Saturday, October 16, 2004

The issue is simple: Which is the better representation of a person's views: the one they say to your face, or the one they say behind your back?

Following the Transatlantic Intelligencer's Legend of the Squandered Sympathy, don't fail to read Being American in T.O:
One of the biggest lies being promoted by Sen. Kerry is that we were loved before 2000. Its corollary, that we had lots of support after Sept. 11, is equally false.

The issue is actually incredibly simple. Which is the better representation of a person's views: the one they say to your face, or the one they say behind your back? (If you need help with that one, stop reading right now because you're too nuanced and I'm probably going to piss you off.)

I received an email from a Canadian who moved to the UK in 1993. He made some extremely pertinent observations from the perspective of a Canadian who was often mistaken for an American. When he would identify himself as a Canadian, sometimes the assumption would be made that he hated Americans too and he would hear what he described as some pretty vile comments. Both he and I heard things that most Americans never heard before Operation Iraqi Freedom (remember that people up here assume I'm a Canadian until I set them straight.) In retrospect, I should have spoken out about it, but back then I didn't recognize the danger it represented so shrugged it off. After all, we were strong and could afford to be tolerant.

My kids have also heard far too many expressions of anti-Americanism up in this bastion of tolerance and diversity, and much of it came from teachers and university professors.

But this nonsense that we were universally loved before GWB became president and before Operation Iraqi Freedom is so false and so dangerous that it must be confronted. …

Of course there were Canadians who were genuinely friendly to the USA. Of course we aren't hated by everyone in every country, but the unfortunate fact is that we make far too many of the social democracies look bad because we are a thriving, active and industrious people who exude confidence and determination.

But made no mistake: the elites in Canada and Europe hate us virulently, and their media reflect that hatred. They always have and always will. They hide it when they want something, and bring it out, fully formed, when we're down.

And why? Because our standard of living and way of life shame them. Our technological advances, the fact that Americans are actually happy gives lie to all their deconstructionism and nihilism and what really angers them is that we don't care. That stubborn Yankee independence stands between them and world domination, and they don't like it.

And we have the finest military in the world. And make no mistake: we've used a lot of tax dollars for that military and thus have sacrificed to have it.

Thank about it. When a country's social democratic programs are bankrupting it, they resent countries that manage to thrive without a huge civil service to oversee those mountains of regulations that stifle economic growth and keep people on the dole. When a country has been paying off terrorists, it makes them look bad when another country chooses to fight back. When a country has pandered to its citizens' notions of entitlement, it's hard for them to persuade their citizens that those policies are not self-sustaining but so long as there is the possibility of channeling resentment away from the failures that produced it and towards a people, like us, that are flourishing because we renounced socialism, they have gained one more term to rule.

(Thanks to the Expat Yank)

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