As I wander about the Internet, I visit all sorts of places on the Left and on the Right. I find a constant theme from those on the Left that reminds me of the sentiments I heard back in the 60's. America as the source of evil in the world. I don't quite understand how our own citizens can develop that attitude. I can understand someone in another country having that point of view. I wouldn't expect anyone to put a foreign country above their own, or even on an equal level, but why would you dislike your own country's culture and history?
Yes, the U.S. has done some unsavory things in its past. Forcing Mexico to sell us the southwest and California was one. We fought a war and installed a puppet government to get that done. Oddly, even though we essentially controlled Mexico we still paid for the territory we stole. I don't know of any other conquering nation that has done that.
We have slavery in our history. It's shameful but I cannot think of a nation that didn't have it in one form or another in its history. Racism knows no territorial boundaries, either. We have no sole ownership of such evils.
We mistreated and lied to the First Americans, the American Indians. No more so than the Spanish or the French but we continued it after they were no longer in the picture.
But are we really oppressors? We have territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. We offer them plebiscites so their peoples can determine their own status. All they have to do is petition for them. Gather support for independence and then bring it to a vote. We once owned Cuba and the Philippines. Puerto Rico has voted three times on the question in recent decades and each time has remained a commonwealth under our protection. Guam seems comfortable with being a territory.
No territory is forced to stay under our flag. This is totally unlike any past imperial power. It is anything but imperialist in nature. Yet I hear and read accusations by some of our own citizens that we are imperialistic. I am perplexed. I am puzzled. But, most of all, I am saddened when I read or hear such things.
It is true that we do "invade" other countries economically. And people in those countries feel we are displacing their native cultures. That I understand. But we do not do this at the point of a gun. It is a side effect of being the world's primary economy. It is done by the people of these countries. They bought the things we made. Now, we aren't making as much so we have less to sell. And we buy more from other countries. We have trade deficits. These deficits reduce our power and influence.
In spite of our image as an imperialistic power, as is often alleged, we are called upon to be the world's peacekeeper, to mediate conflicts just about anywhere in the world. We are called first when there is a disaster somewhere in the world. We are met with anger if we do not respond with speed, supplies, and money. Even when we do, complaints about our “heavy-handedness” are rampant soon after.
With the unrest in the Middle East, we are blamed for the existence of petty dictators who oppress their people because we support them, because we do not support their opposition. Yet, where do (such as Cuba), we are blamed for their troubles.
I am afraid I do not understand those who think the U.S. Is the cause of the world's troubles. I am especially saddened by those who live here, in the U.S., who feel that way.