Are the Americans Really All That Great?

April 10, 2008
By Vilius Zaikauskas, Berwyn, IL

The United States is considered the strongest country in the world. This statement can definitely be agreed with since this country is capable of affecting the whole world. As great as the country is, are the Americans really all that great?

A lot of non-Americans see American people as stupid, clumsy and care-free. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see all Americans like that. And even though there are stupid Americans who are dumber than tree-stumps, there are also dumb non-Americans who don’t seem to comprehend common sense. But a lot of Americans seem to possess non-American kind of personality that makes me raise my eyebrow. Here is a little story. One time I and my mother went to one of the Illinois Secretary of Sate Facilities to get a license plate sticker. Funny part was I asked one of the workers where we can buy it and she just looked at me with confused frown. Then my mother attempted to ask the worker with her broken English and with my surprise, my mother was easily understood. Trust me, I can tell by the accent that she understood the English language well. If you think that maybe my English language is horrible, I’m not going to argue. This kind of situation and other similar ones made me doubt myself. I guess I should just stick to broken English so people would understand me.

Another American oddball I experienced is most Americans are unusually opened. Okay, there are non-Americans that are opened, but a lot of Americans I meet are so nice, that it seems that they could tell their deepest, darkest secrets to strangers. What’s so dumb about it? Well, if you tell your secrets to your best friend, then it’s not that bad, but if you tell them to a person you don’t know very well and you don’t talk to very often, that could a problem. And surprisingly enough, those kinds of secrets reach my ears without me even asking about them. One time one of my classmates and I were sitting in library during Government class, doing research. We were just talking, and I asked where her locker is. Honestly, I was just joking. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the little details. And not only did I get the answer where her locker is located, but she gave me her locker combination. I slowly moved my head to the left where she was sitting and gave a “what the heck” look. And I asked myself, does she know me that well to trust me. Of course, that’s ancient history now and I never tried opening her locker. I am not the kind of person who would go through people’s belongings. So, accessing one’s darkest secrets might not be an unusual feat, and it seems that only one question would allow you to get to them.

So, after going through little events, it is time to go to bigger things, such as the War in Iraq. No, this event has nothing to do with how this makes Americans dumb. Remember, the title says, “Are Americans all that great?” not “Are Americans all that smart?” As I recall just before the beginning of the war, it was intended that the operation in Iraq would last a few months. The consequence is obvious. Five years later the Americans troops are still in Iraq barely holding on to it, and the world economy is in recession and the world is being plunged into darkness. For those who are confused about the last part, I’m talking about the politicians who are less focused on environmental issues, such as global warming, and what not. Because of the war I have so many questions… Why doesn’t Bush end the war before the economy reaches the depression stage? Also, didn’t Americans learn anything from the Vietnam War? And finally, how the heck did Bush won the 2004 Presidential Elections?

Even though one might consider United States as the strongest nation in the world (and some people would consider that in every aspect), there are definitely downsides that Americans possess. I just hope those bad habits won’t lead the nation to its downfall.

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