We are a nation of doers, and our errors (when they occur) will be from acts of commission, not omission. Sometimes that’s a great thing, other times, it blows up in our (and often, YOUR) face.
From Vietnam to finding Osama Bin Laden, we seem to do most of the work, but keep a lot of things hanging on, never quite finished. Eventually the answer makes itself known, but it usually takes time, and involves help from others.
Despite the hyperbole bandied online, the FBI/CIA/ATF/DEA/PTA will not shoot you on sight simply because you speak against The Surge or march against the Economic Stimulus Plan. But it’s certainly fun to claim a fear of it!
This what many countries of the world fear most. Tanks, they understand. An educated, employed woman horny and clubbing on Friday night they simply can’t fathom. And it scares the crap out of them.
From Banana Republics, to the Cold War, to the War on Terror, we routinely interfere in the business of other countries to make the world safe for our interests. Even if the intentions are both right and good, many countries resent our involvement in their affairs on sheer principle: they’d rather f*** it up themselves. Are you listening, North Korea?
Though accounting for only 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world’s energy. This, while worldwide, some 2 billion people are currently without electricity. The good news is that among industrialized nations, Canada consumes per capita the most energy in the world, and the U.S. is only second.
The United States is the inventor and only wartime practitioner of nuclear weapons (never mind that using them prevented an invasion that would make the Iraqi insurgency look like a ****.) Many countries now have atomic weapons, and with no clear Cold War counterpart to US supremacy, the balance has shifted.
Why? Because we can. Americans are the second fattest industrialized nation per capita (sorry, Australia). But as always, we make up for it in volume. We can afford automobiles so we don’t ride bikes or walk anywhere except for fun, and thanks to abundant agricultural surpluses, ANYTHING we want to eat is readily available from takeaway restaurants and convenience stores.
Okay, I’ll concede Vietnam, tennis (but we don’t care) and Kenyan marathon runners. But we win damn near everything else, eventually. The Space Race. The Cold War. Tour de France. The list goes on and on. And if we don’t have the best athletes/scientists/entertainers, we’ll make sure they get a chance to immigrate while others wait in line.
The first reason: we act like the world revolves around us. America presumes much for a country generously dated at 300 years old. China has latrines ten times older than that. A quick example: many countries play baseball, but only we have the “World Series”.