American props
Posted by aogSunday, 17 October 2004 at 00:08 TrackBack Ping URL

Tim Blair has been torturing the Guardian for their effort to influence the American Presidential election. The idea was, apparently, that the Guardian would pass out the addresses of voters in a swing count in Ohio to Brits, who would then write letter that would persuade the American voters to vote for Senator Kerry.

While I admire Blair’s effort at mockery, I think he misses the point that this is not about persuading American voters nor even having any impact on the election. That would be far too effective to be popular with the type of EUlite chatterati who read the Guardian. It is, of course, just one more internal psycho-drama where in the chatterati play the role of Cassandra, bravely warning the doomed of how they are going to fall. I simply don’t believe that anybody at the Guardian thinks that Americans (particulary the inbred rural types who live in the MidWest) are intelligent enough to appreciate the sophisticated logic of the writers. That kind of payoff, where when President Bush wins their negative views of Americans are reenforced, may be part of the draw as well.

That said, there are some truly funny ones. The best is one by Richard Dawkins (via the Brothers Judd) which contains these lines:

Now that all other justifications for the war are known to be lies, the warmongers are thrown back on one, endlessly repeated: the world is a better place without Saddam. No doubt it is. But that’s the Tony Martin school of foreign policy [Martin was a householder who shot dead a burglar who had broken into his house in 1999].

Given how the average Ohioan citizen is likely to consider the issue of the propriety of blowing away an intruder in their house, this may well do more to encourage a vote for President Bush than anything else. Dawkins is obviously completely clueless about the attitudes of the people he’s writing to and he just as obviously doesn’t care. He’s writing for the readers of the Guardian, to appreciate his devastating wit in putting down the stupid Yanks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dawkins neglected to actually mail the letter off after submitting a copy to the Guardian.