POV | America's Image Needs a Makeover (11/7/13)
In the past 15 months I've had the privilege of visiting Cuba, Vienna, Berlin, Ukraine, Turkey and Spain. And after speaking to many of the locals, one thing I've noticed is that the United States isn't held in awe like it used to be. You and I may believe we live in the greatest country in the world, but the rest of the world doesn't seem to share that opinion as much as they used to.
The problem is, America simply no longer seems to project the pure, heroic, admirable image it once did. Before the demise of the Soviet Union, we were seen as the good guys who defended the virtues of freedom, honesty and fair play against the Evil Empire.
But now that we're really the only super power left in the world, our once mighty standards seem to be eroding as we adopt many of the shadier traits of our former enemies.
We lose credibility when we not only practice illegal wiretapping, but we do it to some of our strongest allies.
We lose stature when we engage in the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques regardless of how evil our enemies are.
And we lose respect when our petty political infighting brings not only America, but the entire world, to the brink of financial chaos.
Nations around the globe used to happily count upon America to serve as the world's police force. But now, I'm afraid many are concerned that the fox may be guarding the henhouse.
Because while we used to stand for integrity and compassion above everything, now it sometimes seems we'll stand for just about anything.
I still believe the good in America far outweighs the bad. But we're talking about image here. And if we don't start being more careful about the one we project, all the goodwill we've earned over the centuries could easily be squandered.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.