Saturday, January 27, 2007

Looking at the world through tinted lenses does not help

The US has long officially believed that Cubans were only waiting for Fidel Castro's grip on power to loosen to replace him. Yet, even though it has, nothing has changed. The US Government assumed that Iraqis would welcome US troops as liberators. However, they did not, or if any did, it was not for long. Sadly, US officialdom and corporate management have for years continued to believe that all other countries see the US the same way Americans do. This has not served America well. Empathy for others is underdeveloped.

Many Americans believe that Americans are somehow more patriotic and love their country more than citizens of other countries. Yet, citizens of countries with even the most odious regimes do love their countries. This patriotism allows them to put up with a lot.

Nevertheless, ordinary citizens of other countries do have affection and respect for much in the US - it is simply not always what Americans expect. Citizens of other nations respect America's creativity, energy, economic freedom, as well as Hollywood movies, Levis and Coca Cola. However, they may not always admire the politicians, economists, and philosophers whom we do.

Many citizens of other democracies believe that the US' "first past the post" electoral system, and constant partisan gerrymandering of boundaries is far from democratic. Some other countries have charters of rights which are more modern than the US, which has one of the oldest constitutions in the world. Whether you agree with it or not, it is important to know it.

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