Let's be honest, things in America have been pretty messed up lately. Political turmoil, social rights protests, and an embarrassingly bad response to the pandemic by both authorities and the public are just a few reasons why the situation in the country hasn't been bearable.
However, is it really that bad? Maybe Americans are just blowing it out of proportion and being too hard on themselves? To find out, redditor IceCreamTacosPizza posted a question on the platform asking, "Non-Americans of Reddit, what is your genuine reaction to what's going on in America right now?"
The post went viral immediately, and already has over 58,000 upvotes and 29,000 comments, painting a pretty good picture of what foreigners think about the US.
Have you tried turning your country off and then on again?
And these answers seem to be an accurate reflection of the general opinion. For example, a recent poll of 11,000 Europeans has found that the majority have an increasingly negative view of the United States as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with just 2% of Europeans surveyed describing the U.S. as a "helpful" ally in the fight against COVID-19.
The poll, commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), ran across nine European countries and showed that in almost every country surveyed, there was an increasingly negative perception of the U.S.
Matthew Goodwin, an academic, bestseller writer, and speaker, known for his work on political volatility, risk, populism, British politics, Europe, elections, and Brexit, suggests that one of the biggest challenges the US currently faces is the sheer scale of polarisation. "Voters have broken off into value-based blocks and are unwilling to listen to the other side. This 'affective polarisation' is damaging for American politics and society and has increased during the Trump era," the author of National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy told Bored Panda.
"The US has struggled to find a meaningful response to this issue of polarisation, not only but partly because the moderate center and a pluralistic media has given way to a more febrile and toxic climate," Goodwin added.
Being an Italian and knowing roman history, I can say that in my opinion America is showing the classic symptoms of an empire in decline
Ferdinando Giugliano, a Milan-based columnist for Bloomberg Opinion expressed a similar view. "The past decade saw the 'European model' take a battering, as the U.S. recovered faster and stronger from the financial crisis. And 2020 could well be the year in which we reassess the relative merits of the European Union. The pandemic hit both sides of the Atlantic equally hard, and yet Europe managed to contain the damage from the virus better. The social fabric held tighter, too: The riots that are pitting one part of U.S. society against another appear from a world apart. Political leadership is certainly part of it: Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, are taking radical steps to build bridges across the EU, just as Donald Trump is actively dividing his own country," he Giugliano said.
Yes, the US remains the most powerful country in the world, and yes, it still has a tremendous capacity to teach others but maybe it's time the country focuses on learning.
The US always appeared like an older, stronger brother - now it feels like this brother started using meth.
From Canada: Angry. Sad. Disappointed.
We used to think pretty highly of you, but now we just feel sorry for you. You are so divided we're not sure how you can ever come together as a country again.
Your guns are out of control. Your racism is dividing you. Your politics are a disaster. Your healthcare system is a joke. Your pandemic is out of control and you will soon be in the depths of a depression, with more than 30m people without jobs. How do you feel so far?
Trump isn't the cause of your problems, but he is the worst person and the worst solution you could ever hope for in that office, and is only making things worse. He is destroying you, and half of you actually support him. Don't you know that he only cares about himself.
Wake up America!! Get rid of Trump. Get rid of all your guns. Give healthcare to everyone. Make black lives mean as much as white lives. Black Lives Matter Too.
We own a vacation home in California, so we have a personal connection to the US. But I honestly don't know when we'll ever see it again or even be able to cross the border.
Being in the U.K. right now kind of feels like being a little boat that has broken down and everyone's too busy being mad at the captain to fix anything. But then you look to the left and there's a big cruise ship burning as it sinks with people fighting on every deck, and the captain's throwing gasoline on everything, and you feel a little bit better about the s***** boat you're in.
I used to really admire America. The last few years have changed that perception drastically. The blatantly corrupt politics seem to have the whole country in such a tight grip that from the outside it looks like a 3rd world country. Your president is lying constantly and obviously yet he has outspoken followers in the millions who just disregard his lies.
There seems to be no safety net for the average person at all and you seem to rely on luck to get through your life. "I hope I dont lose my job, if i do I am f*****," "If I get sick i am f*****", "Never mind the ambulance, I'll call an Uber, I'd rather die than pick up the hospital bill," "Oh s*** I had a kid, better start saving tens of thousands for college."
Your police force is ridiculous. People with not even a high school diploma can become cops? Are you serious? Shooting people left and right.
Gun laws are out of control obviously.
Religion also. It plays such a huge role in your society to the point that it actually affects elections. In "the greatest country on earth" in 2020. It is insane.
I knew there were lots of idiots, but the sheer quantity is mind blowing. And how so many Americans just can't handle a view that's different to their own or at least allow others to have a different view, is crazy.
I live in Germany. When I was younger, I always wanted to live in America. I thought it was great. Now, not even for a million dollars, I would never move there
You’re a country blessed with diverse land, money and democracy. But you have become your own worst enemy—healthy patriotism has turned into extreme nationalism and xenophobia, freedom has turned into anarchy. Also guns, like howww are they still a thing? Sad.
I keep wondering why the “richest” country in the world still doesn’t have national free health services.
The first time I met a US libertarian, I was in the pub. He was a supposedly intelligent person arguing that "any form of taxation is robbery." What a f****** idiot, I thought. Little did I realize how mainstream "libertarianism" is.
The Second Amendment is there to protect your precious democracy from tyrants. Ironic who the gun owners support the most.
Allowing the police to buy military surplus; what did you expect to happen?
Socialism is evil; but what about your fire service, police, army? Why do those things get special treatment? Why isn't your healthcare on that list?
What saddens me the most is how the basics, such as universal healthcare and social support are so reviled by so many. Worst is that those who are the most vocal are probably not far from those who would benefit the most.
The writers of this season seem lazy..they're just rehashing the previous BLM script, and throwing in the pandemic to mix it up and have really written themselves into a corner. I cant figure out who the protagonist is, because none of the characters are likeable. At least they've moved off of the school shooting theme this year. Trump is a poorly written villain, and they rely on his catch phrases too often. I think this will be the last season I watch.
The spin off season "The UK" showed promise, but they're just copying the same tropes without any action. At least I know the Scots are the good guys in that one.
I can't believe how Americans can politicise EVERYTHING?! Wearing masks, postal service and before these newer topics universal healthcare, free (or at least vastly cheaper) uni, higher taxation etc. are a reality in most developed countries, but in America it seems like you can just scream socialism and people are against everything. From my German point of view the two party system and electoral votes is seriously f**ked up and even the moderate democrats are pretty right-wing. Also, the recent handling of protesters and even the media, combined with Trump seemingly preparing the notion that the election will be rigged and he might not accept it, really feels like a third world country going back to a fascist regime. Although I don't think that this will really happen, its just scary that it feels like a possibility.
With the economic divide larger than ever, I don't believe the majority of Americans, who struggle to live decently, pay for healthcare and their kids education, still buy the freaking "american dream" BS.
The US has become one of these countries where if you start poor or in the wrong neighborhood or even because if your ethnicity, you'll need to fight ten times harder than people like "rich white men". I know there are example of successful people coming out of poverty on their own, and good for them, because they are the exception (not without merit!)
I come from a country where I could become a engineer spending only a few thousand euros for school, I get a lot of medical stuff covered if I need it, etc. Why wouldn't everyone want that for everyone ?? Now that I'm making a living and paying taxes, I'm genuinely happy to pay taxes that will go fund this and other essential services.
TL;DR: I don't understand why the people don't all want affordable healthcare and education for everyone. This benefits the entire country and its economy in the long run.
It's like watching Britney Spears go through that "shaved-head phase"
Brit who adored the US here. Spent 18 months living in Houston around 1998-2000. Travelled extensively and love the country and most of its people.
The US is in the darkest period I’ve known, and it is crumbling from the inside out. It’s not a recent thing, probably had its roots post WW2. The US realised it had the power and technology to rule the world to its own benefit and it went for it. The golden years of the 50, 60s and 70s have been followed by thinly disguised corporate and personal greed. All of this on top of a 2 tier difficult to crack race ceiling that in some states is allowed to persist unchecked.
The US is now in a pretty open rolling low level civil war, fuelled by a an idiot that the GOP is allowing to rule because they just want to cling to the status quo of the military industrial complex. Trump is an Emperor, with his princess and princes. Everyone with any insight or brains can see it, but there are a lot of supremely uninformed Americans in the Rust belt, the south and parts of the north who have been fed the line from Fox and Facebook that he is their saviour.
Most of the West is happy to let America sink, tired of Trump and the US’s decades of foreign policy meddling.
For Russia it’s an old game for them, easy and cheap social media manipulation which is not discouraged by the GOP.
For China they are cleaning up. It’ll be a fairly bloodless benign coup. They are the Super Power in waiting.
It saddens me greatly.
I'm a Canadian, living in Mexico since 2014. I seriously can't wrap my head around it from either vantage point. It's like watching a slow-motion car wreck - it's horrifying and you know nothing good is going to come of it but it's fascinating at the same time.
As a Millennial from Toronto, I grew up thinking America was awesome. I thought it would be cool to live in New York when I was older. The past 5 years have been such a s*** show, I am so thankful to be from Canada. I dont think its Trump that is the main problem (although hes a huge one.) Its his legion of supporters that feel the same way he does. They will not go away once he leaves office. The problem is more permanent than some realize. Its been sad to see the US deteriorate.
I don't wanna talk about Trump, but wow, the anti maskers piss me off. Like, dude, wear a f**king mask. How hard can it be?
Honestly it's borderline beyond comprehension. It constantly feels a little more like a poorly written soap opera than real life.
From mexico, i would say to all the ignorant people (and karens) with all love you are not a clown, you´re the entire circus
For me I feel like nothing can surprise me now, I'm just like of course that's happening now. I feel sorry for the sane people over there.
You're so busy flinging s**t at each other you can't see the mess you've made
There isn't a single thing that they can agree on, even basic human rights for people is a topic of discussion. There's way too many idiots for a country that is so far developed
I live in the ***hole of the world Bosnia, Balkan. And it seems to me America just hit puberty.
I’m from Afghanistan. This s**t don’t faze me
Sadness. As a Norwegian I've never felt like the US is somewhere I would particularly like to live and work, but I've loved visiting and I have some really good friends over there. It looked like things were getting a bit better under Obama, but really the cracks were starting to show with the yearly government lockdowns. Now it's at the point where I would be hesitant to visit even despite the pandemic. Last time (2014) there were guards with rifles in Dallas airport and it freaked me out. I can't even imagine what it would be like now and whether I would feel safe around authority figures. As a white European highly educated female I would most likely be fine, but still. Just the fact that I feel like I have to consider this is crazy to me.
I genuinely feel sorry for you people.
I (german) am probably as angry as most US citicens about the whole politicle clusterf*** that is unfolding right now. The uncounted people dying of various causes like racism, ignorance, politicle games and natural disasters are a terrible loss that could be prevented. But the US is only the most covered clusterf**k in the media, what China is doing to it's minorities is as mindboggeling as all the other sh**. In short, I would like to watch some cartoons and forget about this whole mess but I learned in history class one must never do that!
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