Since Canadas closest neighbour decided to re-elect Mr. Bush I have read and seen a lot from U.S. citizens that suggests many of them are having trouble understanding why a lot of people in other countries dont like them. Weve had some local examples of this in Whistler.
Two weeks ago a gentleman from North Carolina sent a fairly inflammatory letter to the Pique suggesting that he wouldnt be visiting Whistler this year because he was sick of reading and hearing about anti-U.S. sentiment. I found this letter to be quite amusing and also slightly disturbing, because it is one thing to re-elect a president, but its another thing to disrespect the rights of other people who might disagree with this decision.
The fact is Americans have done a lot of good for the human race, but despite their best efforts, humans often get things wrong.
Vietnam, for instance.
I went to Vietnam five years ago for a short time and in that short time it became blatantly obvious to me that the U.S. accomplished nothing by invading Vietnam. The only people who would have benefited from Vietnam were the military suppliers, because war is big business.
Vietnam is still a Communist country. It was a war over an ideology but nothing changed and yet thousands of U.S. soldiers died and millions of Vietnamese were killed. The forests in the demilitarized zone still havent grown back after all the Agent Orange U.S. warplanes dropped.
The anniversary of JFKs assassination was last week; that was another bad mistake. Who did what on that fateful day is still a mystery, but blame aside, it was a horrific mistake.
A big part of correcting any mistake is accepting that you could be wrong, but an even more important part of any argument is understanding, or at least making an effort to hear, the other sides argument before you move on.
To demonstrate that some Americans perhaps havent taken enough time to understand the other sides argument, I will share with you a letter from a politically active friend of mine in the U.S. She is a devout Catholic, who doesnt normally swear, and a former chief advisor to one of the most successful mayors in Northern America. She lives in Pennsylvania, one of the "swing" states, and is a stereotypical Italian-American thats extremely good at telling it straight...
The Republican Party has managed to brainwash the Christian Right (zealots). They put the gay marriage amendment on 11 ballots in the South assuring that these religious nuts would come out big-time.