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American characteristics

capitolBeing separated by two oceans from most of the world, we Americans are somewhat isolated. We tend to see things through our eyes. As the world grows smaller, the competition stiffer, our position less dominant, and we absorb more immigrants, it time to review our traits­­.


POSITIVE ================================================

  1. Fair
  2. No one is above the law (basically).
  3. Police and government officials can generally be trusted.
  4. Minorities and women have gained rights.
  5. More rights are being gained by­ homosex­uals, the handicapped, and undocumented workers.
  6. No spoils system nor nepotism in politics generally.
  7. Due process through the courts (though slow).
  1. Equal
  2. Opportunity despite social rank.
  3. One person, one vote.
  4. Jury of peers.
  5. First, among modern countries, in feeling youth should be able to attend college.
  1. Free (more important to Americans than equality).
  2. Free to speak, print, assemble, protest, organize, picket, strike, worship, and use initiative, referendum, and recall.
  1. Open
  2. Open to ideas, talent, sharing info, and frank discussion.
  3. Open to immigrants vs. the narrow nationalism or racism of many European and Asian countries.
  4. Open about public figures instead of putting them on a pedestal.
  5. Open about battered spouses, the gay world, addiction, child abuse, incest, abortion, euthanasia, impotence, single parenting, alternate lifestyles … .
  6. Open about separation and divorce.
  7. Open to questioning religion.
  8. Open to getting to the root of one’s problem instead of ‘keeping it all in.’
  9. More open-minded about premarital relations in long term, responsible relationships than we used to be.
  1. Limited government (though not as much as before)
  2. Founded on this.
  3. Least supportive of the welfare state (of the modern countries).
  4. Separation of church and state
  5. Freedom of religion and from religion.
  1. The private sector
  2. A greater share of taxpayer money stays in private hands than in most modern countries.
  3. Pro-business (though our liberals are often anti).
  4. The entrepreneur is the hero.
  1. Opportunity
  2. Education.
  3. Always 2nd chances.
  4. More opportunity to make money, for the amount of effort than anywhere else.
  5. Can move into a higher socio-economic class (though it takes a long time).
  1. Results
  2. First choice for immigrants.
  3. More ethnic groups than any other country.
  4. More refugees taken in than in all other countries combined.
  5. A ‘can do’ confidence.
  6. Success is admired. (In Europe, it’s resented.)
  7. Often the most Nobel prizes.
  8. 80% of Ams. are confident of their institutions. In Europe 52% are.
  9. 7l% of Ams. would fight for their country vs. 43% of Europeans & 22% of Japanese.
  10. America created jobs for 90% of its new workers from ’65 to ‘94, whereas Europe created 40% for its new workers.
  1. Misc
  2. Pragmatic, innovative, energetic, straightforward, uncomplicated, creative, and 1st in competitiveness (in ’95).
  3. Individuality is prized.
  4. Americans, as individuals, give the most to charity.


NEGATIVE   ===================================================

  1. Spoiled
  2. Have to have the most and always be getting more.
  3. First in amount of trash per person. No other country is close.
  1. Immature
  2. Have to be first in everything.
  3. Think our ways are best.
  4. Think the world revolves around us.
  5. Want to be liked by everyone.
  6. Too concerned with justifying ourselves.
  1. Shallow – somewhat
  2. Hollywood, rock, glitz, glamour, popularity, sex, fun, trends, fads, forced smiles, ‘positives.’
  3. Judged by your income.
  4. Old is bad, new is good.
  1. Idealistic
  2. Naive belief everyone should be middle class.
  3. Naive hope that equal opportunity brings equal results.
  4. Tar the upper class with guilt, and try to push the working class and poor through college when many aren’t interested.
  5. Lowered educational standards for ‘social justice’ since the mid 60s with terrible results.
  6. Exaggerated rights for bums, criminals, mental patients, students, runaways ….
  1. Prejudiced (more than we’ll admit, but less than other countries).
  2. Bash Arabs.
  3. Bashed Japanese in early 90s.
  4. Discrimination.
  1. Self-righteous
  2. Savior complex – only we can save the world.
  3. Our ways are best (though our culture is one of the youngest).
  4. Foreigners should speak fluent English
  5. Christianity is superior.
  1. Double standards
  2. When Russia shot down a passenger jet from Korea by mistake, it was heinous. When we shot down one from Iran, it was a mistake.
  3. Foreign countries have peasants, we don’t.
  4. Other countries shouldn’t be aggressive, yet we can bully into Grenada, Panama, Iraq.
  1. Misc
  2. Consume 60% of the world’s drugs.
  3. Increase in sexual titillation in the media.
  4. Wallow in psychology, sociology, introspection, self-pity.
  5. Worship Israel.
  6. Worship youth.
  7. See everything through our eyes. Virtually ignore how other nations handle crime, poverty, education, etc.
  8. Encourage other countries to fight, then abandon them.
  9. (Virtually) first in energy consumption per person.
  10. First in contributing to the greenhouse effect.
  11. First in deaths by handguns.
  12. First in illegitimate births (in the modern world).
  13. Poor losers – blame others for our decline in international business.
  14. Creeping socialism (but less than other countries).
  15. Complacent, overcon­fident, less diplomatic, less subtle.
5 Responses to “American characteristics”

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