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I don't love the United States of America anymore (or maybe it was never there...)

astarisborn94

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*sigh* :frown: It hurts me to say this, it really does.

Like other Americans, I've been told that I live in the greatest country in the world. I've been told that America is a place for opportunity, where hard work is rewarded with a decent living and a bright future. I've been told to be enthusiastic about supporting my country and to trust that our government will do the right thing. And I've been told that I wouldn't want to live anywhere else but here. Yet when looking at the current status of America, I don't feel anything resembling affection for my country.

Every morning while I was at school (elementary, middle and high school), before class started for the day, I among many other students were told to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Under the Pledge of Allegiance, I am suppose to swore by this country, to fight for liberty and justice for all, and to believe that we're a country under God (what?). Literally almost every day we had to do this and each time, this repetition became more irritating. The value of these words I'm supposed to believe in have been devalued to the point where I simply don't believe in them anymore. They've just became words to speak every morning and nuisance to take up the first few minutes of class. Not having to say it anymore at college was a godsend for me.

Having been in college for nearly two years, I have been going back and forth on what I want to do with my life. I still haven't decided on a major yet, but I've considered various science majors like microbiology, engineering, video game designing, etc, although only recently have I realized my interest lies more in something related to traveling the world, exploring the world outside of the bubble I'm in (the USA) and doing new things with my life. And at this same time, I've been wondering for year why that affection for the USA I once had wasn't here anymore and why I felt so ambivalent towards the country. I then realized the truth; whatever love I had for this country was artificial at best, instilled by the US government to condition me to accept what was a flat-out lie.

Nothing indicates that the United States has earned it's title as the greatest country ever; even in the 1950s during the "American Dream" era, minorities were strongly discriminated against economically and politically and were treated as second-class citizen. It especially can't claim the title now. Today's America is a very pessimistic bunch; it is very common to hear people never trusting anything the government said (and they're right). A couple of days ago, while I was eating lunch, I was overhearing a conversation by a few people and one of them stated that the government was cloning humans. I found that to be nonsense and told them that but they were insistent that the government was hiding the cloning of humans because they didn't want to upset the religious people and have a war started because of it.

While all of the "cloning human" business seems very implausible at best to me, it's not hard to see why people resort to such extreme pessimism about the government. We have not seen a government that can be considered trustworthy by many since the Clinton administration. With disasters like Benghazi, the NRA scandal, the War on Terror (the irony), the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and the national government frequently lying behind our backs, how can any rational person be optimistic about the government? Unless the person is liberal, a person who doesn't mind being on hand-out, or a LGBT person, chances are you hate how the government is being run today. Heck, I'm a bisexual (mostly gay) male who's known to be naive and I don't trust my government at all (I'm also on social security, but I hate being reminded of it. At least I actually have a job I guess).

The education system in American's public school is embarrassing in regards to first-world countries. Many students today have no desire to learn because they were not taught the value of education properly by their parents, but also a big problem are the schools themselves. Many public school place too much emphasis on extracurricular activities and not enough on critical areas like social studies, writing, math and science (especially the latter two). I've had quite a few teachers that could not teach effectively and it showed because they failed to engage the students into learning. It frustrated me that some teachers spent half of the classes disciplining kids and thus wasting valuable time that should be spent teaching us what we need to know going into the real world. If I were to ever have kids, there is no way I would put them through public school when education is declining in America by the day.

I also find the notion of the USA being this amazing defenders of freedom to be a joke. Just because I am an American doesn't mean that I'm fooled into believing that we're #1 in morality. Every country is susceptible to committing or at least allowing horrific acts to occur and the USA is no exception of this rule. We have seen the USA support Augusto Pinochet, who made 3,000 of his opponents disappear, We have seen the USA allow Saddam Hussein to go on his savage reign of terror for too long. Pol Pot was supported by the United States, despite the fact that he killed at least two million people during his reign. The United States supported these terrible regimes because they served the U.S. interest, not because of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And after all of this, after how disappointing the government has been for the past thirteen years, with such a weak education system by first-world standards (at least in the public sector), the USA supporting terrible regimes and other issues the country face on both domestic and foreign grounds, I'm still expected to believe that we're the greatest nation on Earth? I'm sorry, but I find this notion to be ********. Aside from the fact that there are no such thing as the greatest nation ever, even if I were to mention one to be the greatest today, I definitely wouldn't say the USA is that country. Realizing this truth has eroded whatever love I had for the country and resulted in me feeling indifferent about the country. I feel as I am here because I was born here, not because I desire to be here.

In a way, this reminds me of my artificial commitment to Christianity when I was younger. Looking back, I was a Christian because I was raised as one, not because I wanted to be. When I was a teen, I began questioning the religion I grew up in. Then two years ago, I realized that I didn't really believe in the Christian faith so much as I was told to because of fear and dropped that for good. Since then, I have been an agonist (though I have looked into Buddhism and Shintoism lately), although I have not told anyone in my family about it (and don't plan on doing so anytime soon).

Unfortunately, however, moving to another country is a much, much more complicated process than changing religion (which was already a difficult thing to change) and I don't even know if I will even move in the first place. There's also the matter that the realities of the current countries that I would want to immigrate to must be considered. I myself would love to move to Japan someday. Aside from some of my favorite pieces of entertainment coming out from the country as well as my strong interest into diving in into Japanese anime, manga and video games (as least older ones), I also love the traditional music and the culture the country provides. Living in Japan would be like going to a new world and one I want to be part of. Unfortunately, there is also the problem of poor gender equality in Japan, as well as bad working balances and the strongly xenophobic nature of native Japanese makes immigration very difficult.

What particularly concerns me is the fact that Shinzo Abe is in power. It's pretty clear that Abe wants to militarize Japan and if his visit to Yasukuni visit is any indication, he definitely doesn't care about the people that put him in charge so much as he cares about his own self-interest. Japan (along with China and North Korea) also fails to realize that it has the potential to launch a devastating war that makes the wars in the Middle East look like child's play, potentially involving us in the worst war since World War II. If anything could keep me from moving from Japan, it's definitely the threat of militarization. It doesn't help that the secrecy law is in effect (which stifles civil rights) as well as the government white-washing Japanese history. But at least I can say that I have affections for Japan for other reasons than because I was told to at a young age, which is a big reason why I am hoping that Abe does not get his way with militarizing Japan (which unfortunately is a real possibility) so that I can start working towards moving there someday even with being aware of the issues surrounding this country.

Don't get me wrong here, I don't hate the USA (I find the concept of hating countries to be absurd). I strongly respect its history and the numerous positively accomplishment it has made over the the 237 years the country has been alive.. I also remember the great American men and women in our history that have changed the world for the better and realize that when looking at the world today, this is one of the better places to live. I also don't plan on revoking my U.S. citizen even if I did move to another country.

But I just don't have any love left for today's America. It seems as today's government have forgotten why the United States was made and with a declining education system and being lied to about how this is the greatest country ever, it leaves me with no patriotic spirit for the country. To me, the USA is just another country, I definitely wouldn't call it my country, just happens to be the one I live in. And frankly, I don't really believe in the country anymore.

I apologize if this sounds whiny/unappreciative, but I really wanted to get this out. At this point, with the world being as unstable as it is, perhaps it would be better if I find something else that can't be found by country lines (and I don't mean material goods).
 

nahadef

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Everyone on the planet who doesn't live in America knows America isn't the best place in the world. Americans sometimes have this strange belief that people in other countries believe, "We're #2 !" Leaving your own country is a good thing for most people to do. Leaving your country is a great thing for Americans to do. Help get some perspective on things.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I have not read all of your post yet astarisborn94, but based on what I have read so far I think I can say you are a few steps beyond your brainwashed peers who could not even dream of saying such things. That said, this is just the beginning.

Now you have to ask question like what it means to love one's country and why do people love countries anyway? I think its like loving any home. The place you grew up could be a tin shack, but if its home to you, its home. You love because its grown on you. You have memories there. You don't love it because its perfect. Nothing is perfect.

You also have to ask, what is greatness? Some people can only measure it by wealth and power, especially military power. Those Americans like that will surely say America is great. I don't care what such shallow people think. I despise those types of people and they are the biggest case against America's greatness.

I love America for its many great things in history. America did start a world revolution when it comes to freedom. A lot of governments were forced to take notice and grant their citizens more freedom. America might have been late to both world wars, but at least America effectively ended them. America has accomplished great things in science, such as in space travel and medicine. American movies and TV, while not all gold, surely contains the best of the best. American authors, like Mark Twain, George R.R. Martin, and Stephen King. The hippies were a great sub-culture. Great men like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. And so much to do in America.

But there are things I hate about America, chief among them the government, the military full of war loving cretins and the greedy capitalists who ensured the military would be grossly overfunded and bleed our coffers dry. America's wars since WWII have been an embarassment to me. As as you say, people being brainwashed at school with the pledge.

In short, I think if you think on it more, you may find reasons to love America. But I think you may never find a reason to love the government. Once you learn to separate the two in your mind, things may get clearer.
 
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I don't have the time to respond to every point in your manifesto, but will address one of your last:

"At this point, with the world being as unstable as it is. . . ."

The world today isn't unstable. There are parts of the world that are unstable, but for the most part the world is more stable than at most times in our recent history.

Try growing up in the Cold War, where your school ran drills to simulate response to a nuclear attack. They had us hiding under our desks. Now those were unstable times.
 

Uncle Frank

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Russia's Putin seems like a nice guy , maybe try living there a few years and then compare it to the US.

Uncle Frank
 

Uncle Frank

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Putin and 98% of Russians are gay and just won't admit it , LOL.

Uncle Frank

Oh oh !! A car load of Russian mafia just pulled into my driveway. I was just kidding guys !
 

nahadef

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Russia's Putin seems like a nice guy , maybe try living there a few years and then compare it to the US.

A lot of people living in Russia are very happy there and love their country, but all the same, it's pretty disingenuous to recommend a country known for a lack of democracy and human rights (and a lower standard of living) if they don't love America anymore. Why not suggest living in Canada, France, Belgium, Norway, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K.... many countries that have so much of what's good about America, and so little of what's bad.

It's pretty sad if the way you want to make America look good is by comparing it with Russia.
 
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Certainly, any one of those countries listed by nahadef should suit the OP very well. Within a few years, he'll probably realize all he's lost and want to return to the US.

Also, one should consider that all of the listed countries have it as good as they do because they've happily lived under the protection of the US for the last seventy years. I doubt they'd have funds left over for those admirable social programs if they had to bear the true cost of their own defense.
 

astarisborn94

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I don't have the time to respond to every point in your manifesto, but will address one of your last:

"At this point, with the world being as unstable as it is. . . ."

The world today isn't unstable. There are parts of the world that are unstable, but for the most part the world is more stable than at most times in our recent history.

Try growing up in the Cold War, where your school ran drills to simulate response to a nuclear attack. They had us hiding under our desks. Now those were unstable times.
I wouldn't say that the developed world is stable. In East Asia, instability has been rising over the past few years with China, Korea and Japan being especially hostile to each other. Japan recency passed the secrecy law back in December, 2013, which is seen to limit civil rights and there is also the possibility of Japan militarizing itself with Abe in power (which is concerning for a great many reasons). The world has also went through its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. As for the United States, we've sat through three disappointing terms (two under Bush, one under Obama) and it's likely that Obama's second term won't be much better. I'm not saying the world is getting worse every day, but I wouldn't say that the developed world is stable either.
A lot of people living in Russia are very happy there and love their country, but all the same, it's pretty disingenuous to recommend a country known for a lack of democracy and human rights (and a lower standard of living) if they don't love America anymore. Why not suggest living in Canada, France, Belgium, Norway, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K.... many countries that have so much of what's good about America, and so little of what's bad.
It's pretty sad if the way you want to make America look good is by comparing it with Russia.
To be fair, Frank was almost certainly being sarcastic about that suggestions.

As for the the countries listed, those are the types of countries I'd be looking at moving to (should I get the chance). If you asked me where I would move to now, it would be either Australia or Japan (though I am going to do more research before deciding where I would want to go should Japan become a militaristic country) mainly because I am interested in the culture of both countries.
 

nahadef

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To be fair, Frank was almost certainly being sarcastic about that suggestions.
I know. But you have legitimate issues with your country, and too many Americans don't think that is a reasonable position. It's not one that deserves a sarcastic (I used the word disingenuous) answer.
 

Mark of Zorro

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Certainly, any one of those countries listed by nahadef should suit the OP very well. Within a few years, he'll probably realize all he's lost and want to return to the US.

Or he may realize all he has gained and stay! It all depends on what you value. And no,we don't all value the monetary prosperity and guns as much as some people. And many of us wonder how we ever considered bothering with American women. Feminine women are easily gained just by leaving the States and heading just about anywhere!

Also, one should consider that all of the listed countries have it as good as they do because they've happily lived under the protection of the US for the last seventy years. I doubt they'd have funds left over for those admirable social programs if they had to bear the true cost of their own defense.

Canada, Switzerland and Australia have certainly not needed defending in that time period, nor am I aware of any payments for defense to the U.S., real or imagined.

You could hark back to WWII for Norway, Holland, Denmark, Belgium and France but that was a long time ago and since WWII the American presence in and around had become less and less necessary until it was clearly unnecessary after the fall of the U.S.S.R. For Japan its been nothing but an expensive rip off to have America here. And even for those other countries, those who have paid to have America, it seems they paid more than they would have on their own.

In fact, if America had come earlier to many fights, Western Europe would have been up on their own two feet much faster. As a Johnny come lately, I would not beat my chest so hard.
 

alecgraham

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I think it’s quite normal to feel disillusioned with one’s country when you’re in college, whether you’re in the Vietnam War era or the Age of Edward Snowden. I certainly had negative thoughts when I returned from school in London to the U.S, which is my home and birthplace. And America has its warts, just like every other country.


nahadef wrote: Americans sometimes have this strange belief that people in other countries believe, "We're #2 !"
This is the only part of your post I disagree with. I’m not saying it’s not true, but I have never heard anything like that, even from the “we’re #1 ” crowd with which I am quite familiar. And how about that crowd? I don’t think America should be judged by that meme anymore than Koreans who cut off their fingers at protest rallies, than Iranians should by judged by those who shout “Death to America!” or anymore than Egyptians should be judged by the actions of Mohamed Atta.

I also think that as long as other nations criticize the U.S., it assures me that we’re still near the top. Whether or not we’re abusing that power is debatable; I’m sure we can do better. But, if we’re at or near the top, we’re going to take flak whether or not the number one’ers remain vocal.

We do have the #1 economy for now, and the strongest military, for now, and I think we have enough scientific achievments and other “#1 ’s” that there’s always going to be that obnoxious voice rising to the top. Those of us who are quiet are not heard because, well, we’re quiet.

When China is #1 you’re going to hear the same bluster, if not more and mark my words— I’ve always said this — you’re going to miss us, World.

Bluster is the small stuff. If China’s actions in the South China Sea are any indication, the world is in for a lot of hurt if and when China overshadows the U.S. in economic power and military might. And, it’s looking likely.

RolandtheHeadless wrote: Also, one should consider that all of the listed countries have it as good as they do because they've happily lived under the protection of the US for the last seventy years. I doubt they'd have funds left over for those admirable social programs if they had to bear the true cost of their own defense.


I totally agree, but some won’t realize this until everything falls apart. Everyone marvels at how Costa Rica has no army and I think that’s great, but guess what? No U.S., no Costa Rica without armed forces.
 

nahadef

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This is the only part of your post I disagree with. I’m not saying it’s not true, but I have never heard anything like that, even from the “we’re [URL=https://jref.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=1]#1 [/URL] ” crowd with which I am quite familiar. And how about that crowd? I don’t think America should be judged by that meme anymore than Koreans who cut off their fingers at protest rallies, than Iranians should by judged by those who shout “Death to America!” or anymore than Egyptians should be judged by the actions of Mohamed Atta.
The #2 thing was an extrapolation from the #1 doctrine ;) Of course, it's a pain to write 'some' in front of Americans every time I write it, but no, I don't think it is something every single American says. I imagine the sentiment was much more common 60 years ago. These days it's a very vocal percentage of the population, ironically, the types who often think they have the market cornered on Americanism.
 

Lestat84

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I agree with the OP 100%. Since probably middle school I have known that the USA is not the place for me. I can't live in a country that indiscriminately spies on its own citizens, and even kills its own citizens with drones and labels those killed in collateral as al-qaeda even though they were civilians. The USA has become the greatest threat to peace in the world, and has become a draconian state that is headed towards dictatorial rule. This country's government can't even abide by its own constitution. The transgressions and hypocrisies, as well as other innumerable crimes cannot be ignored by any intelligent citizens. I am ashamed to be an American to be honest. I know that I will go to another country in the future, because I don't want to be a part of a country like the USA. My recommendation for the OP (as well as the country I want to go to) is Finland. Denmark is also a really great country. But Finland has the best education in the world. Both countries have great infrastructure and stable economies, politics, and independent journalism. They have the best standards of living and the happiest citizens in the world. There's something to be said for that, and I believe that the world should aspire to be like them. Turret are the closest to an ideal society I can think of.
 

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Good, you questioned your society in your teens to twenties. Now it's time to question your peer groups. You have to realize that you are jumping from one band wagon to another. I have seen a million (exaggerated) posts about specific 20 year olds that decide they hate the US and want to live in Japan, apparently because it's full of pop music and anime... There is nothing new there.

Just make sure that when you punch your mother and tell her you hate her, that you are not still sucking on her tit at that time. You are still going to college right? Well, that's a product of our country.

A clear solution would be to travel more. Go to any given 3rd world country and drink their water and get parasites, get MRSA from their sleeping habits, and try to get back before being kidnapped for ransom. Seriously, there is a reason so many try to sneak into the US. There are far worse places out there and relatively few places that give anyone freedom to be bisexual, or to even vote a moronic representatives into office. Maybe it's time to get out there and realize that it's possible that you are just a spoiled brat.

Nothing personally addressed to you; this is a just a note to the mainstream group you have decided to join. I would not be surprised if this was the only contrasting argument you get here (Japanese anime, pop music and race queen forum and all). Just keep in mind that a majority doesn't make the argument right or wrong.
 

nahadef

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Go to any given 3rd world country and drink their water and get parasites, get MRSA from their sleeping habits, and try to get back before being kidnapped for ransom. Seriously, there is a reason so many try to sneak into the US. There are far worse places out there and relatively few places that give anyone freedom to be bisexual, or to even vote a moronic representatives into office. Maybe it's time to get out there and realize that it's possible that you are just a spoiled brat.
Yup, those are the only two choices in the conservative right wing fantasy... America or the "3rd world"... Not surprising that Brian Lewis yet again doesn't know what he's talking about. Switzerland is "3rd world". The term he thought he was using was "developing countries." Even then, it's a piss poor comparison. The OP might be very happy being somewhere even if it doesn't have 300 channels on demand. America does have good universities, maybe someone needs to study...

Maybe that's a harsh critique of BL, but "punch your mother?" "spoiled brat?" If you don't love America, is that the logical conclusion one draws?
 
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It really is just a matter of personal preferences. Some of us Americans like to live in other countries, and some people born abroad want to live in ours. Judging by the 11 million illegal aliens we reportedly have in this country, there are a lot of citizens of other nations who disagree with the OP's preference.
 

nahadef

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Was the OPs opinion that America is the worst possible place in the world, or that he was disillusioned with it and wanted to be elsewhere?

I don't want to live in America, but given the choice between that and North Korea, I would take America hands down.
 

astarisborn94

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Good, you questioned your society in your teens to twenties. Now it's time to question your peer groups. You have to realize that you are jumping from one band wagon to another. I have seen a million (exaggerated) posts about specific 20 year olds that decide they hate the US and want to live in Japan, apparently because it's full of pop music and anime... There is nothing new there.

Just make sure that when you punch your mother and tell her you hate her, that you are not still sucking on her tit at that time. You are still going to college right? Well, that's a product of our country.

A clear solution would be to travel more. Go to any given 3rd world country and drink their water and get parasites, get MRSA from their sleeping habits, and try to get back before being kidnapped for ransom. Seriously, there is a reason so many try to sneak into the US. There are far worse places out there and relatively few places that give anyone freedom to be bisexual, or to even vote a moronic representatives into office. Maybe it's time to get out there and realize that it's possible that you are just a spoiled brat.

Nothing personally addressed to you; this is a just a note to the mainstream group you have decided to join. I would not be surprised if this was the only contrasting argument you get here (Japanese anime, pop music and race queen forum and all). Just keep in mind that a majority doesn't make the argument right or wrong.
Apparently, not seeing the USA as the greatest country in the world and giving out legitimate grievances, being disillusioned and wanting to move to another country means I'm a spoiled brat who spend his days being a worthless otaku down in the basement playing video games/watching anime/reading manga.

My reason for wanting to move to Japan is most definitely not solely because of anime/pop music (and I'm not even all that interested in the latter); if these were the only source of interest from Japan for me, I wouldn't be thinking about moving there and would just be content with getting Japanese skills good enough to consume these products.

But my interest in Japan goes far, far beyond that. I am a person who is interested in seeing the world and what it has to offer, not wanting to be restricted to one country (especially not the state I'm in). My hope for a career is that I will obtain a job that encourages traveling across the world and picking up new languages to learn. When it comes to countries that interest me from a cultural perspective, Japan comes out on top. I have a desire to learn anything and everything that is to know about Japan. I love traditional music that is provided in Japan, so much so that they provide a sort of a stress reliever when I get stressed out about the BS of life. I am also currently learning Japanese. I love learning it not just because I love Japan, but because I enjoy the script and incorporating them into gradually more complex sentence; it's like writing down a picture which forms a story. Most importantly, I want to immerse myself in Japanese culture and to meet new people who live differently from most American, and the best way to do it is to go to Japan for an extended period of time. Living in Japan has been a dream of mine for years. All that needs to happen is for Shinzo Abe and his cronies to be kicked out (before they end up destroying the progress that has been made since World War II to make Japan a better society) and I will then proceed to do anything to make Japan my home, even if it means living on just enough to support myself and only myself.

I know that Japan isn't anywhere near perfect and never will be (hence why I said there will never be a thing as the greatest country in the world). I am aware of the inevitable discrimination I will face as a foreigner, I am aware of the gender inequality issue, I am aware that the government will most likely be **** (government sucks in general; it's just that democracy is the best form of it and that government is a necessary evil). I am also aware that I will most likely be living off of less than I would in the USA and that I will experience a cultural shock if I were to move to Japan. But my reason for wanting to go isn't because of economic opportunities, but because of how much I love Japanese culture. As long as I have food, water, clothes, shelter and the ability to learn what I desire to know, I don't really need anything else. Been thinking of living a life with less "stuff" on me anyway.

Also, I go to college in America for education and most importantly, to learn more about this world we live in. It doesn't mean that I'm going to be living in this same country for the rest of my life; if anything, college has broaden my perspective on this world and made me realize that America isn't the greatest country in the world and even if there was one, America isn't it. I also don't need someone to suggest to me to throw myself into a third-world country to "appreciate" America, I already get an idea of how bad things are in countries like North Korea, Somalia and Central African Republic.

Throwing me in with the typical weeaboo who gets fat on Doritos and junk food while screaming "KAWAII!" in public is quite a premature conclusion.
Was the OPs opinion that America is the worst possible place in the world, or that he was disillusioned with it and wanted to be elsewhere?

I don't want to live in America, but given the choice between that and North Korea, I would take America hands down.
Definitely the latter. While America is a better country to live in than most countries in this world, same can be said for Canada, Australia, European countries and, for now, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The fundamental problem I have with America is that I was lied to about how America is the greatest nation in the world and how the world envies us. And what's worse, the USA is the most powerful nation in this planet with the largest economy, so this country has the potential to be the greatest in all important areas. The fact that the USA falls so short of this goal has left me very disappointed and indifferent towards the country.
 

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Nothing wrong or weird with you.

I think it's very common for us to question life in our twenties. I always wanted to go to Japan for reasons I could not really explain. While in US Navy school , I was told the top 3 in our class could choose our 2 year duty station. I busted my butt for 6 months and came in number 2 at the end of school and chose Japan to serve. It was during the Vietnam war and having access to top secret documents showed me our country and president were lying every night on the news about our actions in the war area. I gave a lot of thought about deserting and hiding out in a tiny Japanese village. I checked into giving up my citizenship and becoming a Japanese citizen. I loved Japan and it's people so much that first year and a half and lived off base with my Japanese girlfriend and really felt hate for my country and fellow servicemen I worked with.
By the end of my second year in Japan I found myself wanting to go home to the US and realized living in Japan forever was not for me for many reasons. I think we all have times in our lives when the grass looks greener somewhere else far away.

Uncle Frank
 

Mark of Zorro

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Nice to hear Uncle Frank, as someone with first hand experience, tell us all how the government and military leaders lie.

But I say again as I have said many times; the government and military leaders are NOT the country and only represent the country in the most rudimentary sense. You can still love the country for its culture, people, food, landscape, etc. while hating the government and military.
 

edogaijin

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I am proud to "be an American" and to "act like an American" in Japan. Because I am an American, and not a Japanese person. And I never want to be Japanese, learn their customs or act like them in any manner. Living here requires me to do absolutely nothing other than my local taxes.
 
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