I don't ask this to cause any anti-US sentiment or stir any political debates, but tell me where you're from and what you're feeling towards the USA is. It will just be interesting to see what people's perspectives are.
- I'm from the USA: my country is still the greatest in the world and only place I'd want to live
- I'm from the USA: my country has a great past but has somewhat lost it's way. It's still a good place to live
- I'm from the USA: I hate what we've become and wish I could live somewhere else
- I live outside the USA: I love the country and wish I could live there
- I live outside the USA: I neither love nor dislike the country.
- I live outside the USA: I don't like the country and would never live there
Most Helpful Girl
I'm from the US. I think our past is actually worse than our present, if you really know the history. As for now, what the present is like depends on what demographics you fit in, but I still think overall it's trending downward for everyone here (except maybe the wealthy) and it basically has been doing so since the early 2000s. In some ways, we're reverting back to the bad in our past. I don't particularly care to elaborate, lol. But I think this perception many Americans have that our country is going down or backwards is likely for many of the same reasons why you're thinking we're not quite "a becon of light."
As for the US's place internationally, I have communicated extensively with people from other countries about their opinions on the US, and there is not much I've heard from them that I disagree with. I don't want to re-hash those things, I'm sure you know a lot of them or think them yourself. The Anon 18-24 hit on some of them. It doesn't offend me, but it will always offend many, many Americans.
Personally, I have wanted to live somewhere else since I was in my late teens or early 20s. Even when I was in high school, I really wanted to study abroad and even looked at going to college somewhere else. People here love to say things like "if you hate it here so much, why don't you move?" any time someone has an issue with the US. I did research in the past on moving to another country, and it just seemed so hard, like I don't know why an employer elsewhere would hire me, except to teach English (which I do not want to do). Now my parents are elderly (and I am a lot more family-oriented than I used to be), so I'm not leaving them.
I looked up New Zealand a month or so ago because I didn't know much about it, and I don't think I could hang there. It's hard to truly know where I'd move without having been anywhere outside the US for much time. I have always kind of had France and Canada on a pedestal. Canada just seems like a better version of the US and it's not like it's far from here, especially when I lived in Michigan it wasn't, and my heritage is a significant percentage French and I've always wanted to experience it.
I think people don't have as strong opinions of other countries because they're not as exposed. The US might as well own the entire media worldwide; our international influence is huge. I have had pen pals in India who download all these US TV shows I would never watch and that's almost all they watch.
Most Helpful Guy
As the paramount world power at the present time, it's always going to provoke conflicting opinions.
For example, there are countries which I am not a huge fan of, but they are all places which have some clout in the world (unfortunately), such as Iran, North Korea etc.
I don't have strong opinions about Uruguay, or Togo, as a counter-example.
Speaking personally, from an outsider's perspective (but one who has visited the country a lot, and has close friends from there), I can see positives and negatives, but the positives hugely outweigh the negatives.
I wouldn't want to live there, though, except possibly as a reasonably short term thing. Always thought if I ever *really* need to get away from it all, relax etc, I'd go for an extended visit to my friend who lives out in the swamp, west of New Orleans.