(By Ray D.)
It is a land "increasingly plagued by self-doubts" and in the midst of a downward spiral. It is a land drowning in guns, brutal crime and social injustice. It is a land that has become "as scary as Osama bin Laden" embroiled in a hopeless civil war overseas. It is a land that lied to the world for oil and unbridled greed.
This land is an imaginary construct of German media and left-wing politicians. It is the United States seen through the distorted lens of publications such as SPIEGEL and STERN. It is a land in which very little positive ever happens and where the great majority of news are negative horror stories.
The land that many Germans believe they know to be mired in misery, crime and hopelessness, is, in fact, totally foreign to them. The United States that they think they know could never be a land of people more optimistic and content with their lives and more economically prosperous. But that is precisely what it is...
"With a few exceptions, Americans are generally happier with their lives and more optimistic about their future than are Europeans, according to a new Harris Poll. In this survey, Americans were asked some of the same questions that were asked in a recent Eurobarometer survey conducted for the European Union.
The big picture is that Americans are much more satisfied with their lives, much more likely to believe that their lives have improved and much more likely to expect their personal situations will improve than most Europeans.
Fully 58 percent of Americans are very satisfied with their lives compared to the 15-country European average of 31 percent. Fifty-six percent of Americans think that their lives have improved in the last five years compared to 45 percent of Europeans. Furthermore, 65 percent of Americans expect their personal situation will improve in the next five years compared to only 44 percent of Europeans. However, Europe is not at all homogenous and the mood varies widely from country to country."
Americans More Content And Optimistic? How Could This BE? Europe is supposed to be the social paradise and model...
Then again, the picture of America held by most Germans has been warped and distorted by a media profoundly obsessed with the negative and the sensational. The almost exclusively negative portrayal of America fed to German readers day-in and day-out contrasts sharply with reality. Like all other nations, America has its problems. But it also happens to be the most prosperous and one of the most optimistic nations in the world, and that reality has been drowned out by bias, stereotypes and ideology in Germany.
If one only reads SPIEGEL ONLINE, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Stern or a combination of Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Susan Sontag books, then the numbers above must seem completely baffling. America's consistently strong economic performance must also be a blasphemous mystery. Confusion, misunderstanding and ignorance towards America are the logical results of years of one-sided, negative media coverage and the unfortunately large appetite of many Germans for such coverage. Compounding the problem mightily is the lack of widely published, widely distributed alternative viewpoints on America.
As long as the majority of Germans continue to delude themselves that the Socialist welfare state is the model for the future and diplomacy is the solution to all problems without exception, they will also continue to resent America and Americans for continuing to outperform them as they sink deeper into the mire of international irrelevance. And the German media will keep feeding them a steady diet of the anti-American comfort food they will undoubtedly continue to crave. Sad but true...