giving the less fortunate a hand, treating people as equals and friends, and trying to get along with everyone without resorting to violence. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many parts of America.

    For the first time in my life, I have contemplated leaving. There are some nice things about America, but there are some intensely crappy things as well. When I meet the many exchange students here, I feel borderline embarrassment most of the time.

    This country could restore a lot of its international respect if it would spend less time meddling with other governments and more time working out solutions to common global issues. The insular world of 1950 is gone, globalization will never go backwards, it is time for America to assert itself as a land of industry, ingenuity, and good ideas rather than a cranky militaristic power.

    Sorry, I go through this a lot in my head. I wish I could move to Scotland, or perhaps Switzerland, where I don't have this giant target painted on my head just for being American.
  10. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    i used to live right across the US of A in a bordertown. My views of America have definitely changed the last decade. I'm not sure if it's b/c i'm older and supposedly 'wiser', but my eyes have seen too many things I don't like coming from the US:

    1. Bush - idiot..enough said - his 'winning' of the last presidential race is just plain embarrassing. Florida recount ring a bell????

    2. the deception in attacking iraq. i'm not against armies helping out countries in need, but the reasons for attacking iraq were about as loosy goosy and non-existent as the ones they are trying to build up against Iran now...

    3. new orleans - why that city has been left to suffer and rot is beyond me. it's downright embarrassing. that is the ultimate example of saying to your country, "hey, come serve your country, but we're kind of not going to serve you when it's needed."

    I believe there is an air of obnoxiousness coming from the US. Sadly, I don't their ppl as a whole are like that. I've met and know some very nice Americans.

    A quick story: pre- 9/11, I was in London for work...a few years before 9/11 in fact. I was trying to get directions for the trains at Paddington station and the ticket gentleman was very rude and short with me. I apologized and said, "sorry, we don't have this type of system in Canada".
    His attitude immediately changed and he became completely genuine, helpful and polite. He thought I was American. He even upgraded my ticket for me!

    That story is in no way saying Canada is better than the US b/c that's a completely different topic and subject.

    My only thought was: "what's it like being American in a foreign land???"
    It can't be too nice at times :(
  11. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    First, some info about me:
    I'm half French, half Spanish, and was raised an atheist. I'm not a member of any political party, but to give you a reference, after doing the "which candidate are you?" test, I had more than 80% in common with Kucinich.

    I'm doing my best to learn English, and because of my aversion to British accent :p, I've always been very interested in your country. I guess that right now there's a strong anti-US government feeling, but it was inevitable. Keep in mind that most people who dislike the US make the difference between those who voted for Bush and those who didn't, so don't be surprised if somebody asks you who's side you're on. Me? I like some aspects of your culture, and I hate other sides of it.

    Edit: of course, too much is too much: if at the end of 2008 you put a Republican in the office again, I'll join the ranks of the US-haters for good! :p
  12. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    America sucks.

    Our government is full of a bunch of corrupt, money-hungry whores and somehow 51% of the people in this country still voted for Bush in 2004. The government goes and does all of this ******** in the name of national security and preventing terrorism (invading iraq, etc) but in reality their just as bad as the terrorists, relying on fear to try to govern. The sad thing is this is exactly what the terrorists groups like Al-qaeda want.. they want us to live our lives in fear.

    The PATRIOT act pretty much got rid of habeas corpus, so you can be jailed indefinitely if they say you were doing anything related to terrorism. There's also all of this warrantless wiretapping ********, the TSA (thug security adminstration), etc. We've basically lost many personal liberties in the name of "security".

    It seems people have forgotten the quote "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    It seems like the government is run completely by the corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups. So much for the "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

    Our country is divided between the democrats and republicans. Blue states and red states. This isn't how it should be.

    Additionally, the economy is in the *******, unemployment is up, foreclosure rates are at an all-time high, the dollar is worth practically nothing because of inflation, minimum wage has increased way too slow compared to the inflation rate, gas prices are at ridiculous rates and while exxon and the other oil companies are posting record profits and regular families can't afford to heat their homes. I could go on and on.

    Thankfully, we have less than a year left under the Bush regime. The great thing about America is that we can change things. It seems that so far people are paying attention and want change. Hopefully when we vote we can make some real changes.

    Yes we can.
  13. dogtanian macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Bournemouth, UK
    I like Americans generally, on a personal level. Unfortunately even the nicest ones I've met have the political and world knowledge of a frog... :D

    I met one incredibly friendly older American lady in a Nairobi airport departures lounge. What you would class as a liberal and took an interest in my book 'The Islamist' that I happened to be reading (I'm white, male, British and in my 20's). She soon started to irritate me with some of the things she was saying regarding the middle East, desperately trying to defend the US' actions there displaying a clear 'them and us' opinion. She was clearly well travelled but I found her patronising and I was embarrassed to be sitting next to her by the end.

    Many people I know would never visit the US purely because of it's inhabitants, my father for one (I have more of an open mind and I've been to Boston and Bakersfield).
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    You obviously haven't spent enough time on the Central Coast here...

    True enough.
    Not true. Considering that only about a third of the populace voted, and of those, only slightly over half chose Bush; that means only about 1/6th of the people in this country voted for Bush in 2004.
  15. BoyBach macrumors 68040


    Feb 24, 2006
    I've recently visited the USA for the first time and I have to admit that I went there with some stereotypes in my mind and nearly all of them were true - good and bad:

    • The airport security is an absolute nightmare - long queues and rude staff.
    • I met a loud, impatient, obnoxious man on the bus from the airport to the hostel that I was staying at in Santa Monica. (However, everyone else was exceptionally polite and helpful.)
    • The people who work in customer service roles are incredibly polite and it was a pleasure to walk into a shop or coffee place and be welcomed with a smile and a "Hello" and to leave with "Have a nice day, sir!"
    • The Noo Yawk accent really is the coolest of all - kawfee!

    As for the politics of the Bush regime? It does absolutely no favours for my perceptions of the USA.

    And, yes I do plan on returning one day in the future.

    I also met a lot of Canadians during my travels and, to use another generalisation, they were the nicest and friendliest people you could ever hope to meet.
  16. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Canadians abroad are funny. I love the way they go completely out of their way to make sure you know they're not American :D
  17. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
  18. dogtanian macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Bournemouth, UK
    lol, can't say I blame them!
  19. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    A lot of this is a result of ratings-driven for-profit news outlets. News directors must select stories not based on objective importance or a mandate to inform, but based on the size of the audience who can be persuaded to watch, listen or read. News outlets enjoy a higher return on investment by showing us the slow-motion psychotic implosion of a washed-up pop star, not only because many viewers will stop by to watch the train wreck, but because the story is cheap to produce, requiring no research, no investigation, no uncertainty and no controversy. In short, they can fill up an entire news show with no one having come close to performing the work of a journalist, because the success of the broadcast is judged by the same standard as a situation comedy.

    On another subject, as an atheist in the U.S., my impression is that any time a person representing my country goes around decrying the evils of extremist religion, anyone from most of the rest of the world is likely to be staring at him like he's just sprouted a dog's head from his left nostril. Is this actually the case? To me, American religious zealotry, and our seeming blindness to just how extreme it frequently becomes, is a bit unnerving, and I grew up with it. How must it seem to an outsider?
  20. BoyBach macrumors 68040


    Feb 24, 2006

    I spent about six weeks travelling through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand with a lovely lass from Vancouver and whenever she was mistaken for an American, well, it was very entertaining! :)

    (As I was typing this message I received an email from her, what are the chances!?)
  21. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    America's image has been hugely tarnished in the last eight years or so. Obviously, that's mainly because of the Bush administration (initially), and then, somehow, half the voters deciding they wanted four more years of him - something I'll never understand myself.

    I've been to many, many countries, and the general consensus is - very unfortunately - negative. People see the US' desperate attempts to keep itself on the top of the pile, by proposing things like that big missile defence system, the invasion of certain unnamed countries [etc], as a kind of misjudged belief that someone should act as the world's police force... or, become the UN. :rolleyes:

    There are many stereotypes - mainly negative - about Americans. They range from the southern state residents who think Scotland's near London, and England is a suburb of said city, to people who couldn't point out the North Pole on a map. Of course, these stereotypes are generally wrong. I've met people who can accurately adhere to both of these examples, but out of the 200+ million yanks, there were only two I've encountered with these beliefs.

    I've been to the US a few times, and I've always thoroughly enjoyed it. I defy anyone to. The population is, generally, one of the most friendly of any country I have visited to date, and one that really doesn't adhere to the stereotypes projected internationally.
  22. Spizzo macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2004
    Pacific NW
    More than once I've claimed to be from Canada when abroad, especially in Europe. Asia it doesn't seem to matter too much. I'm only an hour and a half from the border anyways, that makes me practically Canadian, eh?

    I've really been thinking hard about moving overseas in the last few years. America is still great, but I don't like where we are headed. What bothers me is that a lot of people (here in the USA) don't seem to notice/care. Like someone else said, we're all about self gratification now, and it will eventually lead to our downfall, unless things change. :(

    Scotland... is that like Disneyland? :p
  23. Fuzzy14 macrumors 65816


    Nov 19, 2006
    Renfrew, Scotland
    You'll find a lot of Scots do that to make sure they aren't confused for Eng**sh!

    I actually really like Americans, even the weirdos. You have such a rich diverse culture that there is always going to be an opinion or interest in the most crass or stupid subject. As I've said before, all you need is one idiot to spoil it for the rest of you. In your case, you've got 303 million people and so will have your fair share of idiots, and unfortunately most of them have access to broadcast on the mass media!
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    from my very little experience i find many americans to be rushed and in a hurry all the time. some have been rude, but i know that i cant judge that for the rest of the people in their country.

    lol just watched a poll and 40% of americans dont know where iraq is.. i wonder how many know where australia is (not austria) :rolleyes:
  25. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Oh, please :rolleyes: Everybody knows Australia is over by Germany.

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