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June 13, 2005
10 Questions - 5 (Anti-Americanism)
5. Anti-Americanism. How can we be sure you won’t sacrifice American interests out of an urge to be better liked around the world? Don’t you realize that a certain level of resentment against the world’s largest superpower is inevitable? Don’t you see some risk in country’s taking advantage of the U.S. if they believe we are preoccupied with winning other countries’ approval?

At what point did I claim I wanted to be "popular"? For that matter, at what point did you decide that a country can't be both strong and "popular"?

The USofA is not unpopular because we're a superpower. That's like saying everyone hates the captain of the football team. Not everyone hates the captain, unless the guy's a jackass.

We're unpopular because we try to use our power to force other people to do our bidding. (And I'm not talking about "promoting democracy," either.) Because we try to impose our culture and our values and our consumer-oriented way of life on everyone, whether they want it or not.

Because sometimes we side with terrorists and drug cartels in an attempt to bring down governments we don't personally like, regardless of whether or not the citizens of that country want us to. Because we're hypocritical and two-faced.

People disagree. Countries disagree. That doesn't make acting like the schoolyard bully right. (Also? Having more guns, or more economic buying power, than other countries doesn't automatically make us right.)

Some countries place a higher premium on different values. Cultural and other differences exist from country to country. Some societies may be willing to make trade-offs. Less economic freedom for more economic stability, for instance. That's their right.

(If we're the world's largest superpower, just exactly how is someone going to "take advantage of us"? Are they going to steal our lunch money? Or do you mean they might lie to us about something? And if the latter, do you think you are, again, confusing decent behavior with stupidity and weakness?)

Okay, so, yes, there will always be countries that just don't like us. So, what? I think the basic mistake in the question itself is the assumption that Liberals just want to be loved.

So, I think we could be more popular if we weren't, you know, torturing and killing people, but even I don't live in a world so divorced from reality as to think we're ever going to be universally beloved. Nor do I think it's a goal worth striving for.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:16 AM


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