The disease of America Hatred now has reached pandemic proportions in many corners of the globe, spreading far beyond the predictably hopeless fever swamps of Islamic militants, French intellectuals, or Latin American demagogues. In fact, many citizens within the USA itself energetically embrace the basic assumptions of America Hatred, perceiving their country as an unequivocally negative force on the world scene.
John Tirman, director of MIT’s prestigious Center for International Studies, recently wrote a book called “100 Ways America is Screwing Up the World.” When questioned on my radio show, he refused to dismiss the notion that humanity might have been better off if Europeans had never settled North America in the first place – in other words, if the USA as we know it had never come into existence.
The most direct way to counter such disgraceful fatuity is with reference to a key element in a classic American contribution to world cinema: Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) learns to appreciate his own worth after getting a glimpse of the direction his community of Bedford Falls might have taken had he not been around to serve and save it. By the same token, America bashers might try a thought experiment in which they imagine a world in which the USA never existed and played no current role. Would Belgium and Canada have somehow pooled their mighty military machines and succeeded in rescuing humanity from Naziism – and Communism? If not for the United States, which nation might have inspired the world to pursue self-government and human rights? Remember, the famous French Revolution proved so feckless in this regard that the frog-eaters anointed an all-powerful Emperor (Napoleon) less than twenty years after they guillotined their king. In terms of commercial activity and living standards, the United States remains the indefatigable engine that drives the world economy, with productivity and ingenuity as indispensable to sustaining global prosperity as American agricultural bounty is essential to feeding all of humanity.
The irrational nature of America Hatred comes into clearest focus with the realization that this destructive passion flourishes most spectacularly among those who have benefited most conspicuously from the existence of the U.S. You’ll find such festering resentment in Western Europe in general (France in particular), Islamic nations especially dependent on American aid, support and trade (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, for example), among pampered, privileged stars in the entertainment industry, and on elite university campuses in the United States and around the world.