The U.S. and how it views the world |

The U.S. and how it views the world

Simeon F. "Sim" ThomasSummit Cove

The Associated Press article in the Oct. 30 edition which describes the discomfiture of U.S. students returning from studying abroad, inspires this letter.Thirty-six years ago, I returned home after almost three years as a student in France, and so many years later, I still retain some of those same feelings.The parochial bias of several dear friends and acquaintances continues to frustrate me. For example, in a world context, our choice of national leaders and the power of these leaders to misshape public opinion defy the imagination.Instead of advancing a complementary international role for America, our leaders build cohesion behind their policies by promoting American distrust of our natural allies. Instead of improving national security through cooperation based on shared values, these leaders use our ignorance of the rest of the world and of our own history to maintain a foreign policy which only endangers us more while it serves their self-interest.Again in service to their self-interest, they advance a radical social conservatism wholly supported by only a zealous few Americans. Using the language of this ideology, they advocate a domestic policy which serves to impoverish increasing numbers of Americans and to endanger the well-being of the middle class in favor of an increasingly powerful aristocracy of the wealthy.For these leaders and, consequently, for the many Americans they influence, European attitudes inspire only derision, a disrespect sustainable only by our ignorance. I would suggest that we Americans would do well to develop a broader view of the world informed in part by allies who share a preponderance of our values. In this way, we might be brought to select leaders who would work in our interest, not in that of a privileged few.

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