Some people put themselves on such a high pedestal. They claim "some cultures have made better choices and decisions over time and have raised their standard of living as a result."
I'm not sure if they are really not aware this is a very arguable statement, or they just pretend not to know it. Many people say some cultures have become what they are by exploiting others as in colonization, or by wiping out indigenous cultures... I won't argue because there is no point. I care about principles. And the basic principle is that visas are a discrimination, it's racism. It's wrong and unbelievably "obtuse" to parcel the world into countries and then forbid people who themselves, their parents or spouses have not been born there or let in on conditions. You may disagree, that's fine.
On the other hand, they label a whole continent of people as "self-centered, fanatical, relatively ignorant, angry, undemocratic, and intolerant of others." That is not very fine.
"The indigenous cultures of the Middle East who are self-centered, fanatical, relatively ignorant, angry, undemocratic, and intolerant of others."
I would never ever say "ignorant, egoistic, fanatical Americans" as such a generalization would be unfair and would be an insult to the many very smart and nice Americans. It would be unfair and unjust to put them together in the same basket as some who definitely seem to be very ignorant, just because they were born within the same vast geographic area that has happenchance been bunched together by an imaginary line. By the way, that area, the Middle East, the place they despise, has been settled for a long long time and has a very deep and rich culture (sorry to say but one that Americans may never have) and along with the fanatics houses the most naive, the most welcoming and caring peoples in the world. They open up their houses, share their food. They see you are a foreigner and want to welcome you the best they can to make you feel at home. Elderly women call their sons who speak English and pass you the cellphone to ask if you need anything. (Observation, similar experiences confirmed by other independent travellers.)
Coming to the point... It's useless to argue with someone who has such a high self-image of himself/herself. Especially when it is not even his/her doing but a group identified higher self-image. When someone keeps using the same bumper sticker "Some cultures," (that is them...) "have made better choices and decisions over time and have raised their standard of living as a result" and they are just so rightful, they only "wish to exclude the influence of cultures which have consistently made stupid choices and decisions." (Of course these are the others. Don't you know? The “backward” ones.)
Such people, making such claims, will never look at their past to accept that they were barbaric to the indigenous people of the land they're sitting on now. They will never accept any kind of imperialism or colonialism and the effects those might have had. Even though there is a very famous award winning book called "Guns, Germs, and Steel" they will never even accept the tiniest possibility of geographic, climatic and environmental influences which may have favored some communities over others. They will insist their "great culture" is the product of ingenuity, but will never consider to be the product of opportunity. They will never accept that "their" wonderful culture is now responsible for most of the environmental damage that is affecting the whole world.
This "We are superior" discourse... is not new or specific to some Americans or Europeans. I know that discourse very well. We were raised proud of being the grandchildren of the glorious Ottoman Empire. Good. So what? What did you do to earn glory yourself? Is it enough to inherit it? Do you inherit it? Does glory of your ancestors pass on to you by way of sperm and egg, through your DNA? I know there is a saying "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." (We have the pear version of the same saying. "The pear falls right underneath the tree.") But it's not so true when it comes to people you know... You cannot extrapolate the behavior of fruits to people :) By the way, there is a very nice book about that by Andrew Solomon called "Far From the Tree." It is a good book about parenting and to see different sides of the human psyche. Check it out.
"Everybody wants to come here," they think.
"No, I don't," you say listing the problems in their land. It is such a blow to their ego that they label you as "US hater, suspect." I would never accept such an accusation. I don't hate any country, not even North Korea or any other place you may deem “hateable”. I don't distinguish between people or countries as a whole. In fact, I find the very idea of that idiotic. But that aside... It is very interesting to be labelled so just for stating things that are true.
So, if you do not adore them, pumping up their self-image, you are bad.
No, everybody doesn't want to come over there. That's your self-conceit. People generally like their home, we like the place where we are born, where we grew up, where we have memories, where people talk our language, share our values... Exceptions do not break the rule. It's not only the Americans or the Europeans that are bothered, the people immigrating are bothered too by the movement. There are people of course, who want to go to America or come to the EU, but many people are or were fine where they were living and would like to go back if they can.
And the ones that are coming by will are coming because there is work t/here, because you pay them because you need them. But you don't want to accept that. The basic thing is fear. Fear of losing jobs, fear of being assimilated. The Indians did not fear, they did not block the entry of foreigners to their lands. Because they had not set up the police force necessary for such things, and look what happened to them? They don't exist anymore. So, as "Americans" have done this unto someone else, they are now afraid somebody else might do it unto them. Rightfully so...
Talking about pedestals... Some people put themselves on such a high pedestal that they cannot see what they're supposed to see... Aaaah, unrelated but shall I tell you another story? When our daughter was small, my husband and I were arguing about the need for a passport with a photo for a baby. I had the Turkish ID (no photo), I insisted I could go out with that.
At the airport, going through immigration, I told my husband to keep our daughter's passport in the bag. He'd take it out if asked. You know what? Lara was on a stroller at the time. The immigration officer, as their booths are placed high so that they can overpower us, didn't even notice her. I just pushed the cart through... Right under the eyes of the immigration officer. Without showing any paper at all.
So much for smuggling children!