Most Americans believe that God is with America, right or wrong. Most Americans believe that America is a beacon of light, a paradigm of goodness, a defender of righteousness, a paragon of morals, and a uniquely gifted nation in a world of evil, terrorism, and immorality.
Many citizens of other nations see something quite different, and have done so for almost a century, and certainly for the past half century. Many citizens of the world see an America that was slow to enter World War II, slow to respond to the atrocities Hitler and his minions enacted upon the European Jews, and quick to profiteer from arms and equipment sales to the "allies" during the early stages of that war. Huge American fortunes were made during that era, while simultaneously allowing the military and economic weakening of the European allies, which strengthened America’s hand in becoming a "superpower" after the bloodletting of the war.
Since that time, many world citizens have watched America enter countless armed conflicts and insurrections around the world, with one overall strategy in the grand plan — strengthen America’s economic and military influence in the world, and allow America’s economy to grow at the expense of democracy, wealth-sharing, and goodwill of peoples in all inhabited continents of the world. As a result, America has superceded the former role of "superpower" and entered a new elevated role as military "hyperpower" of the new millennium. Countless lives have been sacrificed in order to make this possible.
Another alienating factor which tends to separate Americans from other citizens of the world is the unique American perspective of value of American lives and property in comparison with lives and property of any other nation. Americans have been known to say quite commonly that the loss of one American soldier or citizen is worth more than many lives of citizens of any other nation. Consequently, Americans are quite willing to indifferently tolerate atrocities, mass murders, even genocide of Ugandans, and Cambodians and Palestinians. However, if an American soldier is shot in the act of perpetuating American domination of Somalia or some other target for American intervention or imperialism, Americans react as if the national security was at stake.
Americans can tolerate and do tolerate incessant lying by their own government. Americans tolerate massive corruption of the democratic process at home by allowing money and wealth to control and purchase elections. American tolerate endless promiscuity, pornography, and philandering of government officials. Americans readily tolerate corporate greed that manifests itself in air and water pollution, which shortens lives and degrades quality of life. Americans are so caught up in the web of wealth-building and purchasing consumer goods on credit, that they are simply unfocused on questions of morals and ethics. Lying is no big sin. The biggest sin in America today is expression of morality.
Americans are only outraged when they perceive themselves as "under attack" or when American lives (even in small numbers) are lost in battles in which Americans take large numbers of "enemy" lives. Enemies are declared such, not by morals or principals, but by opposition to American greed and imperialism. The "War on Terror" creates terrorists, who then become worthy of death, even if the root cause of their "terrorism" is opposition to American imperialism and economic warfare/ now so often resulting in literal warfare with bombs and bullets instead of simply bankers and bureaucrats.
As the world’s human population expands, as natural resources become more and more objects of international competition, as petroleum access becomes more competitive and expensive, and as human impacts on earth’s natural processes, as by global warming, become more serious and dangerous, the barriers between America and Americans and the rest of the world can only increase. Other nations, which formerly were intimidated as trading partners with America, will have a different view, because literal survival as nations may be at stake. Lives will be in the balance, as well as bank portfolios.
The world will undoubtedly become a more unstable and dangerous place, and Americans will increasingly become more impacted and less exempted from the day to day impacts of natural resource competition that have long ruled the lives of the less wealthy.
The Twentieth Century was undoubtedly the American Century. The twenty-first Century cannot possibly be an American Century, and the Pax Americana is looking more and more unstable and likely to end in disaster for Americans. The ancient proverb "You reap what you sow" bodes poorly for America and Americans as the new millennium develops. Other citizens of the world can see this development, but Americans are still largely blissfully unaware. That bliss is based on ignorance, and a wake-up call is sure to interrupt the bliss.