10.20.2004

Your Opinion Counts (Only if You're from the US)

Item!

Yesterday there was a news story about The Guardian (a U.K.-based newspaper) holding a writing campaign, dubbed "Operation Clark County", for its readers. The campaign -- write to residents of Clark County, Ohio about their opinions on the US presidential election. Though other news outlets have called this a pro-Kerry campaign, the Guardian website makes no mention of either candidate and support letters in favor of both Kerry and Bush. Its three published letters by some prominent Britons were a little more left-leaning.

Comments and responses from the US ranged from gracious to outright xenephobic rage. Here are a couple from either end of the spectrum:

Thank you for taking such an active interest in the elections here in America. I appreciate what the Guardian is doing. Your effort to reach out to "swing states" and make a difference is commendable. I hope that many of your readers will take your challenge to help make a change in Washington by contacting voters.
Clarke County, Georgia

Thank God above for you English! Just when I was beginning to despair at the thought of Bush being re-elected, you come along with a strategy to help us! Your invitation to your readership and rationale for offering it are provocative at the least, and laudable at best.
Springfield, Ohio


Keep your noses out of our business. As I recall we kicked your asses out of our country back in 1776. We do not require input from losers and idiots on who we vote for in our own country. Fuck off and die asshole!!!!!
Knoxville, Iowa

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 ... I don't give a rat's ass if our election is going to have an effect on your worthless little life. I really don't. If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah - and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals.
Wading River, NY

Gee, I wonder why everyone in the world hates us...

It is a bit snooty for non-U.S. citizens to stick their noses in "our business", but exactly where is the line drawn between "our business" and the rest of the world? U.S. policy (yes, even domestic) has an effect worldwide and most certainly would be of interest to other nations. Can 95% of Americans even name the prime minister of Canada or Mexico? Or who the last PM of Great Britan was?

This nose-sticking is simply their opinion and proof that this is probably the most important election in U.S. History. The Brits might need to calm down a little with their grassroots campaigning in which they have no ultimate choice, but U.S. citizens should also be a little more respectful for the rest of the world and not just wrapped up in themselves.

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