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Do you hold a positive or negative view of the United States? Watch

  • View Poll Results: What's your perception of the United States?
    Positive
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    53.70%
    Negative
    25
    46.30%

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    (Original post by Tempest II)
    I've just come back from a week on holiday over in Austin, TX which is the first time I've been to the states as an adult. I work with several Americans however.

    My POV on the USA is generally positive. Yes, America is far from perfect but then there's very few nations that I'd say are above the US in most aspects. I certainly found the Americans we met in Austin very friendly (as a bloke, it's not often you get drinks bought for you but it happened several times on nights out in Austin) & were easy to chat to. We never saw any trouble over there. Going to one of the shooting ranges over there was a whole new experience; the range staff were chilled & getting to fire some of the weaponry, such as an AR-15 rifle with no direct supervision was interesting. I can't quite get my head around why you'd need such a powerful weapon system for home use but on the range it was great fun.

    There's no doubt in my mind that, throughout the 20th Century at least, the USA has been a force for good: many of conflicts America has fought in, such as the two World Wars, Korea, the Cold War & the 1991 Gulf War, are testament to the strength of its military & industrial base. Other conflicts, such as Vietnam, didn't go so well but much of that can be attributed to the political landscape of the 1960s/70s. I believe Western Europe, if not the world, owes Reagan (and Thatcher to an extent) a debt for the relatively peaceful destruction of the USSR during the late 1980s/early 90s. The "global policeman" role comes with much criticism & certainly some of it is relevant, especially after the 2003 Iraq invasion, but despite that fiasco, I believe the USA is far more suited to military intervention than the Russians or Chinese. Both of those nations seem to hold Western style democracy in contempt.

    Some of my criticisms of the USA are as follows:
    - Obesity
    - Very expensive healthcare which increases poverty
    - Racial tension that, although has improved, is still far from perfect
    - Lack of global awareness/intelligence & an obsession with celebrities (although this seems to be expanding to the UK too)
    - Homelessness; iI noticed more homeless people around Austin than anywhere in the UK including London. Apparently, LA is even worse.

    I do think the way in which the USA treats it's former & serving members of the military is excellent. It's somewhat crazy that, as a member of the UK armed forces you actually get treated better in America than you do in Britain.
    Thanks so much for the detailed response! I agree so much withy our point about celebrities- I still can't understand why our news channel include celebrity gossip alongside news about Syria

    You could have gone somewhere more interesting than Austin though- we have NYC and LA and Chicago too!
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    Just like any other country, it has good points and bad points. I think the idea of America that the founding fathers set out of secularism, free speech etc. was a fantastic idea that unfortunately didn't work out as intended. By this I am referring to the dominance of religion in politics (it would be political suicide for a politician to admit to being an atheist), which is completely against the founding principles of the nation. I like the fact that free speech is protected by the constitution, especially as Britain is getting ever-more PC.

    I think the gun culture in America, whilst once again founded on justifiable principles, is quite simply atrocious in this day and age and guns clearly cause far more deaths than lives saved. I find it annoying how Americans can't spell properly, mainly regarding z's and s's. I like the geographic variety that the country offers, as British countryside gets a bit boring after a while (although some places are lovely and picturesque). I think Americans tend to be more arrogant than most people, but that's probably because of the schooling system drilling patriotism into them. A little bit of patriotism is good, especially about the founding values of the nation, but some people really do take it too far. I appreciate the American contribution to the World Wars, but some Americans are completely misinformed. When they act like they saved the day it's quite frankly insulting; America knows nothing of the suffering that Europe faced in that time. America has invented a lot of useful tech which I appreciate, although the power of some corporations worries me (especially on things such as data collection).

    So as I said - good points and bad points. I don't really have a problem with any individual Americans and America as a country is responsible for a great many good things, but certain attitudes and such things towards religion, guns etc do concern me.
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    (Original post by Al-farhan)
    Well I hope you don't report back home that ''the brits hate our guts''
    No I won't do that! Although most Americans do think that the world hates us
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    It's probably the only rich country where the risk of being shot dead is greater than the others. So, negative.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    Just like any other country, it has good points and bad points. I think the idea of America that the founding fathers set out of secularism, free speech etc. was a fantastic idea that unfortunately didn't work out as intended. By this I am referring to the dominance of religion in politics (it would be political suicide for a politician to admit to being an atheist), which is completely against the founding principles of the nation. I like the fact that free speech is protected by the constitution, especially as Britain is getting ever-more PC.

    I think the gun culture in America, whilst once again founded on justifiable principles, is quite simply atrocious in this day and age and guns clearly cause far more deaths than lives saved. I find it annoying how Americans can't spell properly, mainly regarding z's and s's. I like the geographic variety that the country offers, as British countryside gets a bit boring after a while (although some places are lovely and picturesque). I think Americans tend to be more arrogant than most people, but that's probably because of the schooling system drilling patriotism into them. A little bit of patriotism is good, especially about the founding values of the nation, but some people really do take it too far. I appreciate the American contribution to the World Wars, but some Americans are completely misinformed. When they act like they saved the day it's quite frankly insulting; America knows nothing of the suffering that Europe faced in that time. America has invented a lot of useful tech which I appreciate, although the power of some corporations worries me (especially on things such as data collection).

    So as I said - good points and bad points. I don't really have a problem with any individual Americans and America as a country is responsible for a great many good things, but certain attitudes and such things towards religion, guns etc do concern me.
    Thanks for your opinion! However, I must add that it's not that we can't spell properly- we just use a different spelling system than British English. We feel that it reflects better the way that the words sound when they are spoken
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    Tbh, I would actually love to live in America but the way some people act in the country and the way they treat people completley puts me off.

    I'm actually considering of visiting USA during my gap year to volunteer by helping communities out and maybe experience high school for like a term. What state do you suggest me going to?
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    I really lies the hard working, go-getter, optimistic spirit of the American people.
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    (Original post by cashcash871)
    Thanks for your opinion! However, I must add that it's not that we can't spell properly- we just use a different spelling system than British English. We feel that it reflects better the way that the words sound when they are spoken
    Reflecting the way it sounds (with z's for example) doesn't necessarily make it correct :P

    I know we technically use a different spelling system, I just 'disagree' with it (if it's possible to disagree with a spelling system?) haha
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    (Original post by richpanda)
    Aw did you get triggered? So people always talking about how "stupid' Americans are is because of a moral compass? No, it's just pure jealousy of a more successful country.

    If you genuinely think that people dislike America because it's more successful then I pity you, because that's obviously how your brain works. Very unfortunate.

    Edit: Are you actually able to hold a conversation without resorting to petty, childish Internet language?
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    (Original post by Defraction)
    Tbh, I would actually love to live in America but the way some people act in the country and the way they treat people completley puts me off.

    I'm actually considering of visiting USA during my gap year to volunteer by helping communities out and maybe experience high school for like a term. What state do you suggest me going to?
    I can definitely assure you that foreigners are treated very well in the US. Americans will be very curious about your home country and will ask you a lot of questions about life in the UK. You won't have a bad experience here.

    I would suggest California if you like the climate and a lot of diversity but I'd say the most typically American state is probably Virginia (I haven't been there though) or North Carolina. Personally I'd go for California! But then I am from there myself so I might be one sided...
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    Donald Trump is the man.
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    I hàve visited Florida (all over) seven times, NY twice, Las Vegas, SanFrancisco, San Diego, LA, Boston, Philly

    Too many geralisations on here. Sure I have met loud brash Americans, and also lots of lovely interested friendly ones too,

    I love the US for holidays, I don't agree with issues such as gun control (or lack for) health care (or lack of) and racial equality (or lack of). The houses are bigger, yes, but poorer built and needing massively more maintenance than your average British or Irish house.

    I do think the Americans are generally ignorant of the outside world and genuinely do believe they are the biggest and best at everything. On the whole I think they are are kind, good, if a little God fearing people that need to travel more and open their hearts and eyes to the rest of the world.

    Any suggestions for my next US holiday?
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    Save for their stupid foreign policy and endless interventionism, I think America is fantastic, despite the negative effect the left has had on it over the past century or so.
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    (Original post by cashcash871)
    I wouldn't say that the US is a right wing country. America is very varied in political views and the Northeast and the West Coast are very liberal, much like Canada except for the free healthcare. The right wing perception comes from the South and south west which are heavily conservative. Major cities are also very liberal and tolerant. America itself is becoming more liberal- young Americans tend to be a lot more liberal.
    I was responding more to what RichPanda provided as big positives, such as low taxes, and huge economies.

    I see what you mean, whilst a lot of the people may be more liberal, the country is far too capitalist for my liking. The discrepancy between wealthy and dirt poor is alarming for what is considered one of our most developed, first world countries. So whilst yes, there's more wealth in the US than here, people in the US can also be born into absolute dirt, which they aren't safeguarded from. It has ridiculously high child poverty, and homelessness rates. I just can't abide by that.

    Poverty and deprivation in America has a whole other meaning than poverty in the UK. It's a country of much more extremes.

    Edit: See the comment above me, see how much it relates to those with right wing ideologies?
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    I see the UK in allegiance with the USA, therefore, I hold a positive view on them.
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    (Original post by Marshall Taylor)
    I see the UK in allegiance with the USA, therefore, I hold a positive view on them.
    Well that's rational
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    Most Americans are friendly and nice people, but I would never want to live there. In my experience, America it is quite an insular society; very little non-American news is covered in the media and people generally take no interest in the outside world. Outside the big cities there isn't much culture, American politics is (and has been for decades) crazy and completely ineffective, terrible public TV/Radio, poor standard high school education and ridiculously expensive college tuition, health insurance, overly capitalistic, appalling prison system, guns, lots of poverty and high crime/murder rates. :afraid:
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    My perception of Americans is that as individuals you're kind, friendly and generous, but I disagree with a lot of American foreign policy and politics in general.
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    (Original post by BobSausage)
    The Americans are very arrogant as a general rule.
    They see themselves as better than everyone else.
    They seem to believe they saved the world in both world wars.
    They seem to believe they have earned the right to control the world and do control the world.
    Obesity is rife, it is rare to see a thin American.
    The houses are built out of cardboard.... well wood but I mean that's not a decent building material.
    They speak American-English and set that as standard English so, for example, if you ask Google translate what pants are it translates to trousers not underwear.
    The average IQ of America is quite low really and I mean it's not seen as a bad thing in America to be an idiot whereas here you would be ashamed if people thought you were ridiculously stupid.
    They also enjoy bigging themselves up and telling everyone that they're the best.
    They see the war on terror as a personal thing when in reality it is a global thing with effort from across the globe but, yet again America place themselves at the forefront.
    And also the naming of towns. They were for the most part named after places in the UK and other countries that had colonies in America. Which is just kinda annoying when you're looking for the village down the road Google maps takes you to the middle of America.
    As for spelling incorrect grammar. Ugh it's just painful to read American books and documents.
    And then there's comedy. My sister decided to watch an American 'comedy' the other day. She's quite young so chose 'Peewee's holiday' And it was the most painful thing I have ever sat through. Seriously it is just a rip off of Mr Bean except not even half as funny and they repeated the same joke about 5 times or the same act e.g. stands up and hits head on something, so ducks and does it again, and again, and again and again. You get my point. And it is not just the children's comedies I'm talking about it is the adult ones too with repeated lines again and again. It is just so bad.



    So yeah, as you can probably guess I'm not a fan.
    Do you really vote Green?
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Do you really vote Green?
    What's that got to do with my views on America or Americans?
 
 
 
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