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August 13, 2006

The Very Cruel Poll & Mr. Rumcove's 4th of July

Littleflaginbigflag [published on July 4, 2006]

Actually the title of the Yahoo.com article from which I am preparing to quote says it all: "Britons Tire of Cruel, Vulgar US:  poll."  The results of the poll, published in the Daily Telegraph, include (but are not limited to) the following:

[quote begins here]:

As Americans prepared to celebrate the 230th anniversary of their independence on Tuesday, the poll found that only 12 percent of Britons trust them to act wisely on the global stage. This is half the number who had faith in the Vietnam-scarred White House of 1975.

A massive 83 percent of those questioned said that the United States doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks.

With much of the worst criticism aimed at the US adminstration, the poll showed that 70 percent of Britons like Americans a lot or a little.

President George W. Bush [link in the original] fared significantly worse, with just one percent rating him a "great leader" against 77 percent who deemed him a "pretty poor" or "terrible" leader.

More than two-thirds who offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking world domination. And 81 per cent of those who took a view said President George W Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the pursuit of American self-interests.

US policy in Iraq was similarly derided, with only 24 percent saying they felt that the US military action there was helping to bring democracy to the country.

[quote ends]

Jesus.  When this is what your main (and possibly only) ally is saying about you, you got trouble, my friend.

But in case you think the Brits are ONLY pissed off with the Bush administration, think again:

[quote begins]

In answer to other questions, a majority of the Britons questions described Americans as uncaring, divided by class, awash in violent crime, vulgar, preoccupied with money, ignorant of the outside world, racially divided, uncultured and in the most overwhelming result (90 percent of respondents) dominated by big business.

Huh?  Hey!  Damn!  HEY!  Uh---

"HEY!  I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT ARE WE?" 

What else can I say, but "say it ain't so."  Okay, I know that we Yanks are pretty harsh on ourselves but---but---it's different when we do it!!

I mean, some of this didn't surprise me, since I have a lot of British friends and family members---"awash in violent crime; ignorant of the outside world"; those are standard criticisms. 

However:  vulgar?  divided by class?  uncultured?  This from the land of Millwall fans, soccer hooligans, and skinheads?  (We are 'divided by class'?)

<<<Sniff>>>>  That is COLD, man.

I am not really consoled by the remarks of a 'spokesman for the US embassy' implying that the Brits are actually mistaken about what they think; the embassy's surveys show otherwise.  Furthermore---according to this same spokesman---they wouldn't think they think what they said they think if the embassy hadn't failed at "successfully communicating America's extraordinary dynamism."   Finally, it is also the fault of the British press for not communicating America's extraordinary dynamism. 

Who in the what now?  If there is one thing the Brits didn't criticize us for in that poll, it is for lack of 'dynamism.'  It seems to me that they find us dynamic to a fault.

This reminds me of my conversation last year with my friend Rumcove of Southend-on-Sea, Essex.  I remember it quite clearly.  "I suppose tomorrow you will be celebrating American independence," he remarked. 

"Yes," I said.  Having described my plans (St Augustine to see the fireworks and so on), I asked him what he was up to.

"Celebrating American Independence, of course," he said.

copyright Damozel 2006.

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