Wow, look at the size difference between this and the complimentary "Does USA hate Europe?" thread. Four pages compared to two.
I don't think either side hates the other, but both are defensive and lack perspective. Europeans dislike our war-mongering, foreign policies, ignorance, and cultural dominance. They find our tourists crass and rude.
Americans, on the other hand, think that Europeans lecturing anyone about imperalism is a joke. Americans tend to think that a lot of the stuff Europeans take us to task for (such as our monolingualism) is none of their business. We find their tourists crass and rude.
Here are some thoughts on perspective for BOTH sides.
-- Europeans may seem like they are jumping on us about our foreign policies. Keep in mind this is their world, too. And they may want us to avoid the mistakes of ours and their past, and use our wealth and power responsibly.
-- Europe is a huge place, without a single "European" perspective. They are not a snooty disaproving monolith.
-- French movies are really pretty good. Watch Sur Mes Levres
-- We are predominantly English-speaking because, for most of us, that is the only language we will ever need. Without compelling reason, few people will learn a second language fluently. Look at the Japanese. They study English for like 9 years and your average Japanese can barely introduce themselves in English.
-- It's easy for you to hop the Eurail and ride through several countries. Most Americans would love to travel abroad, but have neither time or money. If we have both, lots of us prefer to explore our own huge country. The state of California, for example, is larger than Norway.
-- We still feel isolated, wedged between the Atlantic and Pacific, perched atop a lot of smaller South and Central American nations and bordered by Canada and Mexico. The affairs of the rest of the world can seem very remote to us sometimes. And sometimes, when we try to help, it just seems to make things worse.
-- We say our country is "the greatest nation on Earth" because we so want it to be
. I think the vast majority of Americans, in their heart of hearts, dream that the USA will be strong and beautiful and admired, and lead the rest of the world into happiness and prosperity. That we really will become the best of every culture melded together, the success story that our ancestors sought out, and overcome the darkness of our past. We don't know exactly how to get there, and we stumble and fall and get lost, and perhaps it's all a pipe-dream anyway, but we don't care because there's a bit of the hopeless romantic in us all.