In short, it depends to which extent you want to be an American (or a Frenchman, or a Spaniard, or a Belgian) more than a human being.
To me, I, myself, it is more immediately important to know that it's not going to rain tomorrow than to know that thousands of children are dying in Africa every day. On a human scale, there is no point in comparing.
It is only natural that as individuals we have to live on and care about the stuff our little lives are made of. But as citizens of a collectivity, of a nation, not only can we care about the plagues of mankind of which we are a (priviledged) part, we ought to. Of course we must deal with problems affecting our fellow citizens, but when a politician stops caring about those who might vote for him, you can be pretty sure that he doesn't give a damn about children starving in Africa. So let's just not trade millions of human lives - for nothing.