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-   -   Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless? (https://www.englishforum.ch/international-affairs-politics/115743-americans-foreigners-who-want-talk-politics-boring-annoying-harmless.html)

phdoofus 05.06.2011 22:15

Quote:

Not necessarily, but it's fair to assume that republicans tend to keep their mouths shut when behind enemy lines. ;)
Oddly, I know a couple just in my office....
I had to keep from snorting 'Wait..you left the US because you hated the direction it was going to come...here....land of Das Rool Book????' :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrVertigo (Post 1218988)
I can't remember meeting a US republican in switzerland. Is it fair to assume that most expat US in CH are democrats?

Not officially affiliated with any political party, thanks. Never have, never will. :angel:
Hate them, I do.

Quote:

Sport? Latin, I think.

Ask Faltrad - he's good at this sort of thing. :)
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was the part about 'getting on your tits' being the phrase in question. :D

Wollishofener 06.06.2011 02:48

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HollidayG (Post 1218702)
Most of the time, the discussion is a one-way critic of American policies.

Most of the people have no clue as to how the American society
and politics play a role in the lives of the average American.

Totally wrong, sorry but this is to be said straight on . When talking this my TX/LA relatives, upon my acceptance of the superior wisdom of the capitalistic TX ways and the LA wisdom of the LA socialist ways everything was perfect :D:D:D It was the same in military service in Graubründen :D
and is the same wherever ;)

st2lemans 06.06.2011 09:00

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrVertigo (Post 1218988)
I can't remember meeting a US republican in switzerland. Is it fair to assume that most expat US in CH are democrats?

No, I don't think so. Most I know are Republicans.

Tom

Raechel 06.06.2011 09:01

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
As an American who is actively involved in politics "back home", I am not against talking politics. What I don't like is the attitude that America is evil and all Americans drive F450s and play with guns. Most of these people have never been to the US and often never even met an American.

When I've tried to discuss politics and explain my beliefs (which in the US are considered pretty leftist) I'm told "Well you're the exception." Ugh. It just gets frustrating.

Anyway...sometimes I'd rather just drink a beer and talk about something trivial ;)

marton 06.06.2011 23:22

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raechel (Post 1219211)
As an American who is actively involved in politics "back home", I am not against talking politics. What I don't like is the attitude that America is evil and all Americans drive F450s and play with guns. Most of these people have never been to the US and often never even met an American.

When I've tried to discuss politics and explain my beliefs (which in the US are considered pretty leftist) I'm told "Well you're the exception." Ugh. It just gets frustrating.

Anyway...sometimes I'd rather just drink a beer and talk about something trivial ;)

As an ignorant Old Worlder I would never dream of discussing American politics with Americans, for example,
Sarah Palin on Paul Revere's ride: 'Hey British, we're coming'.
Might be tempted to have a little private laugh with other Old Worlders :D

I see some people are trying to revise Wikipedia’s Paul Revere entry; who said you cannot learn from the Russians & write revisionist history?

Scarsdale 07.06.2011 08:16

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
One of the most significant differences to me between living in Suisse and France has been that in France, people always wanted to talk politics. For fun. For a good debate. To laugh and exchange perspectives and learn something about one another and each other's countries. Yeah, people would frequently ask why in the world Americans voted for George Bush. But in asking me the question, I didn't usually feel put off. It gave me a chance to laugh and share my mutual bafflement.

Here in Vaud, I find people seem to feel it would be impolite to discuss such matters. Maybe specifically because I am American, I don't know. I have tried bringing up politics with my Swiss athletic team, but no takers. They seem to get uncomfortable. For instance, no one wanted to talk about DSK, or know about it, even in the height of the drama.

Most of the political discussions I've been able to stir up have been with French, Italians, and Dutch. As someone who is half Jewish American, half Dutch maybe the traditions I come from are different. Some cultures treat political discussions as an engaging past time. Others, many from EF apparently, seem to find political talk delicate and potentially unsettling.

I find talking about work and sports goes over well, and discussing one's weekend activities. But sometimes I am searching for another topic, and can't seem to hit upon something that works with folks here. It's funny.

Guest 07.06.2011 09:12

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sky (Post 1218700)
...As a child it used to be fun. People loved the States, they thought that everything American was interesting. People were curious about us and there was a feeling of empathy......Then in the 90s the emotion started to change, slowly at first as those who could remember WWII were no longer there or had been too young at the time.
The feeling was precipitated with the happenings on the world scene from 2001 all the way until Obama came to office.....

Actually imo the rot set in with Reagan and continued with Bush 1 as far as much of the rest of the world was concerned.

Quote:

I'm married to an American, and am gradually learning to love the immense hidden depths of culture that lie behind European stereotypes of the New World, but one thing I have learnt is this: don't even attempt to understand - or, for that matter, express an opinion about - their politics.

That is their business, and many Americans - even those with right wing tendencies - might well take offence at a foreigner trying to tell them what's right and wrong about the way they do things.

Best to stick to the wonderful music, the delicious food and the fascinating complexity of their nation, and leave the politics to those who actually have a right to vote there. ;)
Going back to this post on the other thread (more appropriate here, I believe), this is only partially true. The rest of us have a perfect right to comment on US politics to the extent it affects us and our lives, not only in the obvious area of foreign policy but also for example in things like economic affairs which has possibly a stronger impact on all of us.

What we don't have the right to do is blame individual Americans for the policies of their government. Unless they voted for Bush 2 of course!

Jimmy Bee 07.06.2011 09:14

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Isn't the saying, never talk politics and religion?

I have american mates and tbh I don't think I have ever discussed politics with them. They're nice and I dont want to scare them away :)

Plus I know bugger all about america anyway, just their influence on everyone else

Guest 07.06.2011 09:32

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

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...
Who talks about f+*king cooking at the pub!? Plus the yanks don't 'own' politics what Bol*cks is this? It is true that the Americans have a uniquely fair and representative system conceived by the greatest philosophical minds of the enlightenment, Thomas Pain, etc it is always interesting to see how such a system built on such lofty ideals has been thoroughly corrupted and hamstrung by the very people it was designed to protect and serve.

Plus YOU are the foreigner here son...

simon_ch 07.06.2011 10:00

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Not necessarily, but it's fair to assume that republicans tend to keep their mouths shut when behind enemy lines. ;)
Switzerland seems to be the favourite country of several US Republicans though, Ron Paul (libertarian) being among them:
http://www.primarilypaul.com/2007/08...she-responded/

But also when it comes to gun ownership Fox News likes to cite Switzerland. In terms of social liberties I would like to think that the mainstream in CH has probably more in common with the Dems, but that doesn't stop the Reps from seemingly admiring Switzerland, its independance and federal institutions.

edit: oh and sorry for the OT, won't happen again.

grumpygit 07.06.2011 10:02

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
If I was a Septic, and some ignorant pommie git started to get on my case about "what a moron that george bush is " or "how many of you lot have actually got passports " I think I would probably be redirecting my nukes pretty bloody swiftly. After all where is the justification for the holier than thou attitude ? Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling? Cam and Clegg ?
Which European or for that matter any other nation can claim moral high ground over the USA? well none . Not even Iceland.Even the Swedes, those peaceful ,women in charge bastions of fairplay dropped the ball over Wikiwhatisname. So I reckon its a very American " No Mate, No No No No. Its very annoying for them.

Guest 07.06.2011 10:08

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grumpygit (Post 1220406)
If I was a Septic, and some ignorant pommie git started to get on my case about "what a moron that george bush is " or "how many of you lot have actually got passports " I think I would probably be redirecting my nukes pretty bloody swiftly. After all where is the justification for the holier than thou attitude ? Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling? Cam and Clegg ?
Which European or for that matter any other nation can claim moral high ground over the USA? well none . Not even Iceland.Even the Swedes, those peaceful ,women in charge bastions of fairplay dropped the ball over Wikiwhatisname. So I reckon its a very American " No Mate, No No No No. Its very annoying for them.

Ah but you're not a septic so you can't decide for them either. There's Americans who are quite happy to discuss politics, others who prefer not to. Just like the rest of us really.

grumpygit 07.06.2011 10:10

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Ah but you're not a septic so you can't decide for them either. There's Americans who are quite happy to discuss politics, others who prefer not to. Just like the rest of us really.
Just sayin` thats all :msnthink:

Guest 07.06.2011 10:11

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonnyLaRock! (Post 1220389)
It is true that the Americans have a uniquely fair and representative system

Now this one does get on my tits. There is nothing uniquely fair or representative about the US system. Better than some, sure (the UK for example), worse than others because of the lack of PR. Remind me again, what % of the vote did GWB get first time round?

amogles 07.06.2011 11:09

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Speaking as a Brit, and one who first visited the USA only 4 years ago (and that on a business trip), I have to say that I think the US is a great country, at least from a tourist perspective and have gone back three times since. I won't attempt to pass judgement on what it's like to be there all the time as I do realise that being in a vacation mood tends to make things appear nicer than they are to those who have to put up with them every day. Whenever I visit a foreign country, I'm not the type to go and see all the tourist stuff but I try and see what is typical and everyday. So I've never been to New York or San Francisco or Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon but have been to a fair number of smaller maybe less glammy places.

One of the things that makes the USA so instantly likeable is that it isn't really totally foreign. Ever since I was a kid I was confronted with pictures and scenes from America in movies, on TV etc and it's quite interesting to see that a lot of that is real, and not some sort of caricature or setup (which would put it in contrast to a lot of what you see of Britain or Europe portrayed in British or European movies which in my opinion is often constructed, exaggerated, romaticised or caricatured rather then the real thing).

Many Americans I talked to (and many of these were salt of the earth working class types who maybe didn't have a top education or knowledge of world affairs) were quite happy to discuss their politics and mostly it was them that started it. Also, I had the impression many of them (and this includes people from both sides of the political spectrum) were often apologetic about the USA, and more apologetic than they needed have been towards me because they often saw their own country more negatively than IMHO was objectively appropriate and aplogised that certain things weren't as well organised or as nice as maybe I was expecting (although I wasn't at all critical and actually liked what I saw) and several also warned me about "other Americans" who were maybe not as friendly or open as they were who I migh meet later, but I never did meet any of these nasty Americans I was warned about. So on the whole my impression was that they were very open and liked to discuss their politics (regardless of their party affiliation) and often overly apologetic of things hat they perceived as being wrong or badly managed.

marton 07.06.2011 11:18

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 1220462)
Speaking as a Brit, and one who first visited the USA only 4 years ago (and that on a business trip), I have to say that I think the US is a great country, at least from a tourist perspective and have gone back three times since. ................... So I've never been to New York or San Francisco or Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon but have been to a fair number of smaller maybe less glammy places.
.............................

About "the US is a great country, at least from a tourist perspective " I agree I just figured out I first visited around 40 years ago & many times since. I have visited New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon & many many more great places.

Lejoker 07.06.2011 12:56

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
As somebody mentioned earlier, it is seldom a discussion between an American and non-American. Rather, it is a critique of American policy and of the person's values, family and mentality. Oftentimes they ascribe violence to the American before them.

But not only, as I find myself sometimes confronted with what seems to be a series of accusations of having an imperial agenda to conquer the world etc etc
In brief, Americans are the people of the wild wild West who are blood thirsty and wish the world ill.

Dougal's Breakfast: what we get from non-Americans isn't their opinion, but rather a reproachful approach.

miniMia 07.06.2011 17:01

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lejoker (Post 1220609)
Oftentimes they ascribe violence to the American before them.

Ignorance more often than violence.

Sometimes we go out with a group of people where French is the common language. I'm the only American and I'm the ONLY one new people will ask "Oh, but do you speak French?" when we are introduced. It makes me want to kick them especially since I speak more languages than most of them!

And the Argentines love to say "Oh, but you don't know that your gov't was involved in.... " :rolleyes: "Yeah, I knew that before YOU did!" Grr!

Guest 07.06.2011 19:56

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonnyLaRock!
lord alone knows what

Huh? Did you read the OP or did you just imagine what it said and proceeded from there? :confused:

esto 07.06.2011 20:20

Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 1220949)
I'm the only American and I'm the ONLY one new people will ask "Oh, but do you speak French?" when we are introduced. It makes me want to kick them especially since I speak more languages than most of them!

Do it, show 'em you're really American :msncool::p;)

As for me, I'm American, and I don't even want to talk politics within my own family, much less with strangers in a different country who have never even visited the US :msncrazy:. I just smile, agree with whatever their viewpoint is, and change the topic as quick as possible ;).


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