L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

30 September 2007 Blog Home : September 2007 : Permalink

The Cringing American

This really annoys me. Americans over here in Europe who apologise for being American and having Pres GW Bush as a leader. I can just about cope with people who dislike Bush and are American, I mean it would be hard for me to say more than about one good word about G Brown, but I don't see why I should bring this up in the first 5 seconds of conversation. However two or three times in the last month I've been introduced to Americans who state during the inital "who are you, where are you from" kind of discussion, that they apologise for come from America because it has GWB as president.

I find this bizarre. Do many of my fellow Europeans immediately jump out and call them Neo-imperialists or worse unless they put this disclaimer out or are they just sufferers of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" and think that this means that any non American will blame them for their leader because he's so bad? I mean really this doesn't pass the smell test. Ask almost any European what he thinks of his president/prime minister and you'll get criticism - OK except for Belgians because they don't have a PM to criticise right now -  in many cases vicious about how the incompetant corrupt scumbag is lining his pockets or those of his cronies or soemthing similar. Of course quite often if you ask who the PM/President is the answer given is the previous scumbag not the current one because really its hard to tell one pompous git in a suit from another but the comment stands.

Indeed I'd say Bush has better name recognition in Europe than most European pols. I'm pretty sure that if you asked a sample of British, Germans, French, Italians etc. who the US president is and who the PM/pres of UK, Germany, France, Italy etc. are I expect they'd identify Bush more accurately than they identify the leaders of other European countries if not their own. I'm absolutely positive that Bush wins in comparison to our glorious EU commissars. Ask if Delors, Barroso, Barel, Prodi or someone else is the current president of the European Commission and I reckon you'd end up with a score very little different from random guesswork.

So Americans stop cringing, you've got nothing to be ashamed of except your own cringing.