Why They Hate Us

January 7th, 2008

They don’t hate us. They hate our government.

Why is it that the government of the United States is so different from the people of the United States?

People from the United States are easy to spot in other parts of the world. They laugh more than Europeans and are better tippers than Canadians. They walk with less determination than people from other countries . Americans mosey along. Their stride is more relaxed, less self-conscious than the French. Most of the time they’re cooperative with authority, but can become perturbed and quite vocal when confronted with nonsensical cultural prohibitions.

Americans lack the wit of the Turks and are unable to voice sarcasm as easily as the outspoken Dutch. But there is one thing Americans do better than anyone else on Earth . When Americans want something, they smile. That polished, honest , face cracking grin can con the underpants off a German and relax the most suspicious Egyptian. Americans threaten the Irish and the Scots as no other nationality can. There’s a look in the eye of every American of a slow burn they got from watching John Wayne movies and celebrating the Super Bowl while driving around on booze and pills. There’s an odd danger there that rattles the angry Scot and the ready to throw down Irish brawler.

But it’s our government they despise. Our government slash arrogant business empire they’ve seen succeed and crumble so many times before. So many pretenders to empire laid low by sheer historical ignorance and ego-maniacal pomposity. They see our government as no less corrupt than Putin’s phony pretense of democracy. And they wish we could see it and can’t understand why we don’t. The world wishes the people of the United States were as knowledgeable about their government as they are about the Red Sox. They wish we read more and bought less crap. They don’t want to see America go out of business.

But they don’t want us telling them what to do either.

America gets unfairly blamed for the ban on smoking in French cafes effective January 1st of ’08, while at the same time our government meddles in the political wallow of Amsterdam’s liberal soft drug policy.

Our foreign policy deserves more than just a cocaine twitch. It deserves the enthusiasm of Super Bowl Sunday walking into the room with the kick-back swagger of John Wayne instead of the arrogant bluster of Bush . But most of all it needs that much sought after smile that only American’s can muster.

It’s unfortunate that our government can’t be more like the people it pretends to lead. Then perhaps we could all smile.


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