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Earlier this week, I wrote about the efforts of the Manchester Guardian to influence our election by starting a letter-writing campaign from Brits to American voters in Clark County, Ohio. Apparently, their project attracted quite a bit of attention, even getting my blog noticed in a follow-up article. Now the Guardian has started receiving feedback from Americans of all political stripes regarding their intention to corrupt our electoral process, and a lot of it ain't pretty.
Most of the e-mail they've received opposing their project has been rather obscene, or at least those e-mails they chose to share with their readers:
Wading River, NY: Have you not noticed that Americans don't give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies ...
KEEP YOUR F****N' LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN'T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT'S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON'T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT! ...
Harlan, KY: THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS HAVE SPENT TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS PROTECTING THE PEOPLES OF THE EU, AND WHAT DO WE GET IN RETURN. BETRAYAL, BETRAYAL, BETRAYAL. I HAVE BEEN TO YOUR COUNTRY, THE COUNTRY OF MY ANCESTORS, AND I KNOW WHY THEY LEFT. MAY YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TOOTH CAPPED. I UNDERSTAND IT TAKES AT LEAST 18 MONTHS FOR YOUR GREAT MEDICAL SERVICES TO GET AROUND TO YOU.
A lot of Americans have a problem with British dental hygiene, apparently. Only a couple of Bush-supporting missives demonstrate any intelligence whatsoever, allowing the Guardian to perpetuate the stereotype of the classless American conservative. However, a couple snuck through, including this civics lesson that they Guardian should learn:
DC: If China shuts its borders to US imports, you better believe American companies, shareholders and workers are affected. Should US citizens therefore have a direct say in Chinese policies? No - Americans should demand that their own elected leaders address the issues with their Chinese counterparts. The British have a similar voice in US policies - through your own elected representatives who have any number of diplomatic, economic and military tools at their disposal. You vote for your leaders and we'll vote for ours. Your problem is with your leaders, not ours.
Disappointingly, most of the American left cheered this attempt by foreigners to meddle in an American election -- inadvertently promoting the stereotype of the American left as globalist socialists who want to undermine US sovereignty. Even those who objected on the left did so on practical grounds rather than out of any sense of moral outrage:
Right on! Just wanted to say thanks from California for your effort and concern. This IS a very important election ... There are so many people here in the States that care about the impact America has on the rest of the world. I am personally saddened for the loss of all innocent lives. The best statement Americans can make to the rest of the world is to not elect Bush for president. Thank you so much for getting involved in our world. ...
I enjoy reading your paper and agree with your politics, but this is really too much.Your plan, if carried out, will hurt the Bush opposition TERRIBLY. We cannot afford to have this associated with John Kerry or anyone else. It will be; the press is going in for a kill, days before the election. ...
OhioWhile I empathise with your plight, this attempt to influence voters by sending letters from foreigners will have a negative effect on your ultimate goal. You will cause people to empathise with the president, not the other way around. People will read these letters and say, "John Le who? Never heard of him, but who is he to tell me who to vote for?"
On the other hand, someone obviously has a better sense of revenge than I do, because I wish I had suggested something similar to this:
In your plea to get your non-American readers to write to voters in Clark County, Iowa, you are correct that events in the US have had, and will have, effects on world events. For example, we have pulled your chestnuts out of the fire in two world wars that were occasioned by European diplomacy. Maybe you'd like a vote in which American president will oversee the next rescue. The next time you have elections in Great Britain, I shall endeavour to send names of your citizens to people in France, Iraq, India, the United Arab Emirates, Botswana, Pakistan, China and Argentina so that they may attempt to influence your election. It's only fair that everybody in the world should have a say in the selection of the prime minister.
Or perhaps this should be the last word:
Mind your own flipping business.Sphere It View blog reactions
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