Friday, May 19, 2006

Keith Reinhard and Ugly Americans

When I first heard about a program to encourage Americans to avoid behavior that creates the "Ugly American" stereotype, my reaction was, "Sounds like a worthwhile program that most countries could use."

Program founder Keith Reinhard's comments, however, have lessened that enthusiasm.

He heard an obnoxious American in a German restaurant and yearned to be Canadian? Fine, pal. And since that's all it takes to spark a desire for different nationality, if you ever get in trouble overseas, call on the Canadians to rescue you.

He's concerned that 37% of the British intelligentsia avoid U.S. brands? He clearly needs to learn some more about the British intelligentsia, which has long been one of the most anti-American, rabid Left, bunches on the planet. I'd be a whole lot more worried if we were pleasing the British intelligentsia, who don't even care that much for their own country.

Reinhard will probably be successful in peddling his pamphlets to American firms. One of our primary characteristics is blaming ourselves. That can be appropriate on occasion, but there are many other factors at play. Americans received the disdain of the British intelligentsia by what they did right, not by what they did wrong.

No comments: