The United States Of Contradiction Essay
The United States Of Contradiction
Few countries on the planet are as diversely classified by other nations as the United States. Some countries see the U.S. as a great democratic leader, ripe with opportunities for individuals and nations that share their ideals. Other countries view the U.S. as an international bully, imposing its will through the world’s most technologically advanced military and frequent operations. Still, other countries view the U.S. as the world’s lone superpower, whether economic, political, or military. The only thing that is consistent about the United States when classified by other nations is that it evokes passionate responses.
The United States was once classified by the European powers as a country filled with bumpkins of little taste, sophistication, or consequence. Two hundred years of progress and industrial growth have made the U.S. one of the foremost economic powers in the world, and few countries deny this fact. However, in countries that consider themselves culturally rich, the U.S. is still seen as a country of unsophisticated and vacuous people.
This viewpoint is not completely without merit, as the U.S. media does its job to propagate images of Hollywood celebrities as American royalty, and television, movies, and music seem to cater to a lower sensibility all in the name of profit. Unlike most of the Americans that enjoy, or at least tolerate the poor taste of its culture as a product of a still young country, many other countries see the American public as brainwashed by a corporate culture and devoid of the intelligence it takes to sustain success. With the noticeable decline in the U.S.’s education system and consistently low rankings compared to other nations, this unfortunate assessment has significant merit.
The United States is not viewed as corrupt and in decline by all nations, and many support and even love the country. It is still considered a land of opportunity by millions who come here every year. Its democratic ideals and political stability are far more than many nations have, with some in continuous turmoil and struggle.
Even stable countries with many similar attributes as the U.S. see it as a leader in technology and entertainment, as a country that is continuously plugged into the Internet, cellphones, and other forms of information media. Where the U.S. citizens may be deficient in high cultural attributes, it more than makes up for in sophisticated technological achievements and an entertainment industry that is the most successful and profitable in the world and emulated by many nations.
The many contradictions continue when other nations view the political system of the U.S. While it is a democratic nation, other nations criticize its citizens for not taking advantage of its democracy. The majority of Americans that can vote still choose not to, and the corruption of government officials, while not as bad as some countries, is well known. American cynicism is to blame for much of this, as many find the system of politics irreversibly corrupt and accept it.
However, pulling the country forward while maintaining its lofty ideals, many Americans do their best to represent the republic as flawed but well-meaning, with mixed results. While the U.S. is a leader in humanitarian causes, its military is also responsible for the occupation of multiple nations, with human rights violations of its own. But, for the bulk of nations, the U.S. is still a wonderful country that has the potential to lead the world into a new era of peace, or down the destructive path to world war.
There is no single perception of the United States that runs throughout all other nations. The most consistent agreed upon characteristic is that the U.S. is an extremely powerful nation, for better or worse. Whether its power is based on its people, its political system, or its encouragement and protection of international corporations, the presence of the U.S. can be felt in virtually every corner of the world in the form of products, donations, and sometimes soldiers. Though the U.S. is contradictory and viewed differently by its friends and enemies, few nations remain indifferent to its existence. The United States, more than any other country, represents everything that is good and bad about humanity in the form of its egalitarianism, its ingenuity, its ideals, and also its flaws.