The longer I’m away from American culture, the more I find the blind nationalism and military worship in the USA troublesome.
Despite the concern Americans have about it, global perception of the USA isn’t as bad as they often think…but they are often oblivious to the things that actually put them on “the average world citizen’s” radar.
Most people in the world don’t judge American citizens by the actions of their government any more than most Americans would judge another country’s people by the behavior of their government.
For example, for most Americans, the “scary thing” about Muslim culture is less about fatwas and more about millions of soccer fans chanting “Allahu akbar” when their team scores a goal (especially since most Islamaphobes don’t know what a fatwa is).
But flip the coin.
Most of the planet sees Americans collectively chanting “God…America…Soldiers…Jesus…USA…” at certain times, too.
Do you think it comes across to the world as so much different than that which you fear, from languages or cultures you don’t understand?
People don’t have issues with Americans because the US military is dropping bombs or shooting people.
They have issues due to the off-putting support Americans have for those in that military: there’s a sense of absolute adoration which lends itself to a hero worship of an armed force Americans then see as virtually infallible, lending to the infallibility of the nation and, ultimately, themselves, as they buy into all of it.
This is brainwashing.
The world watches and thinks, “So Americans can openly criticize their politicians, but if they say something bad about a soldier, they get burned at the stake? So…then…their government is actually a junta? Do the Americans know this and just play along, or do they really believe it?”
Seeing it for what it actually is, then legitimately questioning whether the people there have any idea, because it looks like they don’t have a clue. Kinda’ sounds like how you hear people in the USA talk about North Koreans, doesn’t it?
Speaking of looks: take a look throughout history and see what nations were built using the concept that the military is always right and good and necessary and should always be respected and adored because they always protect the people of their country, leading to those people blindly supporting everything from all military personnel to the entire military construct.
Find me any nation in the history of the world where that mentality led to a positive outcome for the country.
The USA has only nine national holidays:
one is for a civil rights leader,
one is for political leaders;
one is for the new year,
one is for the nation;
one is for workers,
one is a harvest festival,
one is for Christians and…
two are for the military.
If you discovered that a quarter of a foreign country’s holidays were focused on their military, what would you think/feel about that country and the people in it?
Happy Memorial Day!
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