One of the most widely held beliefs in the contemporary world -- so widely held it is not disputed -- is that, with few exceptions, the world hates America. One of the Democrats' major accusations against the Bush administration is that it has increased hatred of America to unprecedented levels. And in many polls, the United States is held to be among the greatest obstacles to world peace and harmony.
But it is not true that the world hates America. It is the world's left that hates America. However, because the left dominates the world's news media and because most people, understandably, believe what the news media report, many people, including Americans, believe that the world hates America.
That it is the left -- and those influenced by the left-leaning news and entertainment media -- that hates America can be easily shown.
Take Western Europe, which is widely regarded as holding America in contempt, but upon examination only validates our thesis. The French, for example, are regarded as particularly America-hating, but if this were so, how does one explain the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France? Sarkozy loves America and was known to love America when he ran for president. Evidently, it is the left in France -- a left that, like the left in America, dominates the media, arts, universities and unions -- that hates the U.S., not the French.
The same holds true for Spain, Australia, Britain, Latin America and elsewhere. The left in these countries hate the United States while non-leftists, and especially conservatives, in those countries hold America in high regard, if not actually love it.
Take Spain. The prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, Jose Maria Aznar, is a conservative who holds America in the highest regard. He was elected twice, and polls in Spain up to the week before the 2004 election all predicted a third term for Aznar's party (Aznar had promised not to run for a third term). Only the Madrid subway bombings, perpetrated by Muslim terrorists three days before the elections, but which the Aznar government erroneously blamed on Basque separatists, turned the election against the conservative party.
There is another obvious argument against the belief that the world hates America: Many millions of people would rather live in America than in any other country. How does the left explain this? Why would people want to come to a country they loathe? Why don't people want to live in Sweden or France as much as they wish to live in America? Those are rich and free countries, too.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”