In the year 2000 to 2005, I lived in Switzerland with my Swiss wife.  It was a fantastic experience for me; I enjoyed Swiss Culture and I learned a lot about America by being outside America looking in.  Some things I learned about my native land were good and some were not. 

The time I spent as a foreign resident in Switzerland, was the same period of time of President George W. Bush’s “selection” to the Presidency by the US Supreme Court in “Bush vs. Gore”, the heinous 911 Terrorist Attack on America, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the torture of POWs by the USA, the US creation of Gitmo Prison, among many other things. 

Frequently I traveled in France, Spain, and Italy while living in Europe and I was never mistreated as an America, although the US State Department admonished those of us Americans residing in Europe to keep a low profile, specifically “do not wear cowboy boots” and “don’t speak English in a crowded public place”.

In one of my internet discussions today, this is one response that I received from another blogger in response to a comment I had made about my European experience.

BLOGGER’S COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO MINE:   “Nevertheless, I know it can be difficult to explain to foreigners the complicated and often veiled foreign policy of the United States. I can only offer a recommendation to remind them that they’ve grown their social democratic state due to the very foreign policy and military they criticize. They are welcome to pick up their own defense spending and let Americans train and work at home.”

MY RESPONSE TO BLOGGER’S OVERREACTION: Unfortunately, your “Ugly American” attitude expressed in your comment is the very reason it’s difficult to explain real America to Europeans and foreigners.  Your comment is error ridden with chauvinism.

Europeans acknowledge American entry in WWI and WWII was obviously a factor in victory, nonetheless America was extremely late in entering both of those wars; European nations had already made great sacrifices and experienced horrendous casualties military and especially civilian, while America was spared those horrors of war. 

French contributions to our own American Revolution were essential and when my uncle and other American soldiers arrived in Europe in WWI they cried, “Lafayette, we are here”, returning France’s favor. 

After 911, all of Europe was wholly sympathetic to our tragedy and outraged by it. 

As for American democracy, the “democratic” Confederation of Switzerland was created in 1291, and our Founders in 1787, actually patterned our American Constitution on the Swiss Confederation. 

Most good things that we Americans enjoy were brought to America by Europeans; we owe most of our entire culture to European heritage.  And, we are for the most part descendants of Europeans and European culture, like Amish or Nazi societies; American Nazis thrived in America prior to our entry into WWII (and since WWII). 

During WWII, I was personally and crudely referred to as “Heinie” by an Ugly American in my American hometown birthplace. 

And then, we Americans do enjoy our wieners, pizza, and French fries. 

You do not need to remind Europeans that they owe us for our export to Europe of our Rock and Roll, TV commercials, and gangster movies, they readily acknowledge it.

AFTERTHOUGHTS OF MY INTERNET DISCUSSION:  I do love America, my American “melting pot”, with all my heart and soul.  Though I have a Prussian surname and a Moorish family middle name, I am personally a conglomerate of Native American, a variety of European cultures, and possibly a touch of African heritage.  My daughters qualify for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.  It is obvious that I simply cannot afford to be a cultural or racial bigot.  I am, thankfully, a classic American.  However much I love America, it can be sometimes difficult being an American; but that’s what I am and I’m proud of it.  God bless America!

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