You can always tell an Ugly American.
But you can’t tell him much. He’s too busy spewing invective to hear you. He’s vulgar, he’s violent and he’s intellectually stunted. He can’t spell, his grammar and syntax are an exercise in incoherence. His vocabulary skills are so limited he is incapable of civilized, articulate communication. He substitutes abusive, threatening, obscene bombast for reason. He’s no fan of dialogue, of diversity. The very idea that there might be more than one opinion, more than a single side to complex issues, is more than he can handle. That would mean he’d have to listen. Or think. Or be willing to learn something new.
The Ugly American is the antithesis of everything Barack Obama represents.
He likes bombs, bullets and beer bottles. They’re phallic. They make him feel like a real man. And real men, he believes, like real Americans, shoot first. He’s a swearing, swaggering bully.
“It’s us against them!” he rants, and he hates them all.
Who are they? As a rule, they’re non-white. They’re African American. They’re Mexican. They’re Iraqi. They’re Iranian. They’re Syrian. They’re definitely Palestinian. And they’re all alike. All of them. They’re sub-human.
The Ugly American demonizes entire countries; every innocent man, woman and child who is born there, lives and works there. They’re all part of the “evil empire” or the “axis of evil.” He holds them all in contempt, blames them all for the actions of the extremist fringe element. He believes the answer to every American problem is to bomb the evil masses into oblivion. “Kill them all!” is his credo.
His world is a dwarfed, simplistic universe. His opinion is the only one that counts. And, in his opinion, AMERICA IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH. We are always in the right, our motives always pure. Always have been, always will be.
The Ugly American is badly in need of a history lesson.
We really weren’t all that great to begin with. We began as illegal aliens. We breached the borders of the New World uninvited. There was fertile land, a better life to be had, money to be made, opportunity for the taking. We wanted a piece of the action–so we took it.
We refused to assimilate. We refused to learn the language. The natives were willing to share, but we weren’t too keen on sharing. We took what we wanted, shoving Native Americans out of our way–and none too gently. We killed most of them off, actually. The only good one, we said, was a dead one. We took over.
We settled in. When we wanted cheap labor, we participated in the kidnapping and enslavement of free citizens of Africa. We bought them, sold them, fractured families, brutalized them.
Our Founding Fathers believed slavery, child labor and denying women the vote were just fine in their new democracy. Some folks were clearly more “equal” than others.
This is not to say it’s all been bad. Aside from cheating Indians out of their land (grand larceny), genocide (capital murder), slavery, another couple hundred years of oppressing, victimizing, lynching African Americans, we’ve done some remarkably good things along the way here.
We do still have a nasty habit of propping up murderous dictators in other countries when it is in our (corporate/economic) national interest. We provide those bad boys with–you know–bombs, bullets, missiles, materials for biologial and chemical weapons–like we did for Saddam Hussein back in the ’80s when we liked him better than we did the Ayatollah. We were best buddies as long as it suited our purposes. Saddam was Saddam; he never changed. We did.
So, great as we like to think we are, good as we try to be, we haven’t always been the “greatest” nation. We didn’t always make the right choices for the right reasons. We still don’t. The old greed and ego traps catch us far too often. But there are some of us–millions of us–who believe we still have the capacity to become that ideal notion of a true, benevolent democracy. We’ve lost a lot of ground in the last six years. We’ve lost civility. We’ve lost our honor. We’ve lost compassion. We’ve lost sight of the fact that our proper place is that of a free, strong partner with all other nations on earth in the quest for peace, for understanding, for the betterment of all mankind.
The Ugly American isn’t likely to share this new vision of humane governance. He thinks he needs brute force and superiority to survive. He’ll threaten those of us he can and call it patriotism. He’ll spew his violent, vulgar hate-speak and call himself a “real American.” He needs to win.
He’ll lose. We outnumber him. We began moving in a new direction in November, 2006. We’ll have a new president in 2008. We expect that president will be Barack Obama; we’ll do everything in our power to make it happen. The neocon nightmare will end. And no semi-literate using a foul mind and a computer as weapons can stop the new beginning.
The Age of the Ugly American is over.