Answer by Florence Lince:
Knowing that only 30% of the American population has a passport it helps to ask a question to these people first; Do you have a passport and have you ever used it? If they say yes I ask to where and how often have they traveled. Their comments are then more relevant to the argument.
I have also seen that the longer your family roots have been placed in the US – lets say you are the 12th generation of your family here in the US – the less likely one is to want to travel. There is no family pull or feeling of needing to see where your ancestors came from because they came from the US. The US is also a very vast and large country and it could take a lifetime to explore it well.
And cost is a factor as to why so many do not leave the US and hence have a distorted view of the US importance. It is how they treat the tourists however that gives the US its worst reputation. Many American's are not tolerant of many people who come here to visit and treat them badly. I have seen Americans treat locals badly in foreign countries and I have apologized for them and explained that not all Americans are like this. Most people know this to be true.
Fear and language ignorance are also factors. Because so many people in the US do not speak a second language they will not travel to a location where they cannot communicate. This explains why tourists fill those guided and escorted tours because someone will be there to take care of them. It is the only way many of these people would travel – and at least they are traveling.
So arguing with those with no passport is a complete waste of time. Better to travel – meet new and interesting people – and have great and wonderful conversations about important topics concerning the world, because you have seen the world, and it matters to you.
Thus we see that those who have never traveled outside of the US have a very distorted view of the US and its importance. And how can one argue their place in the world if one has never traveled the world…perhaps another question for another time.