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Rob Jenkinson's Letters from America #4
by Rob Jenkinson
2006-09-21 22:10:41
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Before moving over here, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get into any political discussions as I knew I wouldn’t like the opinions of a lot of people here. It’s true, I don’t like the opinions of a lot of people; in fact, I struggle to understand how they can come to certain conclusions.

I must say at this point that I don’t agree with about 50% of Americans, the other half are spot on. But that’s the weird thing with politics in this country, there’s no in-between, you’re either a bleeding heart liberal or nasty religious right wing conservative. Can you tell which I prefer?

The weird thing is though, I can’t tell any difference between the Democrats or Republican parties. All I know is that I prefer the people who are Democrats and I don’t trust anyone who tells me they’re Republican.

Anyway, I digress, as I said, I promised I wouldn’t engage in any political banter to save getting into huge arguments. Well, the recent madness in Lebanon and the recent foiled terror plot has made that all but impossible.

With a mighty broad brushstroke, I will say this: 90% of Americans don’t understand what’s going on in the world. I know that’s not going to win me any favours with Americans, but it’s true. What’s worst is that out of the 10%, half of them got their sources from pundits such as Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter (if you don’t know who she is, go onto youtube.com and search for her. You’ll be amazed with the stuff she comes out with).

But it’s more than just lack of knowledge or the correct information. It’s an unwillingness to understand why it’s happening. When asked why do they think that Hamas attack Israel? They are likely to reply with something like: “Because they’re terrorists.”

Nice one Sherlock, case closed.

As I said, I’m talking with broad brushstrokes. You’ll find that in the cities, everyone is a little better informed. Suburbs to the middle of nowhere - forget it.

I could go on about this for hours, but I won’t, I’ll bore you to tears. But I would bang on about these issues:

1. The pointless bitching about France. I mean, Finland has a legitimate reason to dislike France, because Chirac slagged off Finnish food (don’t know why, I’m quite partial to sautéed reindeer and lingonberries myself). But America only has one thing, the fact that they didn’t go to a pointless war with them. I mean, neither did Germany (or Finland), so why pick on France? I like to point out to Americans that the French won’t give two shits about what the Americans think of them. It’s like America is actually in love with France, but just doesn’t know it.
2. The insular attitude that it’s the US against them. Pointless.
3. The passionate hatred of all terrorists, but when told that the US bankrolled the IRA through Noraid and therefore the bombing of British cities, they blank eye you.

Thankfully the news seems to have moved on for the time being, so I’m not being asked my opinion on world events or being personally thanked for catching the terrorists out.

Actually, they can carry on thanking me. After all, it was all my doing. I should get the credit.

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Eva2006-09-19 13:18:49
This pretty much sums up the picture I have of them too.. In other words I liked your article :)

trol2006-09-26 15:12:50
i used to walk around in the us with a blue t-shirt and a bunch of yellow stars on a logo reading "united states of europe"

the point was not to proudly announce some vague European identity of my own, but make fun of all who kept telling me they dream of going to Europe (and they mean Paris, only) or that they have been to Europe (Paris and Rome) or that they toured Europe and still think the Danish speak Dutch and have windmills

was fun

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