Friday, July 27, 2007

The sinner

Young Americans studying in Germany don't have it easy. Their peers feel beholden to lecture them on the manifold evils of that gun-happy hick, Uncle Sam, who refuses, despite so much advice, to be like Germany.

This is a mass phenomenon.

Only about 30 percent of Germans have a positive view of the United States, a veritable nosedive compared with the US's 78 percent approval rating in 2000. Turkey is the only other European country in 2007 where public opinion about the United States is so unfavorable. In fact, only in Muslim countries is Uncle Sam less popular than in Germany. A survey conducted last spring reported 58 percent of Germans aged 18 to 29 saying they considered the United States to be more dangerous than Iran.

I can hear the accusatory, self-righteous voices in my inner ear as I write.

It is the moral high-handedness of some Germans that many exchange students find so offensive. They are annoyed by their German hosts' conviction that it is their duty to open the eyes of these primitives from the New World to the true world order.

Unsurprisingly, it is an educated vice.

"Anti-Americanism is the only prejudice in Germany that increases with social status and higher education."

No comments: