Ginny has a good post on Europe's misunderstanding of America. They don't "get" our individualism, our religiosity or our insistence that the government isn't the best vehicle for dispensing charity.
Of course, our culture and charity, as with our religions, tend to splinter and fracture- charities & literary magazines rise and fall. That bodes well for those of us who find such diversity fruitful, but as for so much that is American, our diversity may appear chaotic to outsiders and our open marketplace anarchic. I suspect, in some ways, it is. Some of our popular culture & our splintered denominations have their problems. Our popular culture has not always made this world a better place. But, in the long run, these quite various pieces demonstrate that it is in our diversity and individualized responsibility that the best of our values (as well as our art and charity) lie.
And to those uncomprehending and often haughty Euros, commenter John replies.
Sure, we’re tacky. I score about 40% on Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck test and I’m proud of it. Yes, I’ve shot a varmint out of my bedroom window. And yes, there’s been crime scene tape on my bathroom door.
But we have not given the world anything close to Marxism Leninism, Stalinism, or Nazism. Every time a Russian acquaintance starts going off about Russian Culture and European this or that, I remind them rather forcibly how little their “great” culture has done to curb their barbarism.