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Criticisms of the US; should I just be thankful for any compliment?

01/04/2008

For years, justified or not, I’ve heard and read far more negative criticisms and insults about the US than compliments, which are often followed up by compliments about the people of the US, about the mountains and rivers, etc., of the nation. Am I too sensitive in thinking that such compliments are patronizing? I think this because the weight and frequency of the negative criticims and insults are much greater than that of the compliments which follow, and because those compliments are often highly vague and broadly applicable. I know some distinction is made, usually, between the people and their government, but I’m not sure its correct to make that separation, given that the US is governed by a democratic system, meaning the government comes from us.

To use an imperfect analogy, imagine that your parents are criticised daily, but you are called decent and your house is praised, how would that make you feel?

Perhaps the worst is being condescended to when I bring this up.

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