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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why do many people in the US believe the ”American Way” is the best way?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (20282 points ) August 8th, 2011

When it comes to family relations, how parents should parent, how business should run, how schools should teach, how to handle crime, etc they believe we here in the US has the best way of doing it and other nations just don’t do it as well. Is that a sign of arrogance because for the longest the US was at the forefront, and the vanguard of thing? Does the US really do it better by design, application, principal, etc?

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16 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

Probably because a lot of them haven’t actually experienced those aspects in other countries. The U.S. is a great place, but they aren’t the bee’s knees, that’s for sure.

People from other countries do the same thing. It’s not just the United States.

lillycoyote's avatar

There are really so many reason but Americans are very provincial. As @KatetheGreat points out many Americans don’t really know much about other countries and how people live in other places. And we are resting on our laurels quite a bit. I think a lot of Americans have a mindset, a view of the world and ourselves that hasn’t changed much since the end of WWII, but the world itself has changed quite a bit since then.

Plucky's avatar

Because it’s bred into them ..perhaps. Seriously, it’s like a bad sort of um ignorant habit.

I do not believe all countries are that way. There is patriotism but that is entirely different than the egocentric American society.

woodcutter's avatar

Most countries have national pride and believe their way is better. Might we get some pointers from Somalia?

ddude1116's avatar

Because we’re America! God damn it! Yeah! America!

America has a fairly large ego as a whole and a lot of times refuses to accept that there may be an idea better than theirs. At least, I hope so, because I’d rather “debilitating narcissism” than “debilitating greed”. Though, nationalism exists elsewhere, it’s just America has had so much power for so long, they aren’t aware they lost it. It isn’t everybody, but it is enough to noticeably affect things. However, I do agree with @Plucky about it being bred into us, and @KatetheGreat about its ignorance.

missingE's avatar

I went backpacking for a few months across SE Asia and, to be honest, the American in me really was crying out a few times. I’m a first generation American though—so that’s not quite bred into the bone at all. Must be something in the water?

Really, though, I think when you’re raised in a certain environment you’re bound to expect all those things elsewhere. This isn’t a strictly American phenomenon.

lillycoyote's avatar

@woodcutter most countries have national pride and may believe their way is good. However, I think, to believe that our country’s way is always best and always better and always good is not necessarily right and not necessarily in our best interest, particularly in the areas where it is contrary to the facts and actually contrary to what is in our best interest is a very bad idea.

woodcutter's avatar

@lillycoyote America is really a conglomeration of worldly influences based on a capitalist model. While capitalism is imperfect it does set up the environment where innovation can easier get a foothold and grow. I’m betting that the low flow toilet was a Euro idea that caught on here so now all new toilets are that way. Sometimes they don’t hold enough water to push a turd all the way down but that’s another story for later.

QueenOfNowhere's avatar

I agree with all… I often argue with my american friends because they say that my own country “sucks”, and that America rules the world, and that America is the best. Then I ask them if they’ve ever been outside of US, they say no. How ignorant and rude is that? I love my own home country and it’s seriously one of the best for me, but I’m saying it because I’ve been to 38 different cities in various Countries.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@QueenOfNowhere Then I ask them if they’ve ever been outside of US, they say no. How ignorant and rude is that? That fact doesn’t seem to stop a lot of people, or even slow them down. Even when a successful working model can be shown overseas, like how many parts of Europe deal with drugs, legalization of some drugs, or handling of prostitution. I have met many Yankees that will say it was an anomaly, a fluke, or that they were still ass backwards even if it was working, because that is not the was it is one here.

missingE's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Why does Europe have to be the shining example? Singapore is incredibly safe, clean, and modern—at the cost of any possession of illegal substances warrants a death penalty and things like chewing gum are illegal. Yet, that works too.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@missingE Why does Europe have to be the shining example? They are’t, they do have their Red Light Districts, which is a better way to handle prostitution to me, and have read many places favor treatment for drugs than lock ‘em up and toss the keys. I think there are many things Asia does that are better than here, the way the schools work for one.

missingE's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central What I’m trying to make a point of is—who’s to say the American way isn’t the best? Or—What if I don’t want a red light district? Or how about if I want the American way to be that I’m willing to ban chewing gum and call the cops on my neighbor for littering?

American patriotism may be louder than other places, but I don’t think that’s alien in other places either.

rooeytoo's avatar

I lived in the USA for 50 some years now in Australia for the last 13. I have also visited many other countries and as far as I can see, most people think theirs is the best. Ask any Aussie and they will tell you how great Australia is. I don’t think the USA has the corner on national pride or conceit in any way, shape or form.

I love Singapore and as long as the dictator is benevolent all works well. But if you get a bad guy in there, you are in a heap of trouble. But I have to say, I love the way it is safe for man, woman or child to walk down any street at any time of day or night and be safe. It is a wonderful place to visit, but yep, be careful with your chewing gum or you will be in serious trouble.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because every culture needs its set of myths when forming an identity.

JLeslie's avatar

Because human beings tend to be ethnocentric. The US is a very large country with a huge population. We have many parts of the country that are fairly homogeneous, so the people have little contact with other cultures, and don’t take the time to find out the reason behind why some people do something differently, just assume it can’t be as good as how we do it. Amercans are told from the age of nothing that people want to come to America because we are the best country in the world.

Cognitive dissonance has our brains wanting us to believe that the environment we live in must be the best.

But, it should be pointed out that many Americans do think America has places it can improve. Public education is under fire, how we use natural resources. Some of us to look at other countries and cultures and admire some of their practices and hope to incorporate them into America.

Amercans also have a large part of their population that believes their is only one path to a desired result. Whatever they think is right is, and everyone else is wrong.

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