Things I’ve “learned” from Americans about life in Germany…

This week, two different people in the United States have informed me about what life is like in Germany. Both of these people are ardent Trump supporters. One lives in North Carolina and the other lives in Texas. One is a man, and the other is a woman. From my brief social media interactions with these two people, this is what I’ve “learned”…

  1. Most Germans aren’t allowed to own guns because of Hitler.
  2. Only rich Germans can own guns.
  3. Germans are envious of Americans because we can own guns.
  4. Not only can’t Germans own guns, but neither can Brazilians.

When questioned about these ideas, the man who shared them wrote this:

I’m going on what citizens of Germany are telling me. I also have friends from Brazil I have taught to shoot guns & are not allowed to own in Brazil. The highest crime rate cities such as Chicago have the strictest gun laws. It does not add up. My wife runs a gun range & has some very interesting stories from people from other countries that are very glad to be in our great country.

…look up info on any site other than Wikipedia & you will find the same information unless it’s like Joe Biden said ” we must believe truth over facts ” lol

I’m talking to two guys from Brazil that have only been here two years. I think I believe them over something on internet.

Since I am a real person who lives in Germany, I decided to interject. Germans can own guns. It’s just not as easy for them to own them as it is the average American. They have to pay a lot, and prove that they are both sane and know what they’re doing. Consequently, there’s a lot less violent crime here. But the gentleman from North Carolina wasn’t moved. He wrote this:

I like to hear from real people and not something you read on internet. How many innocent people are killed by knife or other weapons? When I was working in Mexico I had some friends there tell me only the cartel and police had guns. The common working people were not allowed ownership. The crime rate was still bad in a lot of areas. I was told from another guy from Germany that there were a lot of Muslim extremest flooding into Europe?

Um… I am a real person. I freakin’ live here. But apparently, to this guy, I’m just “something you read on internet” [sic]. Are there Muslims here? Yes… and I’ve actually seen a lot more in Wiesbaden than I did in Stuttgart. But they don’t bother me, so I don’t bother them. Most of them are not extremists. And knives can be deadly, but it’s a lot harder to kill a dozen people in minutes with knives. Incidentally, knives are also restricted here. So I wrote back to the guy and explained as much. He didn’t respond, which was wise of him.

Here are a few more things I learned:

  • 5. Muslims are overrunning the cities.
  • 6. We can’t get medical care and doctors deny our treatments.
  • 7. Crime is rampant.
  • 8. Liberals are “anti-American”.

The woman I “met” yesterday wasn’t as wise, and she and I had a brief online row until I decidedly it was pointless to continue the conversation. She says liberals are “anti-American”. She laments socialism as a non-viable way to run a country, but I saw little evidence that she knows what socialism is. In fact, I think she may have confused it with communism, which is a common error among Americans.

What’s very unfortunate to me, though, is that those who comment on socialism and communism are typically not even old enough to remember the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc, and most of them have never done any reading on the subject or even traveled outside of the United States. They tend to parrot what they hear others say, even if someone who is actually living the reality tries to tell them differently. The “others” they are listening to tend to be political pundits, friends, family members, and others who are spouting off stuff from a narrow perspective and limited lens. I don’t think it’s wrong to listen to other people’s opinions, but it’s probably best to balance those opinions with facts and comments from people who have actual experience.

According to this Texas resident, Germany is loaded with Muslims who are taking over all the cities and infesting them with crime. She claims no one can get medical care, and no one feels safe here. These revelations came after I explained that I like living in Germany, where healthcare is affordable and I don’t worry about being shot when I go shopping or attend a concert. These were her comments about what life is like in Germany these days… I copied and pasted, with no edits.

WOW. You are the only person in Germany that I know that feels safe. Muslims overrun the cities. Crime has skyrocketed. You probably can’t even get in to see that Dr and they have the right to deny your treatments. But true – there is not medical debt. 

I am genuinely happy that YOU are happy where you are. But again, those are YOUR opinions and YOUR experiences. 

I am SO thankful to have a former pussy grabber in office. His crimes are less than many before him and after him. We don’t need a lying politician in office. We need a business man that can’t be bought. 🇺🇸💪🏼

PS Socialism does work. Never has. Never will. It is not the governments job to care for me. It’s mine.

Who is this chick hanging out with in Dallas who has experienced all of this? I’ve been in Germany for five years. So far, I’ve marveled at the quality and affordability of medical and veterinary care we’ve accessed here. It’s true that dental care is expensive, but it’s top quality. And we have never had problems getting appointments, nor have we had a doctor deny care.

Is there crime? Yes, of course. But it’s not typically violent crime of the scale that has become commonplace in the United States. And I have seen no evidence of Muslims overrunning the cities, either. They are more visible in some areas, but as long as they aren’t breaking the law, I don’t see why their religious beliefs should concern me. I may not agree with what they believe, just like I don’t like Mormonism, but as long as they’re peaceful, I feel like we should live and let live.

I will admit that my response to this lady was a bit snarky because, frankly, she pissed me off. These were my comments.

Umm… no, I am not the only one who feels safe. That is nonsense.  😀 Are there Muslims here? Yes, there are. But they do not “overrun” the cities. On the contrary, most of them are perfectly decent people. Is there crime here? Yes, of course.  But the crime here doesn’t result in multiple innocent people being killed. As for medical care, it’s excellent and affordable. You clearly have no idea what you’re writing about. Too bad.

As for MY opinions and MY experiences, I feel quite free to share them, since A. is my friend, too. Freedom of expression and opinion is a very American value, or have you forgotten? At least when I write about Europe, I write from a place of personal experience rather than reading too much right wing propaganda.  

And I think it’s very sad that you like having a rapist in the White House… that’s all I’m going to say about that. Your standards are clearly very low.

So she came back with this.

Thats what I’m trying to communicate with you. That your neighbors are having difference experiences than you are. 

I’m so glad you are sharing them! I never asked you not to! I’m not writing from a place of propaganda. Do you know me and my experiences? 

Awkward. Hope you didn’t vote for Bill Clinton!! 😳

(They always trot out Bill Clinton when they assume that, just because I think Trump is a scumbag, I am also a Clinton fan. News flash– I’m NOT. Although I think both Clintons are way more competent and appropriate White House occupants than Trump could ever be.)

Actually, I did not vote for either of the Clintons, not that it’s any of your business. My neighbors are Germans. They seem pretty happy with life over here.

Most of the Americans I know are also pretty content over here, too. You are writing from your ass.

But she wasn’t going to give up telling me how life is in Germany. So she wrote this:

And now we have reverted to name calling. Alright! Thanks for the “intellectual conversation!”

Where did I namecall? I wrote that she was writing from her ass and didn’t know what she was writing of, because it’s very clear that she doesn’t have personal experience to back up her opinions. There is a difference between calling someone a derogatory name and criticizing an action. I didn’t call her a name. I criticized her for sharing other people’s uninformed opinions as facts. She responded by making a snarky crack about “intellectual conversation”. Well, it takes two to tango, right?

Then she came back and made a comment about how I don’t speak for Germany. So I wrote this:

But you wrote that I was the only person you know who feels safe in Germany. I am telling you that I know a lot of people who feel safe here. How is that “speaking for Germany”? I don’t speak for anyone but myself. You are the second person this week who has told me how things are in other countries when it’s clear that you don’t have any personal experience. Even if I only listed my husband as someone else who feels safe in Germany, that would still be more than one person, right?  

I like living here. I feel fortunate to be here. Doesn’t mean I don’t love America, but living in other countries has given me a new perspective and changed my mind about a lot of things. And truly, I don’t worry about being shot when I go shopping or attend a concert. I don’t worry about going bankrupt if I need healthcare. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good… even if there are a lot of Muslims here. They’ve never bothered me, so I don’t bother them.

At this point, other people were glomming onto the conversation, most of whom are even more liberal than I am. Truth be told, I don’t think I am that liberal. I am for having someone run the country who isn’t solely about alienating our allies and enriching himself. I don’t care if it’s a Republican, a Democrat, or a third party, as long as he or she is competent and cares about other people. A friend who works with people from Europe basically backed up my comments, so I closed with this:

As for sex offenders in the White House, I think it’s wrong. I didn’t support either of the Clintons. I don’t support Trump. I would like to see us elect someone who could get a security clearance if they were a “normal” person instead of a reality show star/celebrity who has no experience and cares only about himself. Trump never should have been allowed to run. He is a disaster, in my opinion, of course. Anyway… I will let A’s other friends continue with this. I’ve got to go wash my hair.

Washing one’s hair is code for, “I’m out of this unproductive conversation. I’ve got pubic hair that needs to be frosted.” Frosting my bush is about as productive as trying to have a conversation with a Trump supporter. I get that he’s the Republican incumbent and people feel like they need to support him, but for Christ’s sake, he truly doesn’t give a flying fuck about you. He doesn’t. He doesn’t even care about his wife. He raped the first one and cheated on numbers one and two. And it’s plain that Melania can barely stand to be near him. Half the population is female; why aren’t females more concerned that an admitted sex offender who brags about grabbing women by their private parts is occupying our White House? There wasn’t another person in the United States available who could serve as the president and keep his hands to himself?

But our Kool-Aid drinking fan who doesn’t want to hear about my real life experiences IN GERMANY had to have the last word… So here it is:

I dont think you are reading my posts. I said YOU DONT SPEAK FOR GERMANY and I DONT SPEAK FOR AMERICA. There are millions of people in both places with different opinions than ours. So. No. I didn’t tell you how things are in that country. I said that there are other people who don’t have the same thoughts you do. 

You ARE the only person I have spoken with that feels safe in Germany. Many of my friends have moved to America to escape Germany. That doesn’t mean I am trying to belittle your experience. We are BOTH pointing out the same thing – that different people have different opinions and experiences in the same countries. 🙈

AGAIN – I am very glad that you feel happy and safe!! I feel happy and safe in America. That doesn’t me me wrong and you right. That makes me an individual with the right to express my own experiences.

(Notice that as she crows about her “right to express [her] own experiences”, she insults and “shouts” at those who try to express theirs. I also think she missed my point entirely, but I have a low melting point when it comes to strangers on the Internet who have tunnel vision. I’m not spending all day trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced. It’s a waste of time.)

Here’s a tip. When people type in all caps at me, I stop reading. There is no need to shout. Ditto for those who use multiple exclamation points, especially when they can’t spell, form actual sentences, or use proper punctuation. Resorting to all caps and multiple exclamation points is rude, and a poor communication style. Throughout the thread, this lady was constantly complaining about people responding to her as if she is “an idiot” (her word, not mine). Respectful communication is a two way street. Don’t want me to think you’re an idiot? Don’t respond to me like one.

I would not be surprised if she’s heard from one or two right wingers who honestly didn’t like Germany. My guess is that they are military folks who wanted their Sunday football, Sunday shopping, and right to carry their weapons in public. I know there are servicemembers who hate living in Europe because they can’t have free access to their guns at all times without cutting through a lot of expensive red tape. I also know wives of servicemembers who don’t feel safe because they can’t carry their guns with them to the Lidl. In America, I can see why someone would want to pack heat in public, but it’s simply unnecessary here.

I would rather live in a place where I don’t have to worry about some lunatic spraying crowds with gunfire simply because he’s mad at the world. I like living in a country where I don’t have to worry about going bankrupt when I get sick, and I don’t have to avoid seeking justice because I can’t afford to hire a lawyer. I like being in a place where hard working, intelligent students can go to university without being saddled with onerous debts that take the rest of their lives to pay off.

I think we should have some safety nets for people who fall on hard times and need temporary help… or permanent help, if the situation calls for it. Not everyone has family and friends to lend a hand. We make a big deal about suicide and abortion prevention, but we don’t make it easy for people to choose life when they are faced with extremely tough choices. I think we should provide more for people who are in trouble and need help. I think it’s worth paying more in taxes to get those things, although I think affordable healthcare is a much more pressing issue than affordable higher education is. If those aren’t American values, I think they should be… and I say that as an American who, at least for now, still has the right to freedom of expression and opinion.

I think Germans and people from other countries can teach Americans a whole hell of a lot. The arrogance and ignorance of some of my countrymen is astounding, embarrassing, and profoundly tragic. This lady was slightly more articulate than the man from North Carolina was, but neither of them seems to understand that if Donald Trump weren’t a celebrity billionaire who bought off the Republican party, he could not have so much have gotten a low level security clearance. And yet we trust him with the codes to our nuclear weapons. It’s astonishing how truly blind some people can be.


2 thoughts on “Things I’ve “learned” from Americans about life in Germany…

  1. dle says:

    It’s been my experience that trying to talk sense into Trump supporters never works. They are part of a cult that sucked their brains out a long time ago. I just hope there aren’t enough of them around to get him elected again.

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