I like the way you present your arguments. I have noticed that they are clear, concise, well-written and extremely thoughtful (as only a fellow Southerner would
). You present the “other side” in a way that’s bereft of the hostile and arrogant style that plagues others when presenting their vantage. If people were not so knee-jerk in their reflections of issues and the way they present them, like you seem to be, then we’d probably all get along more amicably.
I’ve been a member of these forums since 1999 (under different usernames). In general, I don’t think there’s been a prevailing “anti-American” sentiment around…at least in the beginning. The last year or so, discussions have started to heat up due to prevailing world events. This is no surprise. A lot of people (and this forum is no exception) are emotional concerning some of these events and perhaps this brings up the worst in them and blinds them in the way they convey themselves. Instead of logically thinking things through, like yourself, they rush to judgments in the “heat of the moment”, if you will. They may mean to say things one way, but because they act through passion rather than common sense, it will come out quite differently to how it was intended. This sense is further intensified as typing is the only mode of communication here; things are presented “as is” and what you see is what you get. Nobody knows the motives of the person behind this message and there really is no way of knowing since the only thing you know is what’s presented through a computer screen. This is the only way of how we view people and this is why we perceive them to hold the views we think they do, whether that is really the case or not.
Lance, not many people (and that includes Americans) believe that the US is the “moral authority” in this world. I’d hazard a guess that most people (Americans included as well) do not place the US on the pedestal compared to others either. We’re all people here and we generally have the same values and concepts of what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Anyone who thinks otherwise is probably way off in their judgment and should not be taken seriously. Just as anyone who thinks that Canada, Europe, Iraq, Japan or whoever has moral authority in their own rights is probably off judgment too. Nobody has moral authority over anyone, especially since we’re all guilty of sins in one way or another.
The biggest problem here, alluding to the notions I mentioned above, is that people on both sides assume this authority and state so in a brash, insulting and arrogant manor: “Americans are ignorant,” “Muslims are terrorists,” “Europeans don’t bathe.” We’re all guilty of this in some way or another and some people do this more so than others. That is what fuels the perception of “anti-whatever” in this forum and it should be as no surprise that people take it seriously. We’re all humans after all.
It has escalated the last few months. Boeing in PDX has been around since these forums’ conception (though I don’t recall him being actively involved in political topics) and it is sad to see him go. It’s a shame that some stupid hot heads spout their rhetoric the way they do and that he has to take it so personally. We’ve lost too many really good forum members (who espoused ideals all over the spectrum) the last six months and I think the non-aviation forum is at fault for this. Sure, maybe they take this all too seriously and they probably shouldn’t, but it really degenerates the overall aesthetic of this place. I suggest that this forum be taken away. This is an aviation website after all, isn’t it?
One more thing, Lance. We may have communicated via e-mail in the past – I don’t remember. I’m from “the Deep South” as well and lived in Canada for a good many years. I’m sure we have similar experiences as “good Southern boys” living in the “Great White North”. You can e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org
) me if you like because I’d be curious to hear your escapades.