I'm not the bad guy!It is fascinating to see how much power and coherence americans and sometimes even European commentators attribute to the wave of anti-americanisim that, in fairness, does appear to be sweeping the world.
For example, the idea that a coherent and organised EU elite is consistently on message beating up the US is laughable. Maybe in France. Co-ordination is the very thing the EU is worst at, largely because the bulk of sovereignty still sits with the individual states of the union. The US does a far better job of tarring the poor ol’ surrender monkeys.
The caricature painted of EU sentiments as regards the US is often over the top. Often bolted onto a scaffolding of truth as regards US crime and social injustice for example, but then exaggerated it out of all recognition. Very few people believe these extreme pictures of the US, yet time and again this is held up as the genuine view of Europeans.
Nonetheless, decades of statistics bear out the basic principles. The US does have higher violent crime, it does have greater disparity of wealth, it does have more of it’s citizens living in poverty. These realities are indisputable, but no one believes that the US is some kind of urban wasteland ala mad max.
In my modest lifetime, I have never experienced and most especially, never shared, the scale, depth and intensity of Anti American feeling that we see today.
Five years ago, I was largely pro US, had recently spent a lovely weekend in New York, visited the Air and Space Museum in Washington and had explained on my return, how when my daughter was old enough we had to take her to see the place, it was fantastic.
I have always been pro the EU and a few years earlier had been very excited by my discovery of the federalist papers, and US constitutional documents online, and realised what a brilliant blue print they were for the direction the EU should take. I still think that.
I remember explaining to my Dad in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall, that I finally got why capitalism worked better than command economies. How the process of millions of people making hundreds of daily, selfish personal decisions was vastly more efficient than some bureaucrat tucked away in an office sucking it out of this thumb. I still believe that too.
Now? Why now, I have to constantly keep reflecting on how anti American I’ve become. I regularly interrupt TV shows to note to my daughter how these (fictional characters!) are good Americans, and to note the positive values they espouse, that they are not bad people. This in order to counteract the stream of anger and frustration she hears when myself and my wife (or indeed anyone these days) talk about the most recent US outrage.
However there is no "conspiracy" no co-ordinated effort to demonise the US. I’m not the bad guy in this scenario and the EU doesn’t have the coherence to be the bad guy. Grow up America and put the bad where it belongs, GWB, and I’m willing to expand that now to include the entire Republican party, who despite some of the best checks and balances in the world, have been criminally asleep at the wheel for at least the last 3 years. Blame them and kick them out of office when next you get the chance.