Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What do we do about anti-Americanism - open thread for Wednesday

We have written about it on numerous occasions. I mentioned it in my earlier blog in connection with the inaugural Thomas Jefferson lecture. It is one of the great blights on British political life and, indeed, public opinion.

People who will cheerfully imitate American slang, watch American TV programmes, wear jeans, eat McDonald’s and go to the States whenever they can, longing to have the sort of life Americans do, consider every single person in this country to be more intelligent than every single American. There is, of course, no evidence for this.

There is no evidence that American politics and foreign policy is dominated by Christian fundamentalists though it is more likely to have moral undertones than the European and British equivalent; there is no evidence that Christian fundamentalists are as nasty as Islamist fundamentalists; there is no evidence that Americans are greedier than the rest of the world, being more generous in their individual charitable giving as opposed to the state redistributing other people’s money than anyone else; and so on and so on.

But you cannot get away from it. Anti-Americanism is a huge problem on the right as well as on the left.

So, forum, let’s roll. Discuss. Reasons, causes, likely effects and what is to be done, to quote a really dreadful Russian novelist. (No, Lenin did not invent the title.)

PS Try not to get hung up on the word Islamist. It is not the issue at hand. Oh, and remember that what Hollywood thinks is typical America is no more typical than Barack Obama’s pronouncements on the people of Pennsylvania.


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