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What Is "America"?  
User currently offlineToady From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 724 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1487 times:

The "Love America" & "Hate America" threads on this forum are the least conclusive discussions to be found anywhere and among the most pointless.

It seems to me that everyone is talking at crossed-purposes.
For a start, "love" & "hate" are immensely emotive words and mean different things to different people. They are also, in my opinion, 2 of the most over-used words in the English language. Maybe they're used so frequently and freely spoken/written because they're an easy choice.
I digress; the semantics of those 2 words is not what I want to hear about. Maybe on another dedicated thread?

What I am curious to know is how people define "America".
I'll hazard a guess that the 'haters' and the 'lovers' are talking about entirely different concepts of 'Americanism' when they express their feelings. If I'm correct in this assumption, all the "Love America" & "Hate America" postings will never result in conclusion (let alone a satisfactory one!) because we're having 2 entirely different arguments.

So, what is "America"?
Is it merely a geographic region? Is it foreign policy? Is it culture? Is it the population? Is it rampant globalism? Is it worldwide altruism? Is it the President? Is it the flag? Is it the economy? etc etc.

Before anyone answers "Yes Jon, it's all of those", I'll offer a pre-emptive "But how can you either love or hate all things connected with America?"

"America" does not provoke a particularly strong reaction or emotion in me; I'm as ambivalent to "America" as I am to "Tibet" or "New Zealand" or "Greece" or "Britain" or.........

"America" means to me:
Some of my most valued friends & some of the biggest jerks I've ever met.
Waffle House & McDonalds.
Nirvana & Britney Spears.
Awe-inspiring scenery & (some) dirty cities.
Frasier & Judge Judy

Good and bad in equal measure. Well, not quite true; I'd have to say the good outweighs the bad but that kind of measurement or judgement is not the point of this topic!

So, people of all nationalities, tell me what's your definition of "America".

Cheers,
Jon.



40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1440 times:

Like, Dislike

Sorry, doesn't have the same dramatic effect  Smokin cool


User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

ok, let me clarify that.. Big grin

I think most foreigners to the USA have a love hate relationship with the USA, they love some of it, they hate some of it, love, hate, see?

I guess, love and hate might not be the most appropriate words to describe it, but 'love/hate' is such a huge phrase that its just common, 'love' can mean alot of things, 'hate' can mean alot of things, 'love/hate' is sorta different.

Ok, now I probably confused everyone Big grin


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1408 times:

Toady,

I think that you probably hit the nail on the head here. However, to define America, or any other country for that matter, is like trying to define what God is. (not comparing America to God). America has probably one of the most intricate and confusing social systems in the entire world. But, America is unique in its own because even though this system is extremely complex and widely practiced, it all works quite well on the whole. Honestly, I can look at this country and be marvelled by the fact that people, not with one common belief, but many beliefs, many religions, many races, many cultures, many classes, educated, non-educated, gay, straight, man, and woman, can make themselves the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.

My point here is this: You can't define America, it is too complex. Of course people aren't going to agree with everything we do, but on the whole, it is one of the most dynamic and spirited nations that exist today. And let me correct myself. There is one common bond we all have, and that is that we are Americans, and we have ALL made America what she is today. And we were the first ones to do it this way. Not a King, or a ruler, but her people. It's like doing a project in college:When the professor or another person does all the work, you could care less about being proud of it, because you didn't put any work in it, but if an entire group helps with this project, when you finish, you are ALL proud of what you have accomplished.

We call our project: America

UAL747


User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1396 times:

I don't think America necessarily has good foreign policies (actually no where near), but domestically speaking this is among the best countries on God's green planet.

User currently offlineN400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

America. Hmm... America is freedom. It is opportunity. It is strong and God-fearing.

But, of course, you cannot limit a definition of America to four simple terms. It is much more, and, as the President said this morning, this IS the greatest nation on God's green earth.

N400QX


User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1388 times:

N400QX, I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count. I'm sure Canadians feel their country's also the greatest (they have the highest standard of living, so surely that counts for something). Europeans also feel their countries are the greatest, and I'm sure they'll have many arguments to back up their claims as well.

What I'm trying to say is, if you want to understand why people openly hate the U.S., you only have to stand back, put yourselves in their shoes, and listen to some of the comments Americans make. They sometimes smack of arrogance, ignorance and hubris.


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

Hepkat, how about this:

Instead of whining about how much we brag about our country, have some pride and brag about yours. I see you are from Austria. It's a beautiful country, with many fine things to brag about. Don't blame us for thinking the U.S. is the greatest, because to us, it is the greatest thing on God's green earth. It gives us life, liberty, and the persuit of all our happiness.

Americans are proud, and you should be too. Maybe its just a cultural difference that find annoying with us, but hey, it's what makes us different from the rest of the world.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

UAL747


User currently offlineN400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

>N400QX, I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count

Umm... I don't care nor should we. I believe a huge number of Americans believe this to be the greatest nation on earth (certainly all of our grateful immigrants), and I agree with the President's statement this morning...

Sorry, I don't censor myself because my statement might make someone feel "isolated".

>What I'm trying to say is, if you want to understand why people openly hate the U.S., you only have to..... blah blah blah

They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are. Have you read that excellent London Sunday Times article thats been circulating the forums recently?

I'm proud of our country. I'm proud of the spirit of America. I am proud to be the President of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
-- US President George Bush, Jan. 31, 2002


User currently offlineNik From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1368 times:

"They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are.."

When talking to people from the Middle East about international politics, and the US is mentioned, the word I hear most often is "arrogance".


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1359 times:

What "people" of the Middle East are you talking about?


NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1356 times:

UAL747, I'm an American living in Vienna. It's when you actually step outside of your country that you actually begin to see things you wouldn't have seen were you still living there.

I'd recommend getting out more often, living abroad for a while, then you'll see what I'm talking about.

And yes, I'm proud of Austria for what it has accomplished for such a small country after almost being obbliterated after the war.


User currently offlineNik From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1355 times:

"What "people" of the Middle East are you talking about?"

If you really must know: People from several countries who are all at my university in Copenhagen. That good enough?


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1349 times:

Hepkat, I have been to England, France, Italy, Mexico, Canada, China, and Japan all several times, and many times I stayed with families from these countries. I lived in Beijing this summer. I may not have been to every country in the world, but consider myself well traveled and educated, especially for a 21 year old. I am a Chinese/Asian studies minor, I have taken numerous international politics classes, I am currently in a class called "India Today". I speak 3 languages.

In other words, I'm not your stereotypical white American, Christian, fraternity guy. (Even though I am all of those things). I do look at the world on a global perspective. But I have a huge sense of national pride. While I wouldn't mind living in France or the U.K., I would never want to live anywhere else but the U.S. Yes, we may have our problems, just as any nation does, but that doesn't mean I have to give up my national pride.

I guess I just get frustrated because people always focus on the negative of my country, and never say anything good about the positive things we have done in the world.

UAL747



User currently offlineNotar520AC From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1606 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1341 times:

I'm a Pilot- that's all that matters. I'd rather be flying

 Smokin cool -Notar520AC



BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
User currently offlineSchoenorama From Spain, joined Apr 2001, 2440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1335 times:

N400QX

"I think it's these statements that piss a lot of people off, and makes them feel isolated, as if their country doesn't count"

You're completely right there, It does piss ME off that many americans are completely unaware of what happens outside their own country, and, and this is more serious, are not at all interested in what happens outside their country. This, along with a very high level of confidence in their own system and government, has made it possible that the US, under different administrations, has developed a 'foreign policy' with the only objective to protect its own nation and its economical interests. Look at what happened in Vietnam or, not too long ago, in Chile.

Statements like "America is Freedom" or alike really sound hilarious if you take in mind that, for example, after Sept. 11, critizising the governments anti-terrorism policy by tv reporters or other journalists is a taboo because they are affraid they'll lose their viewers.

I don 't think that in the world there is another country where the habitants have got such an amount of trust in their government as the US. Now that says something about that country, but also about its people!



Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1331 times:

"I guess I just get frustrated because people always focus on the negative of my country, and never say anything good about the positive things we have done in the world."

That's perhaps because you guys have allready pointed out the good things about America yourself....several times...



User currently offlineVafi88 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1297 times:

When I grow up, I want to move to England because it has Heathrow and people drive on the other side of the road.


I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2740 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1289 times:

>N400QX wrote

Umm... I don't care nor should we. I believe a huge number of Americans believe this to be the greatest nation on earth (certainly all of our grateful immigrants), and I agree with the President's statement this morning...

Grateful inmigrants! <---------

And you just posted about deporting all of em!

hmm confusing

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineGoodbye From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 913 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1283 times:

They (most) don't hate us because of what we say. It is because we are who we are

We hate you because of who you are (arrogant) and of what you say (ignorance).

It is good to feel that your nation is the greatest on earth, but you don't have to slam everyone that doesnt think the same as you.


User currently offline764er From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

Goodbye, speak for yourself buddy. You give those with legitimate and civilized criticism of the US a bad name with this "we..." BS. Get over it...

User currently offlineGoodbye From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 913 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1271 times:

764er:

Why don't you and all your patriotic little friends get over yourselves. WE KNOW YOU ALL LOVE AMERICA. Good for you! But you don't have to repeat it over and over and over again. No wonder some people don't have much respect for any of you.


User currently offline764er From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1263 times:

And we know you (personally) hate us. But you seem to keep repeating THAT. Then you chime in talking about something completely irrelevant to my post, just to say something negative about the US. It would be nice if you could say something somewhat civilized in a post like this... Sorry for you, old friend.  Sad

To not have any respect for any of us is naive. I can see that some people disagree with our policies, etc. but then extending that to all the citizens is, well, dumb?

We don't think everyone in Australia is a complete US-hating fool because of one loudmouth member of this forum. But if that special someone says something like:

We hate you because of who you are (arrogant) and of what you say (ignorance).

Who loses respect?


User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2740 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1261 times:

agreed!

God Bless America <-------- such a selfish quote

yeah well god bless only america and the rest of the world what fuck it!

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1263 times:

It is good to feel that your nation is the greatest on earth, but you don't have to slam everyone that doesnt think the same as you.

Conversly, son, you don't have to slam us because you hate our guts. Yet you are always the one starting the threads to pick fights with Americans. And conversly, you slam Americans because they don't agree with you. A little hypocritic, aren't we, kid?


Why don't you and all your patriotic little friends get over yourselves. WE KNOW YOU ALL LOVE AMERICA. Good for you! But you don't have to repeat it over and over and over again. No wonder some people don't have much respect for any of you.


Why shouldn't we repeat it over and over again, when over and over again, you spread your lies and falshoods about America every chance you get? Do you think we should just let you go on, running your little teenie yap on here without response?

No wonder most people on here don't have much respect for you.


25 Goodbye : Umm... I don't care nor should we It is this kind of arrogance we are talking about.
26 Alpha 1 : It is this kind of arrogance we are talking about. If you mean, do we not give a rats ass of what you think, Goodbye, then yeah, I guess that's arroga
27 764er : lmao @ Goodbye!! So many people hate us because we don't care what you (personally) think! If someone comes in with a legitimate statement, I'll liste
28 Alpha 1 : Dear God, Goodbye, is that the best you can do, kid? You hate me for one simple reason, son-I live in America, I support America, I love America. That
29 USAirways737 : Schoenorama Wrote: It does piss ME off that many americans are completely unaware of what happens outside their own country, and, and this is more ser
30 Bombstar : Just what is it that makes america so "great"? REally....I can't figure it out! You cant do anything there that i cant do here in Canada. Some would e
31 Post contains images N400QX : >And you just posted about deporting all of em! >hmm confusing Incorrect. I talked about getting rid of the ILLEGALS. Read it over again. Maybe twice.
32 Alpha 1 : Hey, Zach, you got mail. Read it and let me know what you think. Alpha 1
33 Mx5_boy : Alpha1 says: ""If you mean, do we not give a rats ass of what you think, Goodbye, then yeah, I guess that's arrogance. And I don't think any American
34 Post contains images PHX-LJU : I'm proud to be an American. That may make me "arrogrant" in the eyes of Goodbye and some other a.net members, but guess what, I don't care! And, yes,
35 PHX-LJU : P.S. One last though: Goodbye's confused rantings irritated me at first, but I am now wondering: Shouldn't we be HAPPY and even PROUD that Goodbye and
36 Post contains images 764er : It's funny... Goodbye hates people who are "ignorant and arrogant," but by looking at his posts... well, he is EXACTLY that. Goodbye, how did you so q
37 PHX-LJU : I agree 100% with everything you just wrote, 764er. >>"Loving America and loving the world are NOT mutually exclusive." Exactly! People on both sides
38 Heavymetal : What is America, huh? This question to me is kind of a nostalgic throwback to seventh grade sociology. But if I were to suggest to someone how to real
39 Post contains images EGGD : Staffan, MIAspotter, LOL Listening to these arguments are funny, I have to admit, even the most serious posts in here, are, well, funny. Heavymetal, y
40 Heavymetal : Heavymetal, you can do all of that in other countries to, ya know! No you can't, Sherlock. Read it again.
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