You know, as an American citizen it upsets me to know that especially over the course of the last decade the overall world opinion has increasingly become negative towards the U.S. and it's people. Sadly thouh, especially with the foreign policy (or lack thereof) lately, I can certainly see the "why" for this perception, and I can tell you when dealing with the general populance in the states that it seems like the status quo is ignorant, rude, and overbearing people in general that overconsume, feel entitled to anything they wish, etc, etc.
I will not make apologies for this though, because at the end of the day, no matter how much a person such as yourself may want to find the faults in the U.S., the fact remains that at present, the United States is the strongest economic, military, research, and educaitonal presence in the world. Generations of Americans have fought for a degree of freedom of thought/speech/action/choice that was unheard of at almost any time in the civilized world. American businesses fostered and cultivated a capitalist world market allowing many countries to prosper directly or indirectly to a standard of living that would have otherwise taken decades longer to reach. Medical, technical, and other research done in the U.S. has helped people all over the world in many ways, and has saved uncountable lives. Even when acting the agressor i combat issues, the U.S. makes more reparations and continued financial assistance to *defeated combatants* than almost any other nation would in some cases even be able to (and this includes to Vietnam, which was a country that effectively defeated the U.S. in conflict and now has more assistance from the U.S. than their own economy provides for themselves).
Unfortunatley though, the last generation or so of Americans has become complacent, lazy, and declined in education, worldliness, and common manners in general (on average). I agree this is a problem, and personally yes, there are times when I often feel sick to be associated with a country that is increasingly being regarded unfavorably. One thing I will not say though is that I do not want to be an American....because simply put, no ther place in the entire world offers the degree of freedom, the potential for prosperity, or many other quality of life issues that can be found in the U.S.
You can debate this all you want, but in the end, most of what I have said is hard to dispute. While the U.S. in general has problems, we (Americans) have a habit of turning things around and a lot of the fundamental pieces of our social structure revolve around a constant method of change, correction, and balance. If this mechanism falls apart completely while I am alive, then yes...I may not want to be an American, and will most likely try to either work for changes in the situation, or leave it altogether.
On a final note, maybe you need some perspective. You lump the American goverment and it's citizens all in one category. Let me assure you, most U.S. citizens don't know their governor's name, or anygoverment officials between the level of governor and Vicep President/President. When a group of terrorist destroyed the lives of thousands of people just going to work to make a point about how much they hated America, it certainly did cause a frenzy, and overall most Americans are still in the middle of it. I mean come on, in the WTC it wasn't just those evil greedy capitalistic "bad guy" Americans you seem to dislike so much...there were school's touring the building, secretaries, janitors, friends visiting people working there, people shopping or eating breakfast.......and they had to die for what? What did any of those people do directly to warrant the chaos, death, and destruction that occurred? And why do you blame them so much for that?
There are a lot of stereotypes about Australian men, many of them negative especially regarding how they treat women or men not seen with a level of machismo that is expected. In fact, there are many negative stereotypes about Australians, just as there are with Chinese, Columbians, French, etc, etc...more than likely the world over there are stereotype for every race, nationality, religon, etc, etc. Personally I chose not to judge you based on any type of stereotype or similar generality...which on a one-to-one comparison basis would seem to make me (the american) a bit more broad minded and tolerant than you (the Australian) appear to be in dealing with each other.
I apologize for the ramblin nature of this post, and any lack of coherency from point to point, but it's late, I'm tired, and that post just really, really annoyed the heck of me.