American characteristics

capitol
Being 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.

Traditional values

The importance of values is critical to any dis­cussion of poverty, crime, illegitimacy, drug abuse, riots, mental illness, or radicalism.  People fall into these because they haven’t matured and developed solid values.     When in teaching, politics, and social work, I saw most liberal values do a lot of damage.

Liberal values                                     Traditional values

Psychology
– Blame your folks ……………………….. responsible for yourself.
– Traditional values caused today’s problems …… false.
– Permissive …………………………………………. firm.
– Self-expression & assertion whenever …… when appropriate.
– ‘Relationships’ are basic to progress ………….. false.
– Fires, floods, etc. require mental health teams …. false.
– ‘Recovery’ from these is painful …………. not necessarily.
– Getting fired is traumatic …………………… not necessarily.
– Flee stress and depression ……………. they are part of life.
– Problems are the result of wrong thinking …….. false.
– Feeling good comes 1st ……………………………… false.
– We’re all victims ……………………………………….. false.

Education
– Teachers’ 1st concern is those at the bottom of the class.    ….. false.
– Education is the cure – all ………………………….. false.
– Schools are the primary influence on kids …… families are.
– School should mean social success ……….. should prepare one for work.
– Society owes everyone a college education ……… false.

Poverty
– Society is wrong; the underdog is right ……. hardly.
– Poverty is unbearable ……………… false.
– Poverty is undignified ….. one’s dignity doesn’t depend on one’s income.
– Entitled to minimum standards ………. to what one earns.
– Menial work is undignified ………….. utterly false.
– Help all of the poor ………….. help the deserving poor.
– Provide for them ……………… meet them 1/2 way.

Misc.
– Generation gap ……………………… not among the well – adjusted.
– Venerate the young ……………….. they have their place.
– Adults must understand youth, not vice versa …………… false.
– New ways and ideas are better ………. occasionally
– Avoid problems ………………….. confront them
– Self – pity …………………………….. get on with life
– The fast lane  …………………….. prudence, moderation, wholesomeness
– Instant gratification …………….. thrift, save, planning
– Me first ……………………………………….. the golden rule
– Equal opportunity means equal results ……… absurd
– Life owes one a living ……………………… self – reliance
– The government owes one a living ……. self-reliance
– Income and job security …………………… self – reliance
– Problems are ‘diseases’ ……………. false
– People are not responsible for their behavior ……..  utterly false
– Rights  ………………………………………… responsibilities
– More rights for students, runaways, criminals, derelicts, mental patients, the poor, etc.  …….                                       …………………. fewer
– Everything is complex ……………. the principles involved are simple.
– A day’s pay ……………………………….. a day’s work
– Business should provide more benefits    …. fewer
– Only positives ………………………….. false
Winning is everything ……………… false
Everyone wins ……………………….. false
School, work, etc. have to be fun …… false
Love is all you need ……………….. false
Don’t forbid something or someone will try it.   ……… laws are a fact of life.
– More tolerant of gambling, pornography ……. less tolerant
– Tolerance of sexual explicitness is a sign of maturity ……. of poor taste
– Titillation, lust ………………..  modesty, discretion
– Never impose values ……………….. false
– Lower standards for the disadvantaged ………… that hurts them
– Responsibility starts on top (the pol, soc, econ systems)   …… at the bottom (the                                                                                              person, family, community)
– Authority, discipline, and punishment are bad …………  false

Traditional values
Capitalism.
Less government – more privatization
Responsibility   (the most important)
Foresight   (thrift, saving, planning)
Self-reliance   (rather than an entitlement society)
The golden rule   (relia­bility, honesty, good faith, fairness, manners, respect for property, authority, elders, and ethnic groups)
Law and order, authority, discipline, punishment.
Family teamwork, hard work, diligence, modera­tion, restraint, whole­some­ness, modesty, self-respect, one’s appearance, practical educa­tion, some censorship and conformity

These became traditional because they worked.  Respon­sibility is the most important and the one so much of our culture has been trying to duck since the mid-60s.  Scratch a criminal, derelict, or addict and you’ll find irresponsibility.  Scratch those wallowing in self-pity on daytime talk shows and you find irresponsibility.  Scratch a socialist and you’ll find an idealistic ‘liberal’ taking respon­sibility from the in­dividual and the family and putting it on the government.

As much damage as liberals have done, some of their values have been better:
– More openness about public figures instead of putting them on a pedestal.
– More openness about battered spouses, lgbt [lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals], addiction, child abuse, incest, abortion, euthanasia, impotence, single parenting, alternate lifestyles, birth control, intermarriage.
– More open-mindedness about premarital relations in long term, responsible relationships.
– More acceptance of ethnic diversity.
– More acceptance of separation & divorce.
– More rights for minorities, women, homosexuals, youth, the handicapped.
– More questioning of religion.
– Getting to the root of one’s problem instead of ‘keeping it all in.’