The British Are Coming (Back)!


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FRIZ
October 25, 2004, 07:20 PM
The Wall Street Journal
October 25, 2004

The British Are Coming (Back)!
By LEE A. CASEY and DAVID B. RIVKIN JR.

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109865294774554006,00.html

American presidential elections have, traditionally, involved a fair number of absurdities from both ends of the political spectrum. The 2004 campaign, however, has spilled across the Atlantic, and Europe -- or at least our English cousins -- have got in on the act. It's no secret that, outside of Number 10 Downing Street, George W. Bush is no more popular in Britain than he is in France or Germany, and that the sitting President would lose this election by a large margin if the British got to choose the American Chief Executive. Fortunately, at least for those of us who support President Bush's reelection, Britain no longer selects our governors. This, however, has not stopped the Guardian's intrepid staff from having a go at it anyway.

The Guardian, of course, is a British paper which, of late, has pursued an anti-American editorial policy that makes Pravda's Cold War views look objective. It is now encouraging its readers to write to Americans in Clark County, Ohio, a key part of this important "swing-state," expecting them to urge a vote for John Kerry. It appears that this effort is serious or, at least, was not intended as a joke.

Judging by the feedback posted on the Guardian's Internet site, reaction from the Buckeye State has been predictably negative -- not to mention, in some instances, abusive and offensive. Of course, any American ex-pat could have told them so. There is no more certain way of turning a blue state red, or making a red state mad as hell, than stern instruction from the Mother Country.

Therefore, for those who plan to heed the Guardian's call, and to express their views on the vices of Mr. Bush and his "unilateralist" Administration before election day, we urge you to direct your letters to the sovereign states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The President's cause is doing surprisingly well on either side of the Delaware River, but could use an extra push before Nov. 2. For anyone writing from Great Britain, please be sure to begin by reminding your correspondent that New Jersey (or Pennsylvania) used to be British colonies and that, if it hadn't been for the wicked acts of a few wretched, self-interested ideologues in the 1770s, Americans could never have "embarrassed" themselves by electing a man like George W. Bush in the first place. That should set just the right tone, and get those voters to the polls. As director of the Board of Elections in Clark County, Linda Rosicka, noted recently, "the American Revolution was fought for a reason."

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Standing Wolf
October 25, 2004, 08:11 PM
As director of the Board of Elections in Clark County, Linda Rosicka, noted recently, "the American Revolution was fought for a reason."

Yeah, and Britain lost, too.

El Tejon
October 25, 2004, 11:09 PM
Welcome, cousins!:)

I have the kettle on and there's a top-notch Indian place near my office. Mmmm, curry, just like home.:D

Iain
October 26, 2004, 07:54 AM
Welcome, cousins!

I have the kettle on and there's a top-notch Indian place near my office. Mmmm, curry, just like home.

Is your curry as good as the curry I get here? If so, I'll take you up on that.

I do get annoyed with the tendency of some here (UK) to lecture Americans on their politics, or their election or the foreign policy of their government. I was not overly impressed with this campaign by the Guardian.

I did read the article though, and it contained several letters that British people had written to their 'penpals' in Clark County. Quite a number of these letters were from British people who had lived in the US, one I think had lived there for 17 years. I suppose if I got a letter advising me to vote a certain way in an election from a foreign country I'd be annoyed, less so perhaps if the person who wrote to me was civil and informed, even less so if they had lived in the UK for a time. From what I read of those letters they were all civil and some were highly informed.

Now let's not forget that criticism of other countries occurs all the time, but doesn't automatically make the critic anti-country A. For example a more sensitive Brit than myself may well have taken considerable offence to some of the things written here on THR at times, but there are few here I consider to be rabidly anti-British (though there are some who crop up in those threads and rant and rave)

As a sidenote one of the sternest critics of this effort by the Guardian was the president of the British wing of Democrats Abroad, she seemed to think that this would be counter-productive because some of those who received letters would be deliberately contrary.

R.H. Lee
October 26, 2004, 09:12 AM
What effect, if any, does the occupant of the WhiteHouse have on the daily life of a British citizen? In other words, why do they care?

Iain
October 26, 2004, 09:27 AM
There is that Riley, and I agree. Except that as the most powerful country in the world, the President of which is often titled 'The leader of the free world' much of the rest of the free world does take an interest.

The line between interest and interference may have been crossed in this case.

cuchulainn
October 26, 2004, 09:55 AM
The line between interest and interference may have been crossed in this case.Interference? Eh, I don't know. It was inappropriate, to be sure, but OTOH they've got a right to encourage people to do whatever. It's not like American groups haven't become active in foreign elections.

In any case, it's hard for me to get upset about this given that most Americans have never heard of the Guardian, much less this stunt. This was at most a gnat bite, if that.

Jeff White
October 26, 2004, 05:18 PM
...wants to take over as the leader of the free world, all they have to do is allow their citizens the same freedoms we enjoy, get their governments out of their economy at least to the extent ours is and transfer the majority of their GNP that they put into their welfare states into defense spending they might have a run at it.

It's not who is in the White House that makes our nation great...it's our freedom. Freedom seems to be something that the Europeans have a hard time understanding.

I find the envy and hate that is flowing Westward across the Atlantic these days pretty humorous. How would the welfare states in Europe have fared if they had had to actually maintain viable defense establishments? I rather doubt their economies would have supported both a viable defense and their socialist welfare states. The anti-Americans across the pond remind me of spoilt children. They built their socialist utopias because they were under the protection of the United States military establishment. Now they are jealous because they no longer have a say in things because they are unable to project power outside of their borders. Now they want to have their say by involving themselves in our internal affairs. Since they can't match us militarily it seems that their goal is to make us like them. We will never be like Europeans, we have a distinct American culture that is based on personal freedom. The Guardian, George Soros or any other outside influence won't change that.

Jeff

Zedicus
October 26, 2004, 09:12 PM
What effect, if any, does the occupant of the WhiteHouse have on the daily life of a British citizen? In other words, why do they care?

Simple, they want the US turned into a Hellhole like what they did to the UK....:barf:

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