Always interesting to see how the U.S. is viewed from abroad, and leading German paper Der Spiegel has a quite stark look at the situation here in this article titled Divided States of America. Unfortunately, there is not much to disagree with (think they are overly harsh towards Tea Party and overly focused on GOP issues when both parties cause the mess) but worth the read in my opinion. While the "saving grace" is there are major issues in plenty of other countries not named the U.S., that is not a reasonable thing to rest your laurels on.
The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. On this election eve, many Americans are losing faith in their country's future.
The worst thing about it is that the country still refuses to engage in any debate over the reasons for its decline. It seems as if many Americans today no longer want to talk about how they can strengthen their union. Criticism is seen as a betrayal of America's greatness.
If you haven't seen the clip referred to in this Der Spiegel piece from Newsroom here it is. (warning NSFW language) I love the typical politican spin about what makes America great – "Freedom!" Blah blah, vapid typical talking point. Valid maybe 50-60 years ago – not exactly a rarity in the modern world. I often wonder how Americans would react if a politician said such things as in this clip. Of course it has to be infused with some actual grand plan to right the wrongs but the country is falling behind on so many aspects it is quite sad – even income mobility which used to be the excuse to overlook so many other things, is now an area we lag Western Europe. (yes the "socialists!")
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