Well, I must admit that after last night, you have redeemed yourselves somewhat in my eyes, and no doubt the eyes of many nations on earth.
I've always found the juxtaposition of the US amusing. They view themselves as the most progressive nations on earth, and yet they are near the bottom for health care, literacy, life expectancy, work conditions, and so on. And this isn't even new. The US was one of the last westernized countries to abolish slavery, give women the vote, give civil rights to minorities (officially, if not actually in practice) and otherwise bring itself into modernity.
And they are still, unfortunately, moving backwards in civil rights. California just made gay marriage illegal again, as did Arizona and Florida. Arkansas passed a bill to say that an unmarried couple cannot adopt or foster children (because apparently they have a shortage of children who need homes, and a marriage certificate makes you a fit parent).
However, South Dakota actually voted to keep abortion legal (nearly died of shock when I saw that), Michigan is allowing stem cell research, Washington will allow euthanasia, and small possession of marijuana is now legal in two states (not that I support smoking pot, but throwing someone in jail for 2 years for having it is stupid).
So, the US has grudgingly, forcibly taken a single step into the 20th century. They're still measurably behind the 8-ball that the rest of the world is moving forwards on, but there's hope. I had chills listening to President Elect Obama make his acceptance speech, and was nearly in tears when I saw all the hope on people's faces. I wish Canadian politics had someone as intelligent, electrifying, and hope-filled in its politics as Obama. Here's looking forward to 4 years of making it better!