Monday, August 01, 2005

Anti-Americanism is Waning

With the UK seemingly still in the grip of huge waves of anti-American feeling, (even now after all this time, watching any stand-up comedy program on BBC 1-4, you just have to wait for the first mention of the word "America" or "Bush" and watch the audience fall over themselves with utterly unabashed and completely baseless, ill-informed mirth ), it really looks as we here on this tiny isle may be amongst the last to realise that this hugely unfunny joke is actually wearing thin.

Even in countries where the US is characterized as the Great Satan, things are changing quickly. A poll reproduced in the LA Times describes how the US star is rising again in places such as the Lebanon, Jordan and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, we have to put up with this sort of appalling journalism from the BBC. E-mail correspondent Michael Mason, points out that "what the article doesn't mention is that the filibuster in question was Robert Byrd's attempt to defeat the Civil Rights Bill. Yes, THAT Civil Rights Bill--Martin Luther King and all that. And Robert Byrd was at one time a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan, so not quite the loveable character suggested in the article.

"The BBC often seems to prefer a simple picture of US politics in which the Republicans are always the bad guys and the Democrats are always the good guys, so they don't tend to emphasise anything that messes that simple picture up. In reality, the Civil Rights Act was supported by the Republicans and the northern Democrats, and opposed by the southern Democrats: this doesn't fit with the perception of the Republican party as racist ultra-conservatives and the Democrat party as supporters of equality-for-all".

Thanks for that Michael.


Anonymous said...

a timely reminder as had completely forgotten that myself!

Daryl Cobranchi said...

Except that the analysis fails to take into account Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy of '68. The GOP courted the segregationists. That drove the African-American vote to the Dems and created the perception that the GOP is the party of racism.

Carlotta said...

Hi Daryl,

Ah yes...but you know, I would be happy to call a spade a spade, if this were actually the case, and I knew to a reasonable standard of evidence that it was one, but UK perceptions of the GOP are not based upon such subtle distinctions as evidence and knowledge of history. Instead many of us have formed the entirely prejudicial view that the entire Republican party is full of either rednecks or religious nutcases, who are constitutionally incapable of a single subtle thought. There has never been any real basis for the formation of such an opinion, other than a long-term fashionable trend to denigrate America.

If we were to reverse the situation, it is rather as if most Americans believed that all Brits were snarling, contemptuous bastards along the lines of Alan Rickman and Simon Cowell..