Perhaps an overused word. Is it anti-American to offer valid criticisms of the place, its consensus reality, its history, or foreign policy? People who use the term are quite often kneejerk individuals; an example is in the Fidel Castro node linked to this one, in which a non-hysterical writeup about a flawed man (and his equally flawed opponents) gets twisted and distorted into an endorsement. It's enough to make me become anti-American out of exasperation :)

A most certainly overused term. Anti-American has become the intellectual terror weapon of choice for the so-called right. It has replaced communist sympathizer in that regard, and joins the litany of debate killing words co-opted by the left, such as sexist pig, racist, and fascist. The vast majority of people who desire changes within America, love America.

Opposing one's government policy is not the same as hating one's country. Were abolitionists of the pre Civil War era Anti-American? Anti-American is a propaganda device. I tend to be very suspicious of people who invoke that label towards their opposition. It is never used against certain groups, even those who it clearly would apply to (according to the common usage of the term). The most Anti-American group ever to have lived since America was a nation are Native Americans. Native Americans generally opposed US government policy, policy which coincided with the popular opinion of the people. Don't hold your breath waiting for neocons to say that, though. They give lip service to injustices of the past, but learn few lessons from them.

Disliking cultural trends within the nation is also not Anti-American. Do we consider civil rights workers in the sixties to be Anti-American? How about pro life protesters of today? By the logic of some, anyone against fornication is Anti-American. If even 1% of the American public is genuinely Anti-American, meaning they wish America to either be destroyed or completely changed from its professed ideals, I would be shocked.

An`ti-A*mer"i*can (#), a.

Opposed to the Americans, their aims, or interests, or to the genius of American institutions.



© Webster 1913.

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