I read over at Spoons that the Guardian, a â€œliberal,â€ British
left-wing rag newspaper is providing the name and address of an American voter in Clark County Ohio to anyone who submits his or her e-mail address to the Guardian on this page. The purpose of this scheme is to have a British citizen write to the American voter to express his or her views on which candidate the American should vote for in our upcoming presidential election.
Why Clark County? The Guardian makes that clear.
By typing your email address into the box on this page, you will receive the name and address of a voter in Clark County, Ohio. You may not have heard of it, but it’s one of the most marginal areas in one of the most marginal states: at the last election, just 324 votes separated Democrats from Republicans. It’s a place where a change of mind among just a few voters could make a real difference.
Writing to a Clark County voter is a chance to explain how US policies effect [sic] you personally, and the rest of the world more generally, and who you hope they will send to the White House.
The Guardian pays lip service to impartiality when it says, â€œOf course, who you urge your voter to support is entirely up to you.â€ This is, without doubt, pure horseshit. The page offers sample letters from â€œthree prominent Britons.â€ Here is a sample of each:
From John LeCarre
Probably no American president in all history has been so universally hated abroad as George W Bush: for his bullying unilateralism, his dismissal of international treaties, his reckless indifference to the aspirations of other nations and cultures, his contempt for institutions of world government, and above all for misusing the cause of anti-terrorism in order to unleash an illegal war – and now anarchy – upon a country that like too many others around the world was suffering under a hideous dictatorship, but had no hand in 9/11, no weapons of mass destruction, and no record of terrorism except as an ally of the US in a dirty war against Iran.
From Antonia Fraser
First of all, if you back Kerry, you will be voting against a savage militaristic foreign policy of pre-emptive killing which has stained the great name of the US so hideously in recent times. A policy that Bush and his gang are set to continue – if they get the opportunity. I say “the great name” of the US because I believe that to be profoundly true. Although resolutely against the Iraq war, I remain equally resolutely philamerican, almost every movement towards liberty in the past having its roots or its refuge in the US.
From Richard Dawkins
Don’t be so ashamed of your president: the majority of you didn’t vote for him. If Bush is finally elected properly, that will be the time for Americans travelling abroad to simulate a Canadian accent. Please don’t let it come to that. Vote against Bin Laden’s dream candidate. Vote to send Bush packing.
Like Spoons, I wonder how happy the citizens of Clark County will be when they learn that: (a) their names and addresses are being handed out by a foreign newspaper to foreigners as well as to any other person (including wackos) who submits an e-mail address, and (b) the purpose of this exercise is to permit non-Americans to exert direct influence on this countryâ€™s presidential election, and in a hotly contested area of the country at that?
Silly me. I still like to think that, for most of us, we are Americans before we are democrats or republicans, and that we sorted out our independence from Great Britain a couple hundred years ago.
Just to be clear, I have the utmost admiration for Tony Blair, undying gratitude to those wonderful British troops who are spilling blood with us in the Middle East and to those in Britain who support our joint effort. I also appreciate that there are those in Britain who may not agree with the course their country has chosen. I would urge those people to become active in their own elections and butt the FUCK out of ours.