General Question

afghanmoose's avatar

How do other countries view the USA now?

Asked by afghanmoose (554points) April 8th, 2008 from iPhone

since I’m an American citizen I was wondering,how do people from other countries view the US now?

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28 Answers

mcbealer's avatar

Dismally. It’s echoed in the travel advice from the Feds: if you’re traveling in some parts of the world, be discreet if you have a US Passport.

Vincentt's avatar

A lot of people, myself included, look down upon the US. I can best talk for myself: I just don’t like the mentality a lot of American people seem to have. Besides, the Bush government (which was re-elected!) was extremely stubborn at the recent climate conference. As one of the biggest polluters in the world, I expect the US to play it’s part in protecting the climate. Even if it harms the economy just a little bit.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of nuclear weapons, with the US urging other countries to stop owning them (which is good) but still owns them themselves (which is bad and very hypocrite).

Well, I could go on like this for hours, so I guess I’ll summarize it by quoting mcbealer: dismally.

Robby's avatar

Now thats a good question! Well I think that since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, the opinions have varied for everyone. There are alot more people from the states that will no longer travel cross sea’s now because of fear of what some people from middle eastern countries might do to Americans. There are countries that are behind us 100% and, there are those that would love, no, sacrifice there lives to see Amaricans burn, mutilated, and totured. It’s unfair to see the good people of this country to have to pay for someone else’s actions. Thats just the way the cookie crumbles I guess.

Vincentt's avatar

@Robby – don’t forget the in-betweens ;-)

Robby's avatar

@Vincentt Yeah those too. One could go on forever with this topic.

cwilbur's avatar

I’ve got a friend who’s a world traveller, and so I’m reporting his experience secondhand.

Overall, foreign people love the idea of the US—the ideal that we claim we’re trying to live up to, represented by things like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and things like Margaret Chase Smith’s Declaration of Conscience and Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech.

Individual Americans they can take or leave; it depends on how obnoxious the particular American in question is being.

And the American government and its actions over the past eight years they almost universally hate.

(This, oddly enough, is very close to my views. Perhaps I am secretly a foreigner, and unaware of it.)

osakarob's avatar

I have lived for 15 years in a country which has been one of America’s most staunchest allies: Japan.
Opinions toward the American government have never been so negative.
The Bush administration is reviled for the war and is seen as having been beholden to corporate interests.

Oddly, In my conversations with the Japanese, I have also found that the “American people” are not terribly highly regarded anymore either. Americans are pretty accurately described as a morbidly obese both in physical characteristics and in terms of profligate and irresponsible spending. I have spoken with many people here who are astounded at the stupidity of lenders and borrowers in the home mortgage “crisis”. They cannot understand how the average American can consume so many resources (oil, food, consumer goods) without the slightest tinge of conscience. I think most Japanese see America and Americans as a declining power on the brink of collapse. (But secretly most confide that they still really need to have America play a dominant role in global politics and so on.)

afghanmoose's avatar

osakarob,your right,I’d love to live and incorporate Japanese culture to how I’m living,they r the ones that think way ahead of time,take hybrid cars for example and toyota and Honda.I just wish the next regime can take other countries and culures as an example on how to function better as a nation instead of wasting so many unwanted resources and money. I just hope things work out

Spargett's avatar

Hypocritcial, selfish, irgnorant, fat, assholes.

Sounds about right to me. I am embarrassed by my country, and even more so of the potential is has that no one cares about.

gooch's avatar

@Spargett don’t complain be the great American you can be and get to work fixing things you don’t like. Volunteer your time to a cause you belive in that helps the country and consume less resources so your negative impact on this world is less. That’s what I do hopefully more people will do this and we can make an impact and become the great counrty we once were again.

paulc's avatar

Everywhere I’ve been the sentiment isn’t great. What’s interesting, though, is that most people I’ve met outside of North America realize that their grievances with the U.S. don’t apply to all of its citizens. Closer to home, Canadians often criticize the U.S. but without a doubt you’ll rarely find a Canadian that doesn’t count at least one person from the U.S. as one of their good friends. Also, any time a criticism is voiced it is almost always suffixed with a note that truly, they’re pretty good people down there.

Travelling abroad I found myself gravitating to people from the U.S. more so than others (with the exception of some French people). That could be that our “cultures” are so similar but I also found that the whole stigma of the “loud obnoxious American” totally didn’t ring true. In fact, many of the places I stayed on my travels eagerly welcomed U.S. citizens while outright refusing to serve people from the UK, Israel or other nations.

I’ve seen annoying, loud, selfish and ignorant people of all countries and cultures. There are almost no exceptions.

soundedfury's avatar

Does anyone else find it funny that Spargett’s post accurate describes itself. It points the finger at everyone else (selfish), ignorant (poor spelling) and hypocritical (for calling everyone else what it obviously exhibits). It even comes across as an asshole move for posting.

Feel free to moderate me, but the irony is far too delicious.

Answering the question, the distinction between the arrogance of our government and the complacency of many of our citizens is rapidly collapsing in on itself. It’s sad, really, as I don’t believe that our culture as a whole exhibits this kind of behavior.

Spargett's avatar


I don’t just complain. I lead by example, and education.


Your working off the assumption that you know me, which you don’t. Unless you’re trying to tie in the fact that I am an American citizen, which is a weak correlation of irony.

Dine's avatar

Cowboys in the past,cowboys in the present.

Mtl_zack's avatar

as a canadian, i will quote (or paraphrase) our former prime minister Pierre Trudeau:. “it is like being a mouse sleeping next to an elephant”. I totally agree with this. when canada refused to join the anti-missile pact, the u.s. made several threats, and believe it or not, that one of the reasons why the Paul Martin scandal got loose. ever heard of it? i bet not, because americans are ignorant, closed minded people who cant focus on more than one thing at a time. right now its either iraq, or linzey lohan’s rehab. all the news in the world all has something to do with america. will america respond? will america say its ok? they threaten people to not have nukes, while they themselves have nukes and have weapons in nearly every household.

the constitution is like the bible for americans. everyone must follow it, and it contradicts itself on many accounts. if everyone is born free, why did women and black people gain rights so late? isnt the point of america for everyone to be equal? no. the point of america is to make the cheapest products while spending the least amount of money.

sory about the rant. i had to get it out of my system.

p.s.: healthcare in the u.s. sucks, and should be improved with the tax cuts that were just made.

afghanmoose's avatar

@ mtl, I’m a bit insulted,I’m American born and I don’t give a shit about Lindsay lohan,I care about bringing our troops home,but I’m also open minded,your straying off to the path of radicals awhi think that all Americans r the same thanks to the bad image our government has painted for the world. Please understand that there are also good people and bad people in all countries,yes our healthcare six,thats why we need a better, more concerned president that gives a poop about the country their running(Obama 08!)

Big88's avatar

Not as well as it did before we elected, then re-elected, a completely idiotic douchebag as our President that has been a complete disaster.

Charlie's avatar

I will add this to the rest of you peoples comments. I am an American being mostly Native American with some French and Swede thrown in. I have been proud to be such but I am also getting old and what I see is that there are VERY few young people that will or could replace me when I leave this once GREAT country. The younger people have no idea what FREEDOM is and most have little IDEA who gave Freedom to them leave out knowning what the Constitution of the United States is. For the last 100 years, this country has had so many morrons running this country that it has become a welfare state because few people care to give of themselves to their neighbors and want to get all they can from everyone includeing the Government. The people within the Government are corrupted and most should be fired, thrown out, or plain shot! It is these people that have caused the downfall of this Nation. The beginning of this fall was in 1909 when the people within the government allowed a BANKING company come into this country to take over for the Department of Treasury. By 1912, We had the beginning of WW1 so that OUR government could barrow money from this New Banking system because it cannot operate unless there is a debt. Since then, it has been all down hill and UNLESS the PEOPLE of this country don’t start standing up for what is right and wrong, it will continue to go to HELL and I will be glad that I will probably be gone when this Nation wakes up and realize the rose they have been smelling is a handful of foreign crap!! This country is in a heap of trouble but everyone blames everyone else rather then their own self. If something isn’t right say so but few do. I sent a personal EMail to Bush jr. fireing him. Who else has? I did the same to Cheney. Who else has? The bottem line is if you don’t like this country leave it or do something about it rather then run it down. Stand up and be a man or woman and fight for your FREEDOM because you plain are not going to have it much longer.
Keep your guns handy cause you are going to need’um

Mtl_zack's avatar

@afghanmoose: im sorry if i insulted you. i guess i feel that people see all the good things in america, and never stop to think about the bad things. they just accept the fact that america is number one, and say no more. i realize that there are 2 sides to the coin. i was wrong for only pointing out the bad things.

afghanmoose's avatar

thank you mtl,I understand your anger and was once like that. But what I’m trying to figure out if a government is for the people by the people,then why don’t we organize and elect a new government, we need another flower/hippy revolution

Vincentt's avatar

Charlie, it’s people like you (or at least, comments like yours above) that make me look down upon Americans.
First of all, you don’t just shoot people. In fact, I think the death penalty is one of the most backwards things of America.
Secondly, do you notice that you yourself are, how did you say it, “blam[ing] everyone else rather then [your] own self”?
Thirdly, what’s wrong with a welfare state? What’s wrong with welfare? What’s wrong with helping one another?
And finally: once you I hear myself mentioning the terrible state of “today’s youth”, I’ll know I’ve gotten old.

@discussion – one more thing I wanted to add. There’s this term here in the Netherlands, and I believe it is also used elsewhere, called “Americanization”. Often, it refers to people getting more and more overweight (to the point where it poses a problem). It can also refer to other negative things that have come from overseas, but it most often refers to the weight problems.
I guess terms like that also don’t really leave a good image of the USA…

cwilbur's avatar

Vincentt: Charlie’s views are hardly representative of the US; most people here would call him a crank.

Vincentt's avatar

@cwilbur – of course, it’d be hard to find one person to represent the US, I just wanted to point out he himself is contributing to the bad reputation :)

cwilbur's avatar

@Vincentt: right, but if I found a Dutch person with conspiracy theories about monetary policy and banking, bragging about sending email to Jan Peter Balkenende and Queen Beatrix informing them that they were fired, and claimed that he was making Dutch people look like wingnuts, would you be able to do anything to counter it?

The US has its share of lunatics and morons. And we’re a representative democracy, so sometimes we elect them to government positions, too.

Vincentt's avatar

Nope, I wouldn’t, and morons like that would affect your view of the Netherlands, wouldn’t it? At least, if you find multiple morons…
In fact, there are quite a few idiots in the Netherlands nowadays if you look at the seats Geert Wilders would have if there were elections now. And that has certainly affected the view of my own country…

mela's avatar

Many people do look down on the states. In my opinion, with all of the conspiracy movies out there regarding the 9/11 attack saying how it was an inside job. and documentaries like “Zeitgeist” saying how the american government purposefully puts the education there at a lower level, so citizens wont be smart enough to realize what the government really does. i also think that the states have a somewhat warped sense of thinking, with the legal guns and such. with all of the school shootings that happened, wouldn’t the government think of making guns illegal?

Narcojloleptic's avatar

I don’t really understand the overweight thing being blamed on America. A long time ago (back when people belonged to tribes) being overweight was a sign of prosperity, those people weren’t even in the North America. Americans did not “invent” being obease, though other countries seem to think so.

I think welfare should be temporary. It is suppost to help you in bad times. I have seen many familys abuse welfare, then their children grow up and abuse welfare just like their parents. They don’t even try to get a job, even though they are fully capable. I know it is difficult to get a job, but it is impossible if you don’t even try.
I know that not everyone on welfare abuses it.

Yes Americans see how stupid America was for claiming that everyone is free (but only white men who owned land) and you have freedom of religion (as long as it’s “this” one). American citizens don’t take that crap anymore. That was taken care of America now has other problems.
I not really aware of any specific products that America produces. Most products sold in America are cheap imports made in developing countries that use sweatshops or other unfair work practices. Most things cost two american dollars to produce and sell for forty american dollars.
It is actually difficult to walk into a store in America and find anything made in America.
I am aware that America has few sweatshops too, but they are illegal here so when they are discovered, they are dealt with by law.

@Mtl_zack & @mela
Canada has it’s share of guns in households.
The goverment has tried to make guns illegal but an organization called the NRA does it’s best to keep them legal. There are already many unregistered guns. I don’t think that street gangs and the Mob will care if they are illegal. America tried to make a popular thing illegal, you ever heard of prohibition? Even though Alcohol was illegal, many people were still making, selling and consuming it. We also have “The Right to Bear Arms”. Unfortunately, there isn’t an IQ test or anger management class required to buy a gun.

Check out the movie “Bowling for Columbine”. Though I don’t agree with every point in the movie, It runs through a few statistics explaining that America can’t just blame it’s problems on things like the number of guns, single parent families, unemployment, & morbid music. The USA needs to fix things that rules and regulations can’t touch, morals.

I was too young to vote for or against Bush, but even I saw how stupid America was to complain for four years only to re-elect him.
I like what gooch said about being the best you can be. Even small changes add up.
I think it would be great if the USA would take a few tips from Canada on the whole health care thing.
I personally think all mechanic weaponry should be illegal. If you want to hunt, use an old fashioned Bow and Arrow. I think gang crime would be less lethal if they had to have drive by stabbings. ; )

I am not trying to blame anything on anyone, I am just trying to explain my point of view.
I am a citizen of the USA.

zeek4kj's avatar

gun control isnt completely the answer, you have to take everything in moderation. every law abiding citizen without any anger problems or psychological issues should be able to own a gun, and should exercise this right. because when everyone in a neighborhood has a gun, would someone really want to try to rob a house in this neighborhood? this also was the reason japan decided against invading the US in WW2. the fact that most citizens in the US had a gun or could easily access a gun made them not want to invade because citizens would just go up in arms against the japanese.
but i agree with gun control against automatic weaponry, there is just no reason at all for weapons like that. but you can never get rid of guns completely, its just impossible. the people that want to get guns will find a way to get guns, no matter what.

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