Shades of 1776

Kerry won every Gore county in Ohio except Clark. He even increased Gore’s winning margin in 12 of the 16 counties. But nowhere among the Gore counties did more votes move from the blue to the red column than in Clark. Why might this be?

I have a pet theory that one reason so many Americans like Bush is just because he is so hated abroad. There’s nothing like some foreign criticism to get people defensive. People should know that Bush was hated by Europeans long before he took office. If Europeans were honest they would admit that it is not just about his policies, but also about their condescending attitude towards his (perceived) Cowboy-Yank-Redneck-Evangelical-ness. So I wouldn’t blame Americans for saying, “screw you”, to the rest of the world in the face of such a hostility. Which is what Clark County, Ohio might have said to the the British. The Guardian newspaper organised “Operation Clark County” inviting readers to send one-on-one letters to independent American voters. More than 11,000 signed up. Imagine getting a letter like this from some foreigner you have never met:

“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.”

To reiterate: Clark was the only Gore county which Kerry didn’t win. Maybe the Guardian plan backfired. Horribly. As the director of Clark County’s board of elections said, “the American Revolution was fought for a reason.” Americans proved that they won’t be told by others what to do. Who can blame them?



  1. <>If Europeans were honest they would admit that it is not just about his policies, but also about their condescending attitude towards his (perceived) Cowboy-Yank-Redneck-Evangelical-ness.<>Don’t worry Ronan. Most Americans know this already. They think that Europeans hate Bush for the sole reason that he is a religious man. Many Americans also think Europeans hate them too for the same reason. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>


  2. Hmm, wonder what sort of outcry there would be if Americans started a letter-writing campaign to try to influence UK parlimentary elections?
    Europeans are mad at the President because of his “unilateral” decisions… apparently, America is supposed to consult with the rest of the world on any issue outside our borders, and on many within. Frankly, i think it’s sour grapes, and forgive me if i sound Rumsfeldian here… France and Germany, and yes even the UK long for the good old days when THEY were the ones that got to make unilateral decisions, and they’re grumpy that they have faded into irrelevance on the international stage. (OK, maybe that’s overstating it a bit.. not completely irrelevant, but certainly not in the same “superpower” category as the US). Can you honestly believe that the French, of all people, are criticizing Americans for thumbing their nose at the rest of the world? the FRENCH?? they wrote the book on telling the rest of Civilization to stick it up their derriere, they were gonna damn well do whatever they wanted. And the notion of Imperialism, and riding heavy-handed on the third world is a notion we borrowed from dear old Mother England, and have toned down quite a bit, in my view. The condescending attitude of much of “enlightened” Europe, is a mixture of bewilderment (“how come that backwards, morally repressive country is ahead of us in almost every category?”) and petty jealousy. You cannot convince me that if the economic and military strengths of the US and France were reversed that France would be obtaining our consent on every foreign policy move.
    Europe cannot understand (much like the Democratic party) that the strength and greatness of a country, be it military or economic stem directly from that country’s adherence to God’s laws. And while i’ll be the first to say that America is going to hell in a handbasket, and that there is a flood of immorality everywhere in this country… when you compare our social mores and norms to those of Europe, well, i think we’re definitely the lesser of two evils. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Rob


  3. Rob,
    As you say, we’d be mad if Americans tried to influence our elections. I think there is an element of jealousy and you are right to bring up Europe’s less-than-noble Imperial record. But just because we screwed up doesn’t mean that America should feel free to do the same. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>


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