Do We Really Love America More?

American news anchors have been virtually purring over the results of a BBC World Service poll that suggests love for the US has increased throughout the rest of the planet.[1] The poll shows those with a positive view of America have risen by a full 4% – from 31% to 35%.

Looked at another way, 65% of the planet continues to disapprove of this militant ‘superpower’.

It’s that old chestnut again – statistics. You can show ’em in a positive light, or a negative one. It just depends what you want to convey. Of course, American news programs want to broadcast the ‘good’ news angle. And, let’s not forget that latest edition to the US media circus, BBC World America. Thanks mainly to the best efforts of its lead anchor, Matt Frei, BBCWA has managed to rapidly metamorphose into just another NBC or ABC news slot, only with English accents.

Kurt Volker, a “principal deputy assistant secretary of state” at the US state department, said of the poll:

“……people look at the US and the electoral process here and are reminded that this is a major transparent democracy, a vibrant and diverse country, and that reflects really well on the image of the US.

He may not be very big in the state department, but Kurt Volker obviously enjoys a joke.

The true reason for this very slight rise, Mister Volker, is absurdly obvious to anyone not steeped in the process of persuading themselves and their fellow Americans that this nation is a wonderful, benevolent land unfairly misunderstood by outsiders.

The true cause of the four percent increase is due to George W Bush, and his cold-blooded, torturing band of distasteful hangers-on, vacating the stage in a few months, thus engendering the aspiration of replacement by some warm-blooded, mammalian, personages who are not intent on plunging the world into further violent chaos.

One can only hope the four percent are not being overly-optimistic.

[1] ” US welcomes just a little more love”, BBC, April 2nd, 2008.

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3 Replies to “Do We Really Love America More?”

  1. This nation’s government is patently NOT benevolent RJ – few could argue about that, but to tar the whole nation with the same brush is unfair and unrealistic.

    The nation is made up of of around 300 million souls. Only a minute proportion of them has anything to do with the running of the country. Many of them may be misguided and ill-educated in the ways of politics, leading them to vote in unfortunate directions, but it does not make “the nation” any different or more wicked than the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Australia or any other country you care to name, and considerably less so than some others such as China.

    Sorry, RJ, but blanket Anti-Americanism ain’t helpful, it ain’t fair and it ain’t justified. Anti-American administration is justified and fair though, so let’s be a bit specific here.

  2. Twilight – I’m afraid the rest of the world does tar with the same brush. That is obvious from the unfortunate response so many Americans receive when they go abroad these days. It is a fact of life that if 35% of the world’s population views America positively, then 65% must have a negative, or at least neutral, opinion. This has nothing to do with individuals, it is the reputation of the nation as a whole, as seen through the eyes of foreigners. Volker’s response was rubbish – about seven years out of date. That view may have been relevant pre-Iraq war, but it most certainly isn’t the case today.

    I never attack individual Americans, unless they’ve personally done something bad. Check the title of this post. It was definitely NOT, “Do We Love Americans More?”

  3. RJ – not sure about “the world’s population” – some of the world’s population have more serious things to think about than whether they like America or not, and some may never have heard of the place. If we’re saying 65% of those polled, okay.
    But this is even more reason why bloggers and journalists should clarify what the objections to the country are, that they are almost 100% connected with the current administration.

    I think it’s worth an extra few words to make that clear every time. I fell into the same trap in my comment above – I said “China” – I should have said “the Chinese government/administration”, because the Chinese people are as trapped in their country’s reputation as are Americans.

    I’m sorry to nitpick, but if everyone (including me) made the effort to differentiate each time the subject arises, eventually the point would sink in for readers about what is actually being said or written

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