I think the point most people don't understand about American nationalism is that it is an unindoctrinated choice. No one is writing foolish articles or drivel about how great their country is or how bad another country is. You can agree to disagree in the US and not have to worry about the police knocking on your door(for the most part).
You can be an American and hate the US and that is your choice. I've seen many people who do. It's still a choice, though. What people want in this world is to be heard and have choice in their life. How many students in Taiwan really get to choose their major? In the US they can study whatever they want if they can and choose to do so. There are no "hukuo"(sp?) or something to keep you stuck to one area. The oppurtunity to start a business or live your life as you choose is all there.
The American system is a tradition handed down by our forefathers. It works, though not always perfectly. It protects rights of the minority from the majority rule. In the US there are a variety of different groups who get together on their own to talk about the choices they made to be in what groups for what causes. The ideas espoused by the founding fathers of the US would be censored or persecuted by most members of the UN. These ideas appear to be quite revolutionary in this day and age in most parts of the world after being put forth over 200 years ago. I find this quite remarkable.
What gets the rest of the world is having to live with the fact that the US can act how it wants without the restraints of the Cold War. Why do we need to follow a failed Mideast policy for any longer? Why do we still need so many troops in Germany? Is now not the best time to start holding Saudi Arabia responsible for the export of its fanatical Wahabi Islam? I don't see a lot of other countries doing these things or asking these questions. In the past decade, we have seen a whole lot of navel-gazing from Europe with very little action, the FUBAR qualities of Russia(thank god for natural resources), the ongoing everpersistent Middle East problems, Latin American countries in an everexpanding debt default policies(God please help Lula, he needs it), Asian countries just shaking off the effects of The Asian Financial Crisis to have the problems come back and haunt them due to inadequate structural change(Taiwan is currently experiencing deflation), and an ever increasingly well-armed China bully its way around the world. These problems compare in what to the US's?
Looking at the rest of the world and some Americans do, especially those with a stake in the future, we see a world a mess. Failed countries, failed policies, corruption, war, terrorism on an unimaginable scale and the US has decided on a change. We may have these problems at home, but they can be dealt with by the laws set forth and enforced by an independent judiciary. In many other countries, this is and has never been the case. It's sad really that so many people in so many countries perpetuate a victim's complex for nationalism and think this worthy for themselves and their children. In the US, we try to rise above that. There is so much more to look forward to in life, why whine about past wrongs, why not talk about the past in a soul searching dialogue and figure out how to never again repeat the same mistakes of our forefathers. We can engage in private civic duty and not be persecuted for it, like many other forumosan members' countries. They made a choice too and I respect that. That's what it means to be an American.
Professor Walter Williams has remarked that he’s glad he went to college “before it became fashionable for white people to like black people.”