People can be gullible about many things, and lies sold by society aren’t immune. Truth-seekers took to an online forum to share the popular lies Americans fall for.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Ship of Fools
One history buff says the commonly taught idea that the Vikings had horns on their helmets is actually a myth.
2: Good Guys
“Deep down, there is a lingering conviction that wars are fought between something resembling ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys and that Americans are obviously the good guys,” one person says. While they say that type of belief shouldn’t survive 3rd grade, it continues to run rampant.
3: Right Under Your Nose
Too many Americans believe that slavery ended, according to one commenter. They said the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime. “Understanding that fact lends a lot of clarity to certain aspects of history like…for-profit prisons.”
4: Better Than Everyone
The idea that America is the greatest country in the world is one big fib, argues a commenter. To be fair, “We are kind of guided a little to be more self-centered because of what sells best for the media.”
5: Sore Losers
Many Americans believe that they didn’t lose the Vietnam War, according to one commenter. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who don’t think that,” one responded. “We even changed the name from the ‘Vietnam War’ to the ‘Vietnam Conflict’ to take away the sting,” another added. If only they knew the Vietnamese refer to it as the American War.
6: Lights, Camera, Action
Americans like to think that the whole world loves them, but one European wanted to set the record straight. “For Europeans, watching America is just like sitting in a theater and looking at a bad reality show.”
7: Giving Thanks
If you were taught in elementary school that the “pilgrims peacefully broke bread with the Indians,” you’re not alone. That’s anything but the truth.
8: Hard Work Pays Off
An unfortunate lie in America is that if you work hard and give it your all, you can succeed in life, and you can become rich by nothing more than a strong spirit and perseverance. “It’s crap,” one American says. “If you’re born rich, it’s fairly easy to get richer (even if you’re a screwup).”
9: Debunking Democracy
One American said the idea that they have a democracy is a straight-up lie. “It is a constitutional republic,” someone responded.
10: Fake Freedom
One European can’t help but laugh when they hear Americans say they’re free. “Land of the Free makes most Europeans laugh,” they said.
11: Future Presidents
“That anyone can grow up to be president,” one American said about a lie too many Americans believe. Another chimed in and said many don’t understand how much money you need to campaign. “It’s impossible for the average person unless they are very wealthy, raise sufficient money from donors, or are in somebody else’s pockets. It’s usually the latter.”
12: Military Moves
Many Americans are still falling for the belief that our military is fighting for our freedom, one person said.
13: Reliable News
One commenter declares a lie that many Americans believe is that the media isn’t biased. “Most people know that the media is biased,” an American responded. “It’s just that they usually think that their favored media source isn’t biased.”
14: Another World War
World War III seems more plausible to Americans than the rest of the world. “This one stems from the news networks who like to keep people tense,” an American said. “They have to fill 24/7 hour news somehow.”
15: Don’t Believe Everything You See
One person dispels the myth that looking at computer screens, phones, etc., permanently damages your eyesight. “According to several sources I’ve read, there is no proof of it giving permanent damage.”
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