America from the point of view of the rest of the world: materialistic, power hungry. America is huge - easy to be seen as isolationist given the size and location of their country. Hard for Europeans to wrap their heads around. Concentration on our own problems and even then, what happens in one state may have little relevance to what's going on in another.
Europeans record their environment differently in their art - Max Beckman and Francis Bacon are far more grim than that of say, Pollack (although DeKooning was versed in showing his grit from time to time...but then again, he was born in Europe).
And then I read an article today about a man who has spent 30 years writing the perfect book on Vietnam. The author served during the conflict and is very much affected by his experiences, having killed some 20-odd men. He made an interesting point, that got me to thinking: the horrors of war are becoming more removed and the author fears the day when a man can set up his coordinates in a computer in, say, Idaho, and take out a whole community half-way around the world and go home to his family and sit down at the table for dinner without ever having to look the enemy (or victim, depending in the circumstance or point of view) in the eye. And perhaps that's why American artists of that time don't have the same rawness as that of their foreign counterparts...they just didn't have to experience the same turmoil in (or so near) their land. They were pretty far removed from it. They could go to their studio and paint from the perspective of one who never had to look it in the eye.