I don't live in America, I live in Belgium. And I'm very glad to live here.

Why?

Well, simply because the things I've heard, read and seen about America don't really attract me to the land of the "free". In fact, from what (mostly American) people tell me, America is anything but the land of the free. 

I know that America has some problems with general healthcare or social security or something (I'm not really strong in all that kind of stuff, but it does sound bad), and that a lot of politicians in America are straight out liars and cheaters.

Sure, Belgium has a very bad political situation at the moment, we haven't had a government for 6 months now, but still it's better than the USA in my opinion.

I still have a lot of questions about America, and I thought -since most of you are American I suppose- I should ask you guys here. So here I go.

 

- Is it true that a big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants?

- What exactly is going on with that healthcare/social security thing?

- Do you guys notice any religious overshadowing?

- How is your economy?

and last but not least:

- What reasons would you give me to persuade me to come to America on holiday?

 

PS: forgive my poor English. =/

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Oh, I see.

And I immediately got an answer to ALL my questions, brilliant. :)

Good thing California is not in the places I shouldn't visit. :p

 

Cool pictures! Yeah I've only been to blue states in my life, never left the country nor been to a red state, I feel like I need to experience both the foreign countries and the red states though at some point. It's on my list of life goals lol. But yeah everyone I've ever run into in all of the blue states have not been nearly as racists/homophobic/anti-atheist etc. as I've read/heard about.

 

 

It's worth noting that most of the biggest national parks are in the red states. There are demographic correlations between sparsely populated geographic areas and conservatives, vs population centers and cosmopolitans/liberals. Generalizing even further, I'd say that most traditional/stubborn/fundamentalist people almost by definition tend to care a lot more about their local area and culture, and a lot less about the rest of the world (except in xenophobic terms). Yes, I know these are extreme generalizations.

Almost all the National Parks are wonderful, and many are just epic.

I'd also recommend some blue states for geographic sightseeing; Yosemite and the desolation of Death Valley and Lassen Volcanic in California; you could even combine some of the southernmost Canadian parks with a U.S. trip, like Banff; a warm water experience like skin or scuba diving in or around John Pennekamp State Park in the keys of Florida (but lodge in a larger city).

 

Hee hee... my best friend and I used to make a game of counting roadside Baptist Churches in North Carolina and competing to see who could find the crappiest one.

 

First year I won after finding a baptist church set up in a back-yard shed with a collapsing roof. lol

yellowstonepark... it's seems so awsome.  but is it really?  Has anyone ever been there?

Yes!  Yellowstone is awesome!  Great hiking and beautiful scenery.  Totally worth a trip

A big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants.

heath care is hard to get in our economy these days...we finally have a leader who wants to give us free health care, but the rich republicans want nothing of it.

Christiany is certainly the majority religion here. and yes, if you are anything but, you WILL be judged for it.

Our economy, like mentioned earlier, is bad. jobs are hard to find.

Honestly, the only reason I could give you to see America is because we have an interesting history. that's about it.

My brother has been to the gay pride rally in Washington D.C. and has multiple gay friends even though he is straight - he is into theater and singing and encounters a larger number of gay males in those venues, even in his high school. He went to Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland (Southern Maryland), one of the most "prestigious" public high schools in the country where there are tons of Jewish people, Christians, Muslims, and non-religious people, people of various races, etc.

 

I went to Fallston High School (also a public school) in northern relatively rural Maryland. We had no gay people in my school - which is to say, they were all closeted. Everyone was Christian and white.

 

My brother went on field trips to Scotland and Disney World in Florida.

 

I went on field trips to "Slateville" in Pennsylvania (I'm not kidding) - they have a LOT of cool slate there, lmao, my Earth Science teacher LOVED it, we also saw the woods where they shot the waterfall scene in the movie "Tuck Everlasting" - that was actually in my county in Maryland. ;) And we went to "Hershey Park" in Hershey, Pennsylvania on field trips in 8th and 12th grade, I love that amusement park. ;) 

 

My school wasn't bad, we learned evolution like it was the fact that it was, it was understood that schools were secular, no teachers tried to make us pray or anything... we did have to sing Christmas songs on chorus, even religious ones, but usually there was one Hanukkah song to even it out lmao... etc. Surprisingly the county I grew up in was all conservative/republican, but I mean... I went to C.C.D. at my Catholic Church and my religious education teacher told me "sure the pope says that birth control is wrong, but we all use it anyway". Lmao. That was sort of the sentiment in my area. MANY people didn't really show up to church except on Christmas and Easter. Etc. ;)

 

I don't know how racist/anti-immigration/homophobic/etc. people are/were but I know I had a Mormon friend who actually was secretly pro-gay rights, she'd never admit it unfortunately, but she and her mother both agreed that it wasn't a "choice" to be gay, and well... I don't know what to say except I felt like I was in a pretty accepting area and people were pretty liberal. Granted my whole family is liberal and tolerant/accepting so it makes it feel like everyone is but idk I didn't encounter too much horribleness growing up, that's all. ;)

 

 

 

- Is it true that a big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants?

 

No, not really.  You may find large geographic portions of the country are anti-gay or prejudiced against gays, but not a majority of the population.  Areas with greater population densities trend towards a more progressive and liberal outlook that would be more familiar to Europeans.

 

- What reasons would you give me to persuade me to come to America on holiday?

 

Well, I can say that most foreigners that I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with during their stay in the United States really did enjoy themselves.

Gay people - Yes, the religious reich would generally prefer to execute them or force them into "re-education camps"

Healthcare - The American congress has altered the original health care plan beyond all recognition or usefulness. Did the original planners look at how it's done in Brazil, Japan, or anywhere else? I doubt it. Isn't it odd that every country in the world with a freely-elected government has a healthcare plan for all of it's legal residents except the USA? Even more ironic, the USA provides free health care to everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan, including terrorists in training. But for it's own citizens, nope.

Social Security - Despite the shortcomings of the current system, it would be financially secure for decades to come if congress didn't keep "borrowing" the money for other projects. (read pork-barrel)

Religious overshadowing - Are you kidding? The USA is essentially a theocracy. No one has any chance of being elected to any office at any level unless they give at least lip service to religion. Most of the laws, customs, and practices of the USA have their roots in this theocracy.

Economy - It was good and even showed a surplus until the country became engaged in two counter-productive wars. Then the surplus was spent and billions more thrown away. Then when the banking meltdown occurred due to the greed and financial irresponsibility of a few, they were rewarded with bail-outs paid for by those who acted responsibly and reasonably.

The auto-industry was devastated because the were building an inferior product. With capitalism, that should mean they would go away as other auto companies have done in the past (Studebaker, Reo, American Motors) Instead, they also were rewarded for incompetence and stupidity with more bail-outs paid for by guess who?

Come to see America while it is still there. Please bring money, lots of it.

Well, I have gotten a lot of very interesting answers so far. What I've really noticed, is that there is so much diversity in the answers. Except for the social security and healthcare question, those answers are basically the same.

But are there any statistics or something about the first and third questions? 

Thank you so much! :)

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