Wednesday, June 09, 2004

What happened to our brand?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an astronaut. As a child, I loved jet fighters, space probes, rocket boosters and the like. I grew up in England, but always wanted to come and live in America. I loved the "brand". America, though not perfect, was always the biggest and the best. Besides, whose footprints were on the moon?

Not all of my friends were in love with the USA. A lot of Britons resented American style. To the British, the stereotypical American was loud and unsophisticated, though friendly. There have always been facets of American culture or history that were worthy of criticism, and many British people took some pleasure in pointing them out. Even so, most Britons respected the United States, and were proud of the great partnership the two nations have had in the Twentieth century.

Like me, millions of people around the world wanted to emigrate to the United States. And it's wasn't just because of the strong U.S. economy. It was because they too believed in the brand. The American dream. They hear Superman speak about "Truth, Justice and the American Way", and it doesn't sound corny. Okay, it sounds corny, but it rings true.

The day I became a U.S. citizen, was perhaps the proudest day of my life.

Today, George W. Bush and his administration advocate pre-emptive war, torture, corporate interest above human interest, commerce above environmentalism, and religious fundamentalism.

Allow me to enlighten you, Mr. Bush. In the business world, this is called polluting the brand. What you advocate isn't what America stands for.

George, when you lose your job in November, we'll go back to the American way. Who knows, perhaps in 30 years, our brand will be back where it was before you came into the White House. Then again, the world has learned that we're only ever four years away from having another incompetent CEO in the Oval Office.

On a related note, Welcome to America

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