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View Poll Results: Americans: How do you feel when foreigners want to discuss politics with you?
It's nice that they are interested, and I welcome the opportunity to talk about my country. 29 42.65%
I find it ill-mannered and annoying. 5 7.35%
I find it amusing, and rather enjoy baiting them. 9 13.24%
I tolerate it with good humour, although I'd rather talk about other things. 25 36.76%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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  #181  
Old 14.06.2011, 18:08
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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From all that, hopefully we don't wind up with idiots like "that woman" (Michele Bachmann) in the video running for public office with their ignorant backwards views about people.
She is about as good as Sarah Palin.
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  #182  
Old 14.06.2011, 18:34
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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...


This dispute about language really gets my goat as I have lived in enough different areas of the US, where there are enough people who speak enough languages that I feel pretty strongly that at least a second if not third language should be taught in schools from the start. If they were taught so, there would not be the problems with standardized tests that there are, with wording more comfortable to folks who speak "perfect" English in every aspect of their life. Not everyone in the US speaks or reads as if they're headed to an Ivy League school - nor should they.

Another aspect of language is what comes across to me in the video I linked. The division that starts from not understanding what another person is saying goes also into their culture and as has been pointed out previously, the vast diversity of the US means that not every American shares the same culture, not exactly. So... learn the most common languages used (French, German, Spanish) "automatically" in school, the circle of friendships widen, the circle of cultural acceptance also widens...

From all that, hopefully we don't wind up with idiots like "that woman" (Michele Bachmann) in the video running for public office with their ignorant backwards views about people.
That woman is what I classify as the typical mis-informed overly-patriotic type. I hope she doesn't move forward in her quest for president. I'm guessing, based on her comments, she not only has never been to France, has also never seen Al Jazeera.

As for people not speaking like they belong at an Ivy League school, I agree they don't need to be up to that level. But something needs to be done about basic English education. Some of the most basic appalling spelling and grammatical errors that spread over the whole country (and also the UK, lest I leave my new home out of it ) could be prevented with a bit more education in early years - and not promoting students just because the year has ended. Then I think the US might be ready to tackle bilingual or second language education.
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  #183  
Old 14.06.2011, 18:42
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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That woman is what I classify as the typical mis-informed overly-patriotic type. I hope she doesn't move forward in her quest for president. I'm guessing, based on her comments, she not only has never been to France, has also never seen Al Jazeera.

As for people not speaking like they belong at an Ivy League school, I agree they don't need to be up to that level. But something needs to be done about basic English education. Some of the most basic appalling spelling and grammatical errors that spread over the whole country (and also the UK, lest I leave my new home out of it ) could be prevented with a bit more education in early years - and not promoting students just because the year has ended. Then I think the US might be ready to tackle bilingual or second language education.
While I disagree with what she says, I can see the appeal. I'm sure a lot of Americans are getting a little tired of their country taking repeated international action and then repeatedly apologising for it. I'm sure a lot of people believe invading other countries can be a good thing, that freedom is a universal value, and respecting other countries that practise FGM or keep their women shuttered away or have terrorist training camps instead of high schools are fair game. So when she says "not all cultures are equal" some of our Liberal values start to shudder, but for a lot of people they really aren't.
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  #184  
Old 14.06.2011, 18:47
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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This is a genuine question that has sprung out of another thread.

The United States has a pretty big political footprint compared to most other nations in the world, and almost everyone has something to say about it, wherever he comes from.

As a US citizen, do you find yourself constantly being invited to talk about politics when you'd much rather enjoy a quiet beer and talk about cooking? How do you react when you are approached by foreigners who wish to discuss US foreign policy with you? Are you grateful for their interest? Do you find them amusing? Do you find them irritating? How often does this happen to you?

Citizens of other parts of the world about which foreigners like to express their opinions are also invited to contribute (although I'd be grateful if the poll was reserved for Americans). I'm sure our Northern Irish, Icelandic and Israeli members have plenty of experiences to share.

Anyway, about that George Bush...
To answer the OP (it's only polite really) regarding Americans and "outsiders" talking about American politics...

Well, America is externalist. It has a foreign policy which is expansive, militarily and culturally and economically. When America sneezes...etc.

I would argue that the USA doesn't have domestic politics in the same way as Denmark does for example. I would argue that the results of the next US election will effect the day to day lives of a woman in Sulaymaniyah to a greater extent than a woman in Schenectady. So from my point of view, the reason why everyone wants to talk about US politics is the same reason why they should talk about US politics - because it affects them.
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  #185  
Old 14.06.2011, 19:52
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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........................One example of such an individual is this woman who is apparently hoping to run for President.

.................From all that, hopefully we don't wind up with idiots like "that woman" (Michele Bachmann) in the video running for public office with their ignorant backwards views about people.
Very sad but most countries have politicians like this.

There seem to be many different definitions of a multicultural society

If we take this one as an example "A country where anyone is free to express their language, dress, food, religion, customs, etc without persecution - while at the same time learning the dominant language and living by the rule of law of the chosen country including the freedoms given to women and children as opposed to their culture."

In this definition then USA is for me already a good example of a multicultural society, practically every State is different.

I found the message presented by Mrs Bachmann was confused.
At one point she says "not all cultures are equal" & at another point "USA is a land of equal opportunity" & finishes with "we all live together under God", or similar.

Such people are frightening......
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  #186  
Old 15.06.2011, 08:39
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

I just watched half of the Bachmann video. Disgusting.

For an American to say that not all cultures and values are equal, is like saying not all Americans are equal, considering every American stems from a different culture.

Heaven help us.
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  #187  
Old 15.06.2011, 09:00
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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I just watched half of the Bachmann video. Disgusting.

For an American to say that not all cultures and values are equal, is like saying not all Americans are equal, considering every American stems from a different culture.

Heaven help us.
Well I'm sure they'd say that potentially not all Americans are equal. A rapist, for example, they'd consider less than equal whatever the cause, cultural, mental etc. They're saying that if s country is going to stand for freedom everywhere then they're bloody well going to stand for freedom of expression everywhere especially in an age where you can build a bomb in your country and bring it into mine. They're saying respect is important but they get rather infuriated when liberal presidents extend hands of friendship to countries like Iran who have shown nothing but outward and inward aggression.

Personally, I don't believe all cultures are equal. I know theyre not. And the funny thing is, you don't believe all cultures are equal either. Saudi Arabia for example, discussed here before, is a culture which violently oppresses it's women. Is that "just as good" as Danish culture?
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  #188  
Old 15.06.2011, 10:11
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Well I'm sure they'd say that potentially not all Americans are equal. A rapist, for example, they'd consider less than equal whatever the cause, cultural, mental etc. They're saying that if s country is going to stand for freedom everywhere then they're bloody well going to stand for freedom of expression everywhere especially in an age where you can build a bomb in your country and bring it into mine. They're saying respect is important but they get rather infuriated when liberal presidents extend hands of friendship to countries like Iran who have shown nothing but outward and inward aggression.

Personally, I don't believe all cultures are equal. I know theyre not. And the funny thing is, you don't believe all cultures are equal either. Saudi Arabia for example, discussed here before, is a culture which violently oppresses it's women. Is that "just as good" as Danish culture?
Actually, that's hard for me to say. Of course, what we know of the most talked about aspects of Saudi Arabian culture is horrible, given that the thing we hear of most is regarding their treatment of women, on the other hand, we don't really hear much (in the US) about Danish culture at all.

One would assume that there is no suffering of such degradations that is deemed acceptable at all within Danish culture but as I know almost nothing of their culture, it really isn't fair for me to make an obviously uninformed comparison.

Meanwhile, having known some guys from Saudi Arabia back in my younger years, I think it's unfair to lump Saudi Arabian culture all into one pile. Not everyone is the same, not everyone is accepting of what we hear about what goes on there. Do the women have the same freedoms we do? No, but our women also do not have the same protections either. I don't think it is an even trade off for women, and neither did the Arabian man I was seeing, but that doesn't mean that I can not accept that there is some good there as well as some "bad" in my own culture.

I do know enough though to refrain from saying, or even thinking that our culture is better on the whole than theirs. What I do know and will say is that the culture I live in is better for me than it would have been if I'd followed my heart to Saudi Arabia 15+ years ago.
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  #189  
Old 15.06.2011, 10:17
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Hmm... I agree that I find cultures which are abusive to its locals infuriating and demeaning. One could use the Taliban as an example. However, I'm not sure if the Taliban is a culture or a sect.

Still, this Bachmann woman's rheotoric is alarming and appalling.

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  #190  
Old 10.07.2011, 22:05
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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So, as ya'll have seen (and some maybe looked away from ), part of why I don't tend to discuss politics much is because sometimes, people's attitudes make me flat out angry.

One example of such an individual is this woman who is apparently hoping to run for President.

....................................
Another example;
Michele Bachmann, the Republican presidential candidate, today signed a Christian conservative pledge that stated that African American children were more likely to grow up in stable families during the era of slavery than under President Barack Obama.

I suppose you get the Presidents that you deserve......
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  #191  
Old 27.07.2011, 17:48
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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I suppose I could choose any of your options at different times. If the "foreigner" (isn't everyone but the Swiss foreigners here?) is open-minded and truly interested in an exchange of ideas, then it can be a great opportunity for a good conversation. If their purpose is merely to antagonize and slam US policy without offering any intelligent support for their positions or alternatives to the policy, then it's a bit of a waste of time, isn't it? The main problem I find is that all too often the "foreigner" assumes all Americans support all the current American policies even though they don't hold the same support for their own country's policies.
I agree 100%.
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  #192  
Old 30.08.2011, 15:54
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Priceless??

"Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told Floridians Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the earthquake felt along much of the East Coast last week were messages from God to warn "politicians" to start heeding divine guidance, which she suggested is being channeled through small government conservatives."
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  #193  
Old 30.08.2011, 16:18
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Priceless??

"Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told Floridians Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the earthquake felt along much of the East Coast last week were messages from God to warn "politicians" to start heeding divine guidance, which she suggested is being channeled through small government conservatives."
My son gave me a copy of American Theocracy to read about 5 years ago. It's here beside me as I write I suppose I should read it!
I was put off by a Slate article ( in 2006 when the book was published) criticizing the book saying that the author:
Quote:
Phillips' argument is that oil dependency, Christian fundamentalism, and excessive debt are destroying the country. He is not wrong that these are dangers. But he wildly misunderstands, distorts, and overstates all of them.
Seems to me that if anything the Republican Party underestimated the threat of everything mentioned in the book. More worrying than Bachman is Rick Perry, everyone seems to acknowledge that he is stupid, but then so was Bush junior. My husband hopes that Perry gets in, to give the Bozos what they vote for, he thinks that the US public will learn, but that's what I thought with Bush junior.

More about Rick Perry:

http://theweek.com/article/index/218...oversial-rick-
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  #194  
Old 30.08.2011, 16:57
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Well I'm sure they'd say that potentially not all Americans are equal. A rapist, for example, they'd consider less than equal whatever the cause, cultural, mental etc. They're saying that if s country is going to stand for freedom everywhere then they're bloody well going to stand for freedom of expression everywhere especially in an age where you can build a bomb in your country and bring it into mine. They're saying respect is important but they get rather infuriated when liberal presidents extend hands of friendship to countries like Iran who have shown nothing but outward and inward aggression.

Personally, I don't believe all cultures are equal. I know theyre not. And the funny thing is, you don't believe all cultures are equal either. Saudi Arabia for example, discussed here before, is a culture which violently oppresses it's women. Is that "just as good" as Danish culture?
All societies oppress women, you have a perfect example in Switzerland where women earn less on average than men for the same work. As women we are often blinded to the ways in which we are suppressed by process of enculturalization. Now every time my daughter picks up a copy of Cosmo I groan, it is full of images that portray women as sex objects and articles about how to sexually gratify men. As a woman I am now at an age where I will no longer be considered promarily as a sex object, at first I feared that I would be on the scrapheap, but now I find it so liberating, I am free-er and happier than I ever was before.
My daughter was shocked when she went to Iran about how openly women talk about very confidential matters- masturbation, abortion, affairs things that we do not openly discuss. Also these women were very aggressive in business. It is a mistake to judge a culture by the ruling politics or what we read in the censored Western press.
My perspective was reinforced while watching Rula Jebreal on Charlie Rose. She is a Palestinian/ Israeli who wrote the book now the Hollywood film Miral. When I look at this woman I think ' then god made woman' Hopefully Cosmo will run an article on her without turning her into a sex object foremost.
Amyway I've posted a youtube if her talking about her book/film on the Israel- Palestine thread. She talks about women and education.

How come on this forum most of the discussions on politics or finance are mostly dominated by men. Are the women home watching the babies and cooking?Where are the threads about beauty products or fashion for men? People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, casting aspersions on other societies while venerating their own.

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  #195  
Old 31.08.2011, 09:27
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Now pathetic
"The Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann has insisted she was joking when she said a hurricane and quake were God's warning to Washington, in an effort to control the damage from her latest controversial comments."
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  #196  
Old 31.08.2011, 09:51
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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All societies oppress women, you have a perfect example in Switzerland where women earn less on average than men for the same work.
If it was possible to pay a woman less for the same work, what idiot would ever hire a man?

Tom
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Old 31.08.2011, 10:23
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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How come on this forum most of the discussions on politics or finance are mostly dominated by men.
You're posting in one that clearly isn't.
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People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, casting aspersions on other societies while venerating their own.
I don't think anyone will pretend Western society is oh-so-perfect when it comes to our treatment of women, but we let them work, get educated, and drive while other cultures don't. I feel pretty good about that, and don't see why I shouldn't.

And women being left to their own devices and maybe doing things that third-wave feminists don't approve of isn't necessarily a case of male-dominated enculturation (correct spelling, if ever). Although if the result is that awful Sex and the City movie in which our glamorous heroines discover that under their burkas, Arabian women are happy and get to wear Gucci after all, I'm all for a little more repression.
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Old 31.08.2011, 10:47
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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You're posting in one that clearly isn't.I don't think anyone will pretend Western society is oh-so-perfect when it comes to our treatment of women, but we let them work, get educated, and drive while other cultures don't. I feel pretty good about that, and don't see why I shouldn't.
I don't think we let them drive, let them get educated nor anything else. They decided that all by themselves.
And so what happens to/with women ist mostly a result of their own decisions, in front of the law there is absolute* equality.
(*with little exceptions in taxation, military, kids but that's something men, not women want to change)
If fewer women want to be engineers, fewer women actively plan their career, fewer women save instead of spend and more women want to work part time who are we to disagree?
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Old 31.08.2011, 10:59
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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I don't think we let them drive, let them get educated nor anything else. They decided that all by themselves.
It's the male enculturation talking!

But seriously, you know what I meant.
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Old 31.08.2011, 12:38
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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All societies oppress women
All societies oppress men, too, whether it is one run by a dictator, elected leader, King, Queen, or any other leader. Only the degree of oppression differs. Oppression is "the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner" and I consider it unjust to be governed by, well, let's just say "the kind of people who come to power" and leave it at that.

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you have a perfect example in Switzerland where women earn less on average than men for the same work.
Maybe. Stats? I can only give you one data point, which is that my wife, who does roughly the same job as I do, earns significantly more. And it really doesn't matter to me.

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every time my daughter picks up a copy of Cosmo I groan, it is full of images that portray women as sex objects
Men would hate to be treated as sex objects, I'm sure. Right guys?

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How come on this forum most of the discussions on politics or finance are mostly dominated by men.
They don't have to be. Even if there were a male/female restriction on posting in such threads, "nobody on the internet knows you're a dog" - meaning, whether you are male or female (or, indeed, a dog) is pretty much irrelevant here. In other words, if women don't post in those political/financial threads it is because they don't want to (for whatever reason), not because they are somehow being stopped by the evil-gender from doing so.
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