Americans Share Harsh Truths The Rest Of The World Is Probably Not Ready To Hear Yet, Here Are Their 30 Answers
It’s no secret that the most powerful country in the world often stands out from the rest. And if there’s one thing we can all agree on, people seem obsessed with sharing deeply held beliefs about the nation. Whether it's hilarious memes that poke fun at the country or things America is doing right, opinions about the US are split. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, so why don’t we let the citizens themselves speak their minds for a change?
Well, Redditor Tell_me_why- did precisely that when they reached out to the Ask Reddit community: "Americans, what is the rest of the world not ready to hear?" The post immediately became a hit. Thousands of users wasted no time typing out the quirky things that people from other countries are unaware of, and sharing some hard truths along the way.
To get to the bottom of this question, we’ve gone through the thread and picked out some of the most surprising and thought-provoking responses to share with you all. Continue scrolling to read through these answers, as well as our interview with travel writer and blogger from the US, Megan Starr. Then upvote the posts you agree with and be sure to share your own takes with us below in the comments!
More Americans would travel if they could. There is criticism of Americans not being curious of other cultures. Some of that is valid, but travel isn't easily within people's means in the US. With no mandated vacation time and crippling low wages, having the time and money to travel to other countries isn't realistic for most Americans.
The only reason "Florida Man" exists is because of Florida's laws about the accessibility of crime documentation, which makes it a goldmine for tabloid journalism.
On the Fourth of July, millions of Americans celebrate their nation’s birthday by having parades, setting off fireworks, and, apparently, reflecting on the values that have carried the country since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. After all, we’re used to hearing non-citizens having some strong opinions about the US, but according to this viral Reddit thread in question, Americans have plenty to say as well.
We reached out to Megan Starr who is originally from Virginia, US, to hear more about this topic. She is one of the founders of a travel blog called Megan & Aram that’s all about visiting Scandinavia, the Eastern bloc, and beyond. Before going on her adventures to explore and learn more about the world, she also traveled across the US, visiting every undeniably beautiful corner from Hawaii to the Great Lakes.
Megan told Bored Panda she has been living abroad for 12 years of her adult life but is currently visiting her family back home. "The atmosphere is sad," the blogger revealed. "The division is sad. Everything is politicized currently, and regardless of which side someone stands on, no one really seems content here at the moment."
I went to Italy and there was a restaurant selling "American pizza" which was pizza with french fries hot dogs and more ranch than pizza. He said it's authentic American pizza and it's how everyone eats pizza over there. I told him I'm from America and I've never once seen anyone eat that... He told me i was wrong and it's how all Americas eat pizza
Y'all are crazy too
Despite there being an obesity epidemic, there are many MANY children who are hungry. Unfortunately, the foster care system is a worse outcome sometimes. We have many, many hungry children.
The government is not an accurate reflection of the people. The vast majority of Americans are moderates who have views all over the spectrum depending on the topic.
When asked about her thoughts on the situation in the US right now, Megan said it seems like people are stuck in a never-ending circle, and no one sees the bigger picture. "Even the ones merrily taking rights away from others are still whining about things," she referred to the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for dozens of states to ban abortions and ending the constitutional right to safely terminate pregnancy for millions of Americans.
But according to Megan, it doesn’t stop there. "You have people complaining about losing their 401k, yet they donʻt want more government involvement to help people have a seamless and stressless retirement. You have others complaining about gas prices, yet they donʻt want to invest in electric cars or research or public transportation. You have others whining about having to get a vaccine because it is 'their body, their freedom,' yet many of these same people want to impose restrictions on female bodies."
A lot of the world may know the origin story of America. At its core, it began as an experiment in decentralization of authority with the goal that there would be no overarching ruler deciding what you can and can't do. That's why the concept of states' rights exist.
What the world may not know is how extreme that concept has become over the last 50 or so years. At this time, it's more apt to say that your employer's HR policybook has far more say over your life than any law, be it local, state, or federal. Things have become so skewed in favor of "job creators" that depending on who you work for, you could be free as in freedom, or you could be no better off than an indentured servant. Think about what other countries' governments give their citizens as a right of citizenship: health care, higher education, comped maternity leave, childcare subsidies, guaranteed minimum time off, adequate public transit, just to name a few. Think about what the US government doesn't offer: all of the above, and more. But there are some corporations who do offer equivalents to those: health insurance, tuition reimbursement, per-employer maternity leave policy (which is typically not very generous), and lately some have been extending perks like unlimited vacation (still subject to your manager's approval), transit pass reimbursement, or private shuttles.
The truth is our government really is only good at two things, and that's incarcerating people and findng money to build weapons with. Everything else, they delegate to "job creators". That's why there's such a huge obsession with job creators here - they're the only way most will experience even a fraction of the amenities that other nations' citizens take for granted.
It's a double-edged sword though. Many states are "at-will" states - meaning your employer can fire you for any reason at any time, including no reason. That, combined with everything I described above, means that most people live under the fear of losing their job. Because if you lose your job in America, you have nothing. Employers have taken this position of power and leveraged it to have near-complete control over the day-to-day operations of society, and to government, to an almost equal extent. Labor has little power over their lives and their country.
America isn't a dictatorship. It's a nation of a hundred thousand micro-dictatorships, each presiding over everyone on their payroll.
EDIT: made wording less unjivey
Most of us are just normal folks, trying to get by - it's just 10% at each end of the political spectrum that are dingbats, but they get all the media coverage and give the rest of us a bad name.
We aren't uncultured because we don't travel, it's just that our states are the size of your countries. I can drive 8 hours in my state, and still be in my state.and then you have Texas
"The entire political atmosphere of the country is just sad and nearsighted. There is no separation of church and state, and there is no religious freedom here anymore," Megan told us.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to her homeland, the blogger stressed. Citizens want to create a better country for themselves and the generations to follow, and change is slowly coming. "I want people outside the US to know that most of the younger generations get it and we are fighting. But, we are fighting a two-party political system where one part leans towards extreme right-wing and the other is called a democrat but is still right-wing."
"We are fighting a broken system that doesnʻt represent our society well at all," she added. "And instead of voting on issues, we vote for people and the entirety of what they come with."
Everyone likes to harp on our past of slavery but we didn't invent, nor were we the biggest ones to do it. If we cast a light upon other countries past they would look bad also. Humans in general are incredibly sh*tty throughout time.
That someone personally spent over $400 million on a replica of Noah’s ark in Kentucky. Like actually. I’m not even kidding. It’s several football fields long.
One positive trait Megan pointed out about fellow Americans was their sociability. She told us that people who visit the US often feel surprised at how genuinely friendly they are. "Even in today's tense climate here, people are still so sweet and it feels like you never meet a stranger. I have been living on the other side of the Atlantic for so long that it always shocks (and pleasantly surprises) me when I come back to the US."
Europe has a racism problem as well. I moved from America to Europe and yall jump through so many hoops to pretend that America is the only place with racism despite how blaringly blatant it is in Europe.
Edit: obviously I know Europe is not a singular country, I just did not feel like listing all the European countries I've lived in or traveled too.
Editedit: If yall really wanna focus more on the fact that I said Europe instead of listing every country I've ever been to than on the racism thing then you're really just proving my point.
Twitter/Reddit are probably the worst representation of american culture possible. Life outside these two platforms are completely different no matter what way you spin it. Reason being, extremist opinions are the ones that get the most fake internet points, so thats all you will ever see.
We were also curious to learn about the biggest differences between her homeland and other cultures she noticed throughout her travels. When it comes to the main thing that makes people there stand out from the rest of the world, Megan said it’s definitely the amount of confidence they have in themselves. "You can instantly detect it from the other side of a room," she added.
"Other nationalities have their own opinions about this, but I honestly donʻt think it is anything bad, generally speaking. We grow up in a society where even the most introverted people are somewhat extroverted." Megan said that people in the US play sports, are part of clubs, and definitely don’t shy away from having dinner alone at a restaurant. "We donʻt speak softly, we talk to strangers, and we might be lost in a city — but we will look confidently lost and going in the wrong direction!"
80% percent of all Americans don’t have $500 in their savings account
Y’all arent as smart as you think. Dont get me wrong, we are morons. But stupidity is a human trait, not just an American one.
We do **stupid**s**t. But thankfully we don't think shark fins will make our d***s bigger.
"America vs. the rest of the world" comparisons shared online by anyone with an internet connection are nothing new. People are always eager to chime in on the discussions about this topic, something that Megan finds pretty annoying and can’t seem to figure out. "We are a country of 325 million people (or more) with a totally different background and history than any other place on the planet. Even if there are similarities in (white) culture, it doesnʻt mean that we are the same."
America isn’t the best by far, but as an African American I know the racism in other big countries is way more overt, I’ve experienced it and sadly realized America is one of the few places I can live in somewhat peace
We are not a monolith. The difference in culture between states, even COUNTIES or TOWNS can be massive. Making a generalized statement about “Americans” is really just disingenuous
America is more welcoming than most other countries.
For example, I've been living in Korea for almost three years. I could speak the language perfectly, interact with the community, learn the customs and traditions, and yet I still wouldn't be considered Korean, or even be looked at as a Korean citizen. I wouldn't belong, because I don't look Korean.
But in the U.S, you can be from pretty much anywhere and be accepted as an American. You might look African, Asian, European, but you would be considered American. And you would belong. And it's awesome.
The U.S is one of the most welcoming places in the world.
Megan pointed out that negative comments about the US usually stem from the fact that the country’s news, media, and movies are blasted on TVs and screens across the world, "so most people have a rough idea of what is going on." Moreover, she explained that it feels like it almost became acceptable to ridicule and share harsh reactions about her native country. "Whereas if this happened to another place, it would not be so accepted."
"Interestingly enough, many of the comments come from people who donʻt even know their own political systems. I had people from Australia and Germany come at me a decade ago for same-sex marriage not being federally legal in the US. It was also illegal in both countries (and didnʻt get passed until after the United States made it legal)," Megan told us.
Most Americans, be they liberal or conservative, are not nearly as hateful as you might assume from reading Reddit posts or watching American news programs.
Not all Americans have money
Edit: most don't
"We are a big country and our views are anything but homogenous. Many of us are fighting as hard as we can against a system that is set up for the wealthy white man," she said. "But it is not an easy fight, especially when the system does 'work' for some people and they have the mentality of 'if it ainʻt broke, why fix it.'"
Americans are not the only annoying tourists in the world. We can be bad sure, but I have met PLENTY of [jerks] from all sorts of countries visiting.
Sometimes reading through Reddit you get the sense that the only people in the world with bad travel manners are Americans.
The use of the Metric system is way more prevalent than you think.
Henry Winkler gets even cooler after happy days.
Most people in the US do NOT have guns. The reason for the "There are 400,000,000 guns in the US" is because guns are counted when they are sold, but they are not counted when they are destroyed, broken or disposed of (legally or illegally) so when you have a number that only goes up, guess what. It gets really big. It's also possible guns are double counted when one owner sells a gun to another person. Also, most gun owners own more than one gun, so you can't just divide the number of guns by the number of people because you have that one guy with 20 guns.
So, when you come to visit, relax. There aren't cowboys and gangbangers on every street corner.