What are some things that non-Americans think about Americans?

I can offer some insight into this, being a British person living in the USA, though I do travel regularly, especially back to the UK, but I get around other places a lot. I'm going to state a few things that are widely believed outside the US, about the US, none of these necessarily are relevant to my own opinion, which I'll leave out, of this, so please don't berate and hector me saying I'm wrong; I'm not saying that these are necessarily true, but they are widely believed.

  • Americans are not very intelligent. Evidence is given is
    • The American public can't see through outright lies that are published by news outlets (usually politically to the right) some of which are nothing short of ludicrous. Examples:
      • Death squads in the NHS
      • "No go" areas in the UK
    • Election of Donald Trump, who attracts almost no respect in any part of the world, and is likely the most mocked president in US history.
    • Denial of evolutionary science, by some Christian fundamentalists, mostly in the Bible belt, while at the same time having a thriving industry based on that same evolutionary science.
    • Continual arguments in favor of liberal gun ownership laws while at the same time lamenting the number of gun deaths. Absurd arguments about places like Australia who have reduced gun violence considerably, trying to pretend it hasn't worked, and not realising that people saw through that argument long ago.
    • Continuous complaints about the government being inept, untrustworthy and in it for their own gain, followed by reelection of those same people, often for decades.
    • Obsession with buzzwords and labels such as "Socialist" allowing a subject to be dismissed without really understanding what it means.
    • Accepting two week's vacation a year as normal.
  • Americans are callous, unfeeling, and don't care if you live or die, especially if you are poor or black or both. Evidence given is:
    • Cost of healthcare. Bankruptcy of people due to medical bills.
    • Death of diabetics due to the cost of insulin in the USA, which is one tenth of the price in Canada.
    • Medical insurance companies denying treatment for spurious reasons.
    • The existence of teams of clerks and bureaucrats in hospitals and insurance companies whose only job it is to argue with the other side's clerks and bureaucrats, with their wage bill ultimately being picked up by the patient.
    • A minimum wage that is impossible to live on and seems designed to ensure that poor remain poor.
  • Americans are terrified of everything. Evidence given is:
    • Gun ownership. Obsession with "home invasions" and lack of understanding that this is largely an American phenomenon.
    • Invasion of foreign countries at the slightest excuse, often to topple democratically elected governments, that the current US administration doesn't happen to like.
    • Belief that America is under threat from almost every country in the world. Failure to realise that the issues of threats and ultimatums doesn't make you friends.
    • Having the largest military in the world by some margin and wanting to make it larger, at the same time failing to understand why some other countries may not be keen on having large numbers of foreign soldiers placed in their countries.
  • Americans are poorly educated. Evidence given is:
    • Good universities are beyond the finances of normal people.
    • Lower level universities are still some of the most expensive in the world.
    • At some Universities the football coach is the highest earner on the staff by orders of magnitude.
    • Complete failure to understand the situation in the middle east, particularly the Israel/Palestine situation, which seems to be regarded as Israelis are just like Americans and Palestinians are all terrorists. Ignorance of the large Palestinian Christian population.
    • Lack of knowledge of the rest of the world. News media in the USA concentrating entirely on the USA with only occasional glimpses of other countries, usually when there has been a terrorist attack or such like.
  • Americans actually don't like being American. Evidence given is:
    • Many Americans say "I'm dutch" or "I'm Irish" when they mean that their great grandfather was from that country.
    • Obsession with genealogy.
  • Americans are obsessed with race, even if they cannot define it and most are racist. Even black Americans. Evidence given is:
    • Openly racist politicians.
    • Specifically white culture which excludes black people
    • Specifically black culture which excludes white people.
    • Separation of white and black areas in the USA which is more pronounced than anywhere in the world.
    • Reaction to President Obama based on what he was, before he had actually done anything.
  • Americans don't realise that their freedom is actually very limited, but quite touchy about it. Evidence given is:
    • Restrictive laws such as prohibitions on alcohol in many circumstances.
    • Apoplexy at any perceived disrespect of the US flag.
    • The highest prison population in the world.
    • Restrictions on abortion combined with abandonment of mothers who give birth after unintentional pregnancy.
    • Social ostracism of unorthodox points of view such as atheism.
    • Little understanding of why some other nationalities have a quiet laugh at the words "the land of the free" .
    • Attempts to mandate a certain state religion in some places despite the restrictions of the constitution.
    • Lack of understanding that the freedom to do something can conflict with the right to be free from something, such as the resistance to preventing cell phone use while driving.

That's quite a long list and I emphasize once again that this is not necessarily what I think, these are things that other people have said to me, knowing that I live in the USA.

My own opinion is that I like it here.


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