Over one-third of American adults is obese.

The average adult American IQ is 98, the lowest of all developed nations.

46% of American adults prefer the theory of creationism over evolution.

The United States has never gone a decade without a military conflict.

Wal-Mart is a $260 billion American company that profits from selling Chinese products – while the US owes trillions to China.

Most Americans believe that the United States is the biggest, toughest, smartest, richest and best-looking country in the world – with almost religious conviction.

And yet, 2 in 3 Americans is incapable of naming a single Supreme Court Justice.

There shouldn’t be a choice between education and incarceration. Generally speaking, one prevents the other. The United States leads in the one that should have been prevented, and falls behind in the one that could have prevented it. Well, at least we still have “the brave” since “the free” live somewhere else now.

We wonder why we are stereotyped the world over as fat, stupid, ignorant, violent, greedy, selfish, and sanctimonious. We ponder this question, but cannot bring ourselves to research the Supreme Court.

We’re actually more likely to Google “Why do people think Americans are stupid?” than “Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?” This is because we are also extremely vain on top of all that other awesome stuff.

I get accused of being an ingrate, of being “anti-American” because I have the sheer gall – THE AUDACITY!! – to point out flaws in our delusion. Maybe I’m tired of being lumped in with all the rest of the idiots who love nothing more than turning my beloved country into a festering cesspit of ignorance and superiority. Ever think of that??

Clearly, these things do not apply to all of us. So those of us that are not part of the problem should try being part of the solution, as are myself and many others. You can, too! As an American: If you think Americans are stupid, go get an education. If you don’t know how or when something in history occurred, look it up. If you think Americans are fat, start working out and eating better. If you think Americans are arrogant, be a little more critical. It’s not un-patriotic to try to fix your country, for the good of your country. Quite the opposite.

And you have to admit the rest of the world has a point. Maybe if we weren’t so rich, powerful, and loud, it wouldn’t matter that we are also stupid and self important.

My cousin interned at a hotel in Provence and would tell me about typical American customers who would pointedly order the fanciest, most expensive, highest quality wine on the menu… And a glass of Coke. Are we trying to experience the culture or aren’t we??

We like to travel and mingle with the rest of the world, meaning that the rest of the world is forced to mingle with us and our obnoxiousness in exchange for our dirty, sweaty cash… Mingling which has to be done in English because we can’t be bothered to learn anything that doesn’t have to do with America.

So when the rest of the world complains and throws insults, epithets, and facts our way, can you blame them?

For instance, they call us violent warmongers and accuse us of fighting wars of ideology all over the world. We obviously take offense at this. In fact, in addition to not having ever had a decade of peace, we haven’t even had a year of peace since 1872. (Before that was 1869, 1850, 1834, 1826, 1811, and 1796-7) That’s 8 total years of peace in a 229-year history. It’s amazing to think we come off as trigger happy to the rest of the world! Simply astounding!

Compared to Canada who didn’t have a single conflict anywhere in the world between 1902-1914, 1922-36, 1946-50, 1953-1969, and 1971-1989, (almost 60 years of peace, just in the last century) maybe it makes more sense. This is why the world hates us – and us specifically. We won’t accept our faults, even and almost especially when they’re facts.

Usually, we try to deflect attention away by saying something like, “Oh, and I bet the education system in Eritrea is so great!” or “Yeah, but Syria’s problems are way worse.” As if those countries were comparable as equally powerful nations. (They are equally *valuable* nations, but no nation on earth is equally powerful, or has a population whose choices impact the rest of the world quite as much.)

All of these people are dead, and you have no right to share in their brilliance. Get over it, and go do something great yourself. Also: Sorry, Canada. Bell’s one of ours.

We somehow think that our past actions carry over to the present day. We were the world’s top producer during the Industrial Revolution, therefore, it must still be true! This is where so many of the world’s greatest things were invented, so we must all be as clever as the individuals who invented them! We have the best universities, therefore we must have the smartest people! Without us, the Allied Forces could not have won World War II – therefore, America won World War II and saved the world from the Nazis!

If this doesn’t make any sense to you, given the reality of… well, reality, then perhaps you can now see America from an international perspective.

We are loud in countries where calmness is custom; we are curious about the world, yet we will not taste its delicacies or learn its tongues; we are good people, but prefer to believe we are the best.

So I may come off as a bit critical at times, a bit preachy. But maybe it’s because I care about the whole world more than just my own country. Maybe it’s because I realistically believe in the fallibility of an infant nation. Maybe it’s because I love my country and I hold it to a higher standard.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s because we enjoy an internationally-accepted position of power, and have a corresponding responsibility to NOT be a bunch of dogmatic, conceited morons who believe in nothing more than our own righteousness.

– THE DUEL CITIZEN

Besides, we’re all forgetting the one thing that makes America greater than anywhere else. It’s not our people, our spirit, nor our legacy.

It’s this.

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