Esperanto belongs to no nation, has no cultural bias and is for everybody. That is why they wouldn't see it as a parasite language.
You said youself that it "DOES kind of sound like Spanish/Italian" and that it "has a couple other letters with 'hats' on them, like the French do."
It has it's bias to french and Spanish instead, and s you say it does use that special character ^ that will make it really hard to gain popularity in USA. Also, English is already the international language, french people can moan all thay want, that's a fact. Maybe it isn't decided to be an international language, but the fact that it's used as one by people from all countries makes it so anyway.*
I think that if you would want an international language with easier gramatics it would be better to make a slight adjustment of english. Though I don't think it would have much better chance of gaining enough spread than esperanto do.
Oh I might add, that except for the fact that I think that the world already have decided, I also don't like neither the sound of esperanto or it's special character, so I'm a bit biased.
*Look at this forum for instance, even though the software is created by a Swedish person swedish is only allowed in one forum, while english is used for the main parts.