Take a look at Sorry Everybody, a site where thousands of Americans (and people of other nationalities) have posted photos of themselves holding notes of apology to the world for Bush having been re-elected into a second term in office.
The default initial derisory response quickly gave way to a growing sense of poignancy and ultimately wonder as I looked through a few dozen of the images. Pictures such as that of a mother holding her infant son in one arm and a note in the other stating that she didn’t want this state of affairs for her son, and nor for the rest of the world, are hard to view with anything but a slightly awkward sense of compassion, and perhaps eventually some empathy.
The world as a whole, at least in the last number of years, has settled into a comfortable habit of summing up that entire nation as “bloody Americans”, and often with very good reason with respect to the US government, but browsing the gallery of apologies, I admit to at least some small sense of hope.
We of the increasingly cynical World Outwith America are guilty of automatically classifying all Americans as loud-mouthed, unintelligent, mostly overweight, spine-tinglingly jingoistic, zealously evangelical Christian idiots with a universal firearms fetish, grotesquely bad manners, contempt for the rest of the world, and an average vocabulary of around 1,000 words (not including trademarked names). Sorry Everybody is perhaps a timely reminder that Americans are not, in fact, a different species, and that almost half of them actually voted against the current administration and all the terrors it will likely unleash upon our planet during the next 4 years.
America, it’s certainly not ok, but I do acknowledge that you’re at least trying. For better or for worse, and whether by choice or not, we do seem to be in this together.