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2005-03-21 - 8:40 a.m.

Is it just me?

Recently I've started to feel like the good old U.S. of A. isn't all that she used to be. Neither is the old grey mare, but I realized the other day that, for the first time in my lifetime, I don't feel like the United States is a superpower anymore. I realize that we can probably still be considered a superpower, but it sure doesn't feel like we are one. At least to me.

To me, it seems, we have aggravated a lot of the world recently, arguably some of it deserved and some of it not. But I have friends in Europe that tell me that America and Americans themselves are just not very well liked anymore.

It's kind of a weird thing for me to feel this way. Ever since I was a kid, America was The Shit. Now some people just say we are shit. Or "shite", as those zany Brits tend to say. I've grown up through America going to the moon, the Cold War with Russia, the Gulf War (you know, the first one), and America has always seemed like the place that the rest of the World had wished that they had been born.

I've always been very proud of being an American, and I always was glad that I was born here rather than anywhere else. We've always been very proud and strong as Americans, and the majority of the World seemed to be behind us in that sentiment. The phrase "The American Dream" has probably been used on every land mass on the planet, albeit sometimes with an odd accent. And when September 11, 2001 happened, the World (minus the Taliban) seemed to embrace us and commiserate with our tragedy. Even after that happened, I still felt like we were a country to be reckoned with.

But lately, I feel like the World doesn't so much respect us anymore. I kind of get the feeling that they're laughing and pointing and blaming.

And jacking up oil prices because we pissed them off.

So, I suppose it may just be me.

Maybe no other American else feels this way.

Maybe no other American is concerned with travelling abroad, for fear of how they will be treated.

Maybe no other American is berated by Europeans for this country's foreign policy.

Maybe no other American is in fear of losing their technology-related job to subtantially cheaper labor in India.

Maybe no other American has noticed how weak the U.S. dollar is against other currencies from around the world.

Maybe no other American is tired of having to pay more than $2.00 for every gallon of gas that they have to put in their car in order to drive to the two separate jobs that they have in order to put food on the table for the family with which they now don't have enough time to spend.


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