American opinions of foreign opinions of the election.

The Guardian newspaper in England recently sponsored a campaign of letters sent to swing states to encourage people to vote for John Kerry.  This link is a list of responses to the paper from various American citizens. It is quite amusing.

As a side note, in the War of 1812 when the U.S. tried to invade Canada while the Brits were busy in Europe, and failed, is that considered a victory in the United States? And if so will the Vietnam War and the Iraq (war?) be considered “Victories” in your history books 200 years from now?

12 thoughts on “American opinions of foreign opinions of the election.

  1. There were several causes for the War of 1812.  But here’s the primary cause (and it wasn’t an invasion of Canada—we did this *after* the war was declared.)

    American ships were conducting trade throughout the world’s seas.  British claimed the right to stop American ships and sieze any British sailors who were serving on them. All too frequently, they also took Americans and forced them to serve for the British.  This practice was called “impressment.”  Some called it enslavement.

    Yes, we invaded Canada, at the start of the war—this did not, however, spark the war.  It was a misquided military tactic, true.  But, fortunately, did not in the end hamper our victory over the British Empire.  We were extremely lucky in the War of 1812.  But, for sure, we did not cause that war, and certainly not by any invasion of Canada.

    History matters.

    .rob adams

  2. Wow…that’s a bad ass picture of yourself you got up there!!

    Nice site. Lots of intelligent material..and the Shaw quote is excellent.

    I’d love it if you all would come over to our blog and kick some butt too. LOL

    PreemptiveKarma. com

  3. Isn’t anybody else going to say it? Much as I like the idea of Kerry winning, but an appeal by foreign nationals from abroad designed to influence a vote is a bit beyond the pale.

  4. I don’t think it’s going to bear much of a positive impact. I’d agree with the sentiment – who the next American President is, at current, could stand to affect other countries, and yes, at it’s core it’s not a matter of whether they have the right to anything. They’ll do it for their interests. Is it about the GB’s or should Americans care? I’m not prompted to think so. Is voting for John Kerry a good idea for Americans in the long run, I dunno – but if the Brits have information to contribute, so much the better. Information from both sides would be good, but as the American government has shown, good, clean inforamtion is hard to come by. It’s a shrewd tactic but I’ll be the last person to condemn it, at this point.

  5. I daresay there is no nation in this world that does not have a vested interest in the outcome of these elections. There’s a slippery slope, however, between having your opinion heard (whether it counts or not) and an attempt to directly influence a vote.

    If an US newspaper tried to match up readers with German voters, you’d have an international incident. If a French newspaper tried to hook up their readers with US voters, I would immediately think something along the lines of “I hope their ‘force de frappe’ is up to speed.”

  6. I don’t see this as being that big of a deal. It’s not like they were offering bribes or anything. I don’t think it’d do much to convince anyone one way or the other so in that respect it’s a pointless undertaking, but it’s not like Americans haven’t done similar things in the past. How is it any different then them coming onto an American blog such as this one and voicing the opinion that they’d like us to vote for Kerry?

  7. The folks over at the Guardian are a smart bunch. I’m sure they realized from the moment that this idea was hatched that the the actual letters themselves would not change the minds of the people who read them. I can’t help but think it was more like a brilliant idea to get some great letters in return and a great story about how stupid some Americans are. They succeeded.

  8. (Les) I don’t see this as being that big of a deal.

    Depends on where on the slippery slope you are. It’s one thing to state your opinion in public, but what I understood the newspaper to have done is to broker one-on-one messages – which is something else again.

    It’s not like the US itself isn’t in regime change business, but still…

  9. Americans, like most people in the world, can politically think for themselves—and i even think they can withstand a few evil, interventionist British emails designed to alter their political thinking.  Granted, i, too, have seen the newsreports of various Ohioians milling about outside BritishAirways licking the doorways in some hypnotic stupor.  And, yes, the run on Weetabix is truly disturbing, especially seeing there are any number of fine American alternative products with superior nutrition.

    But, honest, this is a Guardian ploy to catch a little attention and (management’s desire to) increase their readership cult.

    Unlike here in the US, one can easily identify both a person’s class and politics by the daily newspaper they read.
    I remember sitting on the tube on my way to the office and you’d see the whole gamut:

    (right-to-left on the political spectrum)
    [] SunTimes:  yobs, construction workers, or decidedly non-A level students with their Arsenal football kits proudly worn, or people drinking beer before the pub lines formed at 11am (you can drink in public, and on the subway in Britain, thank G-d), i can’t wait to go back to Blackpool and pull a few birds again
    [] FinancialTimes: male suits on their way to work behind the protected walls of the City, and why yes, thank you for asking, we do vacation in Miami—every winter thank you, and yourself?  Italy?  Hmm. Really now?, Dear gawd! who let all of these filthy asians on the tube?!?
    [] TheIndependent: middle class sorts, centrists, please don’t change too much unless it changes my tax rate, and yes they mildly hate Americans (for their relative wealth), NewLabourites, my mother once shook the QueenMum’s hand you know, i’m on a new diet that consists entirely of just toast and tea, gee i feel a little faint, but it shall pass
    [] TheGuardian: university students, council estate social workers, and those few Mac enthusiasts who wished they lived in some non-existant bohemian ideal of a California never-to-be—and actively try to dress the part, and (male) Birkenstock wearers working on the periphery of the City
    []TheSocialistWorker: This was handed out for almost free at my tube station (Highbury) by angry lesbians and a few “educationally dis-enfranchised” university students who managed to exhaust the entire curriculum of their school in 5 years, but still refuse to work.  It’s often a supplement to those (self-unemployed) readers of the Guardian.

    You’ll also note that the Guardian relished in the number of email-responses they got back from Americans.  The most angry of these were proudly posted on their website and in the paper itself, allowing for any number of negative bonding sessions at the pub or student union.  This was the true, non-management purpose of this little ploy—to solicit further fodder for their beliefs that all Americans are redneck, gun carrying, squirrel eating, web wanking, military expansionists with exploitive designs on their dream-bankrupt culture and sheep.

    That’s what a society does when it lacks a bright vision of the future, or life.
    Fear them not, they’re slowly becoming subjects of the HegemonicImperiaAmerica anyhow, ditto for the Germans too.

  10. the run on Weetabix is truly disturbing, especially seeing there are any number of fine American alternative products with superior nutrition

    Not to mention superior taste and superior texture.

    Weetabix ranks up there with Vegamite.  In fact, I think they might get both products by running Satan’s excrement through a centrifuge.

    As for the rest of it, I don’t expect that many American voters will actually be influenced by Gaurdian readers, but the letters did make for a few laughs.

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