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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Far Side Of The World

Interesting story about British people opposed to Bush writing letters to undecided American voters, in a campaign coordinated by the left-wing newspaper The Guardian.

I don't think this was a good idea, but it's hard for me to ascertain how bad an idea it was without knowing anything about the language contained in the letters. The head of Democrats abroad seems to think it was a bad idea, and that it will help George Bush win votes. I'd like to think that the British writers used appropriate and deferential tones when pleading their cases, but, well, I've seen television footage of Premier League crowds.

It's my impression that the sort of people that would care much about international opinion are almost all committed to Kerry, and that that's not nearly enough for a majority. I'm going to conclude that this will probably have a minimal effect on things; I don't think that someone who would write back to the U.K. something like "Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with you own worthless corner of it," or "Hey England, Scotland and Wales, mind your own business. We don't need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidential election," was in the "persuadable" category anyway.

There are obviously sensitive sovereignty issues, but I'm less bothered by this than by Americans trying to bully other countries, since it's not as if American voters are operating under a cloud of intimidation when a few left-wing Brits send a pleading letter or two across the pond. It's not like any other could credibly instigate a coup if we elected someone they didn't like - compare with, well, the United States vis-a-vis pretty much any nation in Latin America. Besides, in a very real sense, this is the world's election, as it will likely have strong implications far beyond America's borders. As misguided as I think this effort by the Guardian was, I can hardly blame them for it.

At least the letters didn't come from France.


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