When people in other countries criticize the United states, it’s not all about “envy.” That’s an oversimplication meant to hide the facts of history. No one likes to be criticized. But criticism is a healthy thing if it is done constructively, pointing to facts. What is not healthy is denial. What is not healthy is nationalism or false pride. What is not healthy is swallowing propaganda hook, line and sinker (like they did in Germany throughout the 1930s and early 1940s).
The envy argument is the same one that many people in the US have taken from the very creation of the country — that the US is specially “blessed by God” and thus can do little wrong… and that when we do end up doing something terrible… well, we had the best of “intentions.” All that “collateral damage” the US military talks about (and the US media sells to the public)? It’s called slaughtering innocent people. But we like to cleanse our sins as much as possible in order to uphold the product being sold, which is called “American Exceptionalism.”
Many of the great Americans who refused to drink this Kool-aid and dissented were, at first, looked upon as unpatriotic, unAmerican, and dangerous. Now they are “heroes,” and we honor them. In their days, they were insulted and persecuted, but they remained true to their beliefs (like good Americans should) and they did not remain silent. I can think of a few notable ones — oh, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks with their civil rights movement and Susan B. Anthony and her women’s suffrage movement and Frederick Douglass and his anti-slavery abolitionist movement. All those anti-Vietnam War protesters.
There are countless others like these throughout American history who stood and refused to drink the Kool-Aid. Our Founding Fathers — Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, Mason and others — also refused to drink the English Kool-Aid in their time, and that is what made possible the establishment of the United States of America.
Criticism and dissent are wonderful things. They are the basis of a free society — which is exceptional. When people criticize their nation it is not always meant to simply be a pain in the behind; it is sometimes meant to point out what is wrong so that that wrong can eventually be corrected.