Why do some Americans think the rest of the world is jealous of them?

Don't get me wrong, I love America and I certainly think it's a great country (foreign policy aside). I also know that most Americans don't think they're better than anyone else; I actually think European media gives Americans a lot of undeserved stick for their supposed ignorance of other... show more Don't get me wrong, I love America and I certainly think it's a great country (foreign policy aside). I also know that most Americans don't think they're better than anyone else; I actually think European media gives Americans a lot of undeserved stick for their supposed ignorance of other countries.

However, I was watching Obama's acceptance speech and he finished by claiming that 'America was the greatest country in the world'. If a politician did that in Britain, he'd probably be forced to resign, along with any French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese politician. What's more, no-one in the audience seemed to question him; they just applauded. Also, from the general vibe I get from some Americans online (certainly not a majority, but a large minority) is that apparently the rest of the world is jealous of America in every way. What makes these minority of Americans think that way? In all honesty it's kind of annoying.

Certainly America's the most powerful (as of the present), but does that make it the greatest? What exactly is 'great', or more to the point, exactly who defines 'greatness'? Americans, please do not think this question is a sugar-coated attack at you or your country. I genuinely want to know why SOME of your population thinks in this supremacist way, when I know almost no-one from anywhere else does the same (I know there are nationalist supremacists in all countries, but there's nowhere near as many nor do they get anywhere near the same level of acceptance).

I love America, and actually I think Americans in general are unfairly represented, at least in my country. But this minority of people who claim America is better than everyone else kind of lets America as a whole down. Why do they think other nations are jealous of them? And don't claim that Obama is to blame for saying that in his speech, because I know Romney would be even worse if he won.

Also, I know there have been loads of questions with this sort of topic; I wanted to ask it again, because previous questions consisted largely of angry, anti-American Europeans insulting America, and a load of hurt Americans responding. I want a proper debate, no insults, not hurt feelings, just some well-reasoned responses from real Americans. Thankyou.
Update: David : - Scientific and technological development began in Rennaissance Europe, was largely advanced by the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and was then carried on by Americans. The defeat of Hitler was a JOINT allied effort. And Britain banned slavery 60 odd years before America, and was largely responsible... show more David : - Scientific and technological development began in Rennaissance Europe, was largely advanced by the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and was then carried on by Americans.

The defeat of Hitler was a JOINT allied effort.

And Britain banned slavery 60 odd years before America, and was largely responsible for patrolling the African coast and arresting Spanish, Portuguese and American sailors who were looking to capture slaves.

Please don't comment with historical evidence if that evidence is simply not true.
Update 2: Also, David, I forgot to mention, democracy began in Greece and was used by many European city states and nations centuries before America, and classical liberalism began in Britain and was eventually transported to America.
11 answers 11