Tuesday, October 23, 2012

America through the eyes of others

Images like these have a powerful effect on my perception of the USA (both borrowed from James).

It is funny, because so many of my favorite musicians, authors, bloggers and theologians are American. But the overriding mental image I have of the USA is governed by the reactionary racist greedy obnoxious and unbelievably imbecilic. There is something in the idea that it takes 10 positives to overcome a negative, but the idea that a pastor feels OK to put something like that on his notice board must cancel or someone wears a t-shirt like that (and it looks official - is it really?) counts for more than one negativity point. Vinoth Ramachandra puts it so well,

Democracy in the US is now largely a sham. The US Supreme Court has interpreted the US Constitution in a way that removes all restrictions on campaign spending. What this amounts to is that rich American individuals and corporations can buy presidents and congressmen. The support of a billionaire now counts vastly more than that of an ordinary citizen, making a mockery of the principle of “one man, one vote”.

how any sane person can vote for Romney/Ryan simply baffles me! One belongs to the class of tax-dodging parasites. The other proclaims himself to be an unashamed devotee of Ayn Rand’s militantly atheist creed of glorified selfishness and ruthless greed. And they both have absolutely no understanding of the world beyond the U.S. One cannot imagine deeper depths of moral bankruptcy and intellectual sterility to which the Republican Party can sink.

I am not saying you have to vote for Obama, he is certainly not perfect, and maybe there are good reasons to vote for the other guy, but I'll be honest if it does go against Obama most of the rest of us on planet Earth will just be thinking it is the racists and the greedy rich who have got their way because that is the message you have sent us. Feel free to disabuse me of that notion, but if you do it with abuse, you'll be proving my point.

America, sort your life out, and then maybe you'll have more success when trying to help the rest of the world.


  1. You've articulated one of the (many) reasons my wife and I are not looking forward to moving back to the States. Living in England for the past 4+ years has been an eye-opener for us, mainly because we've been able to watch the US from a removed position.

  2. To be fair, which this post probably wasn't, I think news does tend to transmit the negative and I know my view of the UK has become more jaundiced since being in NZ. It is that old thing about one negative comment needing 10 positive ones to counteract it. the more I've thought about it the more I've realised how many positive american cultural figures i can think of and that really the country has a lot going for it, but it does seem to be in some sort of right wing tail spin with it's politics. and i do like americans . . . i just couldn't eat a whole one.

  3. I know it is a bit late but, you do realise that this all depends on your viewpoint right?!

    there are heaps of negative slogans against the republicans as well and that would leave a bitter taste in most people as well

    also you live in NZ with 4 million people- do not get ahead of yourself - you do not know what most of the world thinks.