Maybe the Prime Directive isn't looking so bad and heartless after all?
Religion extremist and fundamentalists think that humanity has gone from better to worse, while Trek thinks humanity goes from worse to better.
The problem starts, (I think) when Trek keeps tweaking the idea, then it looks like Trek does almost the same thing.
Start with one war that was supposed to be the War of all Wars. Entire Populations are being bombed out.
Add some 60's sci fi things like eugenic supermen. Then add Sanctuary Districts and place them in the U.S, complete with policemen wearing fascist like uniforms.
Then a few years later (or before) add WW III and separate it from the first war of all wars
Then add The Post Atomic Horror.
And then the look of the future-- in the early 20th century, men wearing red space jump suits, U.S police wearing fascist like uniforms, soldiers wearing heavy armor being with a sniffing drug automatically attached.
Just like failed prophecies, It does look funny when things don't look or turn out the way sci fi imagines it will