The United States often draws a lot of flak from the rest of the world for everything from its foreign policy to the way it runs its domestic affairs. In fact, it seems like there are few things that can divide the world more evenly and more strongly than asking people what their opinion is of the United States. It seems like there is no middle ground. Everyone has an opinion. Even in the same city, you’ll meet people who fall on the extreme sides of the spectrum.
Typically, it goes something like this – either they will respond with, “America is messed up. I would never go there, not even to visit.” Or, they will respond with something along the lines of, “I love America. Its government can do some whacky things, but the people are great, and it’s a beautiful country!”
Take your pick. It’s one or the other. But, what exactly is it that causes America to be so “messed up?” Even America’s own politicians can’t seem to stop talking about how messed up things are. Well, today we’re going to take a deeper look. Are things really as bad as everyone seems to think they are? These are 25 common misconceptions about the United States that simply aren’t true!
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Americans only speak 1 language.
America’s military does *fill in the blank*
Nobody is naive enough to think that the US doesn’t have selfish interests in mind when it invades a country. There isn’t a nation on Earth that would do that selflessly.
But whenever some bad ish goes down, why do we always complain that America should do something? Maybe us Europeans should start taking responsibility for our own military defense.
Translation – For those of us living in Canada, Europe, or Australia, America is our military. Rather than bashing it, why don’t we get our own?
Americans are fat.
America is worse than other developed nations in so-and-so
There are many statistics (child mortality, literacy, etc) where the US falls behind countries like Norway and Iceland. But those statistics are based on averages. In Norway, most of the 5 million inhabitants are rich, white, and Norwegian.
If you took a similar sample of rich, white, Americans in the US, you would find that the statistics are almost exactly the same. The fact is that the US is hugely diverse, and the “American experience” is completely different with and without money.
Translation – the problem isn’t healthcare or education. It’s economic inequality, almost exclusively.
America isn’t safe.
This is usually what we say until we actually go there. By this same logic Paris, Brussels, London, Madrid, and almost every other city in Europe is unsafe as well. Yes there are guns, but most of your American friends have never seen or heard a gun being fired. In fact, most of your Swiss friends are much more familiar with gunfire than the Amis.