The line in the title of this blog is from Queen Elizabeth in a scene from Blackadder II. It’s said with fondness, like she was talking about some cheeky urchins swiping apples from an orchard. It always stuck with me because it chimed with my own view of Americans.

This childlike boastfulness can be seen in any American game show where toughness and an iron will are needed.

From silly thrill shows like Fear Factor, American Ninja and Total Wipeout, right up to extreme survival shows like Alone or Naked and Afraid. Pretty much every contestant will start by claiming they are going to ‘smash it’ ‘crush it’, ‘ace it’ and do all manner of equally destructive things to ‘it’. They reel out a string of cliched ‘never say die’ lines like, ‘I aint got no quit in me’, and ‘Momma never taught me how to lose’, and you just know they have a collection of motivational memes on their twitter feed from Michael Jordan, General Patton and some meat-head Navy Seal that they think will turn them into supermen. It’s as if they believe that just saying the words is enough because, as sure as eggs is eggs, many of them just fail miserably at the first hurdle.

Now, I have nothing against failure. It’s an essential part of life and, if I may say so, I’m quite the expert. It’s not the failing, it’s not even the boasting, it’s the lack of shame afterwards. They come on with all the ‘smack talk’ and then, when they perform like a kitten in a tumble dryer, they just shrug and still talk themselves up with ‘I’m proud of what I achieved” and “I gave it my all”.

Here in the UK, we don’t go in for boasting purely because, if your big-boy pants don’t fit, it will come back and take a huge bite from your exposed backside. The idea of an entire country laughing and pointing at the TV, shouting, ‘what a dickhead!’ prevents us from overselling ourselves in that very American way.

If ONLY it was reserved for overly-confident contestants in TV shows.

The problem with this ‘Home of the brave’ attitude is that it permeates into every corner of American life and it even gets orange man-child brats with too much money and a loose mouth into the Whitehouse.

It seems that all you have to do is cry ‘God Bless America!’ and you’ve got a mountain of Grandma’s apple pie that you can climb to the top of the world.

This blind loyalty to an idea, no matter how unchecked, unproven and unrealistic it might be, leaves our American cousins storming their own Capitol building, flags and assault rifles in hand. It leaves millions of them refusing to see or hear basic facts in favour of their president, their god and their unwillingness to fail. They dig their heels in and close their eyes and there’s nothing you can do to convince them otherwise. Every man, woman and child is a Custer, a Davy Crockett and a Rocky, willing to fight to the death, die on a hill and sacrifice everything for the American Dream, regardless of the painful truth that dreams, by definition, aren’t reality.

Interesting then that, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the greatest country in the world.

In my mind, America is that place over the rainbow. If you look beyond the game shows, rednecks and evangelical con-men, you’ll see the place where the impossible DOES get done. Where anybody CAN become great, and where dreams, sometimes, ‘really do come true’.

For every ‘Yippee kay-ay!’ yelling wannabe John McClane fighting a one-man war against foreign invaders, there’s a wannabe Martin Luther King, working hard, unpraised, unnoticed and selflessly fighting a real war against ignorance and small-minded hate. For every money-grabbing evangelical sermon designed to draw funds from the gullible god-fearing white folk, there’s a Sesame Street, teaching openness, love and culture to millions of children across the world.

Our American cousins are some of the brightest minds on the planet. They’re raised to achieve, raised to believe and raised in a country not tied down by ancient tradition and medieval laws where you can experience everything this planet has to offer. Better still, it’s this lack of shame when the ‘talk’ fails to materialize into ‘the walk’ that we sneer at and ridicule, that lets them get back in the saddle and go again. Where we would be shaking our heads and wondering whey we even bothered trying, they just shake it off, read a few quotes off Facebook and carry on like nothing happened. It get’s things done and I’m sure it’s actually quite liberating.

America might have spewed Trump onto the world like an undercooked kebab in a dark alley, but it also gave us MIT, Yale and Harvard. It gave us feet on the moon, all of our computer software and cheeseburgers! It put a black man in the Whitehouse and, much as we Brits hate to admit it, it really did save the world.

Our American Cousins may be ‘children’ but the thing about kids is, they have all the best ideas that the freedom of being new to the world allows, and they use them to build our futures.