Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Steyn On the Guardian Influence Attempt

I posted on the misguided, but welcomed attempt by The Guardian to influence voters in Clark County, Ohio, http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/world-should-vote-in-us-elections.html . Anyone with a bit of knowledge of Americans would know this would backfire, in Bush's favor. Today, CNN became aware of the contest, http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/19/britain.letters.reut/index.html and also today, Mark Steyn writes about it in The Telegraph, linked above:

Have you seen this campaign the Guardian's been running? They identified Clark County, Ohio as one of the swingiest counties in one of the most critical swing states, so they got hold of the electoral roll and are telling their readers to bombard the county's voters with reasons not to vote for Bush.

This is excellent news for the President, who in recent days had been looking a little wobbly in Ohio. But there's nothing like a barrage of mail from condescending Guardian readers to send the locals stampeding into the Bush camp. If the editor of the Guardian's up for it, fifty quid says Bush will win a higher proportion of the vote in Clark County on November 2 than he did last time.

The reason is advice like this, from Guardian reader Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Dawkins begins his missive to the Clark County swing voter with a little light Bushophobia: "An idiot he may be, but he is also sly, mendacious and vindictive... thuggish ideologues. pariah state. brazenly lying. cynical mendacity" yada-yada.

But then he goes on: "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."

At this point, the Guardian's editors intervene with an explanatory parenthesis: "[Martin was a householder who shot dead a burglar who had broken into his house in 1999]." And then Dawkins continues: "It's not how civilised countries, who follow the rule of law, behave. The world would be a better place without George Bush, but that doesn't justify an assassination attempt."

You just blew it big-time in Clark County, prof. Voters may be divided on Bush and on the Iraq war but, in the American heartland, they're generally agreed on a homeowner's right to take out a burglar. Insofar as the name "Tony Martin" is known to Americans – and to older ones it means Cyd Charisse's husband, who sang More Than You Know very nicely in the 1955 MGM version of Hit The Deck...

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