15 People Reveal What They Find Offensive About American Culture

15. Thomas Goodwin

I don’t know if these count as values so much as perspectives, but I find the American attitude towards these aspects as worrisome.

American Exceptionalism.
There seems to be a great pride to being American and the American way which is wonderful and well deserved, it follows many decades of being by the majority of measures one of the best places on earth. Well done.

But this pride runs amok and the successes of the American way are now used to excuse many remarkable outliers to the nations well being, which are either bashed away under the guise of American Exceptionalism or almost turned into positives.

America has a deeply embarrassing obsession with guns, a chronically ineffective and corrupt healthcare system. Less obviously your education system is pretty ineffective and expensive. What every other nation on earth does is look around and try to learn, but American values are such they seek pride in their differences.

Freedom.
Americans are blessed with similar levels of freedom to the rest of the world, it has a different shape, you are free to own guns but not drink alcohol freely, you can write with a lesser feeling of incrimination, but you can’t easily get abortions. It’s not better or worse, it’s different But no other nation on earth is so obliviously proud of their freedom.

Community.
I’ve been astonished by the degree that the concept of society is seen as a dirty word on this forum. Many interesting conversations about problematic aspects of US living like guns, health and education make me astonished to see there is no sense of greater good in the US. I’m a brit and while I don’t love paying taxes, I don’t see it as anything other than a payment to make life fair and to provide things that create a common resource we all take from- albeit unequally. With remarkably few exceptions many americans don’t understand this very concept of togetherness making good things happen.

Indefatigable Patriotism.
I think every nationality in the world is proud of their homeland and their country’s values, but most nations joke about themselves, accept problems in their countries and seek to learn and improve. The makeup of American pride is such that it seems any objective commentary of discussions about any potential less than perfect situations is seen in a different way. This probably explains the attitude towards the military in the US, where regardless of the task at hand, they are supported with almost 100% of the nation behind them. TC mark

These comments originally appeared at Quora.

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