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Let’s Be Clear About "World Opinion"
Posted by: MichaelW on Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I was going to write something earlier today about the insipid little poll of world opinion concerning the upcoming Presidential Election. That post didn't happen because I thought it would be too intemperate and contrary to my actual feelings about "world opinion." But then, some ponce has the temerity to write in the Guardian about the wrath that America will suffer if Obama isn't elected:
If Sarah Palin defies the conventional wisdom that says elections are determined by the top of the ticket, and somehow wins this for McCain, what will be the reaction? Yes, blue-state America will go into mourning once again, feeling estranged in its own country. A generation of young Americans - who back Obama in big numbers - will turn cynical, concluding that politics doesn't work after all. And, most depressing, many African-Americans will decide that if even Barack Obama - with all his conspicuous gifts - could not win, then no black man can ever be elected president.

But what of the rest of the world? This is the reaction I fear most. For Obama has stirred an excitement around the globe unmatched by any American politician in living memory. Polling in Germany, France, Britain and Russia shows that Obama would win by whopping majorities, with the pattern repeated in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. If November 4 were a global ballot, Obama would win it handsomely. If the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama.
And? If the rest of the world wants to sign up to be an official American protectorate (as opposed to the free ride they get now), then be my guest. We actually have rules for doing so because, unlike most of the rest of the world, we are a nation of laws.
If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger. And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.
Well now I'm shaking in my boots. An "unpleasant shift" you say? Maybe if there were a democratic nation that could project its power even a quarter of the way around the world on a humanitarian mission, much less having the gumption to tackle problems in its own front yard, I'd be worried. The fact is you all enjoy your paid five-week holidays (damn the consequences) much more than doing anything to actually defend ... well ... anyone, to actually put your money where your mouth is. Color me unimpressed with your whining.
Until now, anti-Americanism has been exaggerated and much misunderstood: outside a leftist hardcore, it has mostly been anti-Bushism, opposition to this specific administration. But if McCain wins in November, that might well change. Suddenly Europeans and others will conclude that their dispute is with not only one ruling clique, but Americans themselves. For it will have been the American people, not the politicians, who will have passed up a once-in-a-generation chance for a fresh start - a fresh start the world is yearning for.
Quelle horreur! Will they write us nasty letters like they do they Iranians? Quel dommage!
And the manner of that decision will matter, too. If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his colour - the world's verdict will be harsh. In that circumstance, Slate's Jacob Weisberg wrote recently, international opinion would conclude that "the United States had its day, but in the end couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race".
I've already dealt with Weisberg. Obviously Freedland isn't privy to my "disembowlment" because he's an ignorant ... cuss. Suffice it to say that Weisberg's opinion on this subject is about as meaningful as some wanker's from Tottenham.
Even if it's not ethnic prejudice, but some other aspect of the culture wars, that proves decisive, the point still holds. For America to make a decision as grave as this one - while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars - on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality, that does indeed suggest a nation in, to quote Weisberg, "historical decline". Let's not forget, McCain's campaign manager boasts that this election is "not about the issues."
OK, let's get this completely straight. I would guess that there is somewhere between 65% and 95% of Americans, based on my completely scientific algorithm created inside my head, who believe that rest of the world can start telling the US what to do when their willing to:
  • get off their collective(ist) arse and start fighting their own battles.
  • depose your own dictators.
  • stop your own genocides (or anybody else's for that matter).
  • fund something other than goodies for the electorate.
  • invent something that's not just a puppet show/mistaken for trash/reincarnation of the Enlightenment Age (i.e. the last time that Europe was actually useful).
  • show some indication that you all have any sense of personal responsibility.
  • respond favorably to our calls for greater participation in the world's events

In short, stop relying on America to take care of you and you'll have a lot more say.
Of course I know that even to mention Obama's support around the world is to hurt him. Incredibly, that large Berlin crowd damaged Obama at home, branding him the "candidate of Europe" and making him seem less of a patriotic American. But what does that say about today's America, that the world's esteem is now unwanted? If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us - and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.
And please, make no mistake about our complete disinterest in your demands. If the "world" (as if you could possibly be its spokesman) wants less involvement in its affairs from America, then please stop leaving your trash on our doorstep. If you all truly want us to disengage from our leadership position, then challenge us militarily and/or economically. At least have the gumption to try and meet us on the same playing field.

The fact of the matter is, that (ironically given his name) while Mr. Freedland may have some indication of what he and his European hand-wringing brethren may want, he has no idea what the vast majority of people in this world truly yearn for — freedom. Can Mr. Freedland honestly say, with a straight face, that he wants all individuals of every race, creed, color or political affiliation to be afforded the chance to have their say, as they do here in America? Obviously he cannot, since he makes a rather lame attempt to bully any Americans who might even consider voting in their own Presidential election in a way that does not suit his .. excuse me, the "World's" tastes.

America is not perfect, but we have driven a steady path towards perfectability. What has Europe done in this regard, aside from the "New Europe" that recently cast aside the yoke of Soviet oppression? We still have to fight your battles for you, and we still have to take the brunt of "world opinion" for having the wherewithal to do so. The "World" would have a lot more respect from us if they would do something — anything — to breed confidence in us yanks that they would take care of themselves for once, instead of berating us endlessly and cow-towing to every tinpot dictator with a Marxist message, or perceived grievance against the US. Start taking care of the problems around the world with action, instead of endless and useless words, and then we'll talk.

Until that time, Mr. Freedland and his buddies can take their threats and shove then where the sun don't shine. You all may like to talk tough, but this world is ruled by those who act tough. We don't don't take kindly to anyone telling us how to handle our affairs (see, e.g., American Revolution), especially when those same whiners can't find the time to challenge the truly evil in this world.

In short, Mr. Freedland, your advice is neither needed nor accepted. Feel free to admonish us again when you have half a leg to stand upon.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

... Barack Obama - with all his conspicuous gifts ...
Maybe we should just crown him king.
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
Michael, it might be best for your health just to not read the Guardian.
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Just curious, how many blacks have the UK, France, or Germany elected to national office on their own?
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Just curious, how many blacks have the UK, France, or Germany elected to national office on their own?
You mean African-English, African-French, and African-Germans? Ummm, I’m guessing none.
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The "World", despite being a place we regularly have to spend our blood and treasure to save, is something most Americans, and even most Democrats, hold in contempt. They should be doing less talking about this and more shutting the hell up lest they shoot themselves in the foot.

I realize it is impolitic, but on this particular issue, the "Rest of the World" can go get a ladder, climb up the back of my leg, and suck out a big, wet fart.
Written By: Augustus
URL: http://
I suppose if we elect McCain it will be because we are hopelessly mired in Race and other social issues. It could not possibly be that we prefer an honorable, moderate, experienced man over an inexperienced radical lefty. NAWWW couldn’t be!
Written By: kyleN
As a fisking... OUCH! Good work. I especially like this:
If the rest of the world wants to sign up to be an official American protectorate (as opposed to the free ride they get now), then be my guest.

My own preferred response to Freedland would be to simply tell him to kiss the biggest part of my red, white and blue a** and maybe kick him in the nuts for good measure. Who the h*** does he think he is, anyway? I realize that lefties, especially in Old Europe, are all into the whole "citizen of the world" crap, but most Americans still cling to the idea of American exceptionalism and don’t need a bunch of losers who’ve had their a**es variously kicked, bailed out, or protected by us for the past hundred years tell us how we ought to run our own country. One of our first national mottos was "Don’t tread on me", which can be updated to "Don’t f*** with us, and we won’t f*** with you."

As for the idea that Euros will hate us (more) if we elect McCain... Well, I recall being shocked along with my classmates in a grad level Euro history class when we saw photos of anti-American riots in the ’50s... and ’60s... and ’70s... and ’80s. There were hysterial accusations by various Euro "thinkers" back in the ’50s when Stalin was still alive that we were using bio warfare in Korea, and one absurd belief that Coca Cola plants in Europe were actually secret American A-bomb factories. Seriously.

The amount of bile that has been spewed by the Euro left against America since the end of World War II is incredible; any "unpleasant shift" would simply be more of the same.

But, as a Republican who doesn’t want Obama (even with all his "conspicuous gifts"... whatever they may be beyond the ability to read a teleprompter) to be elected, I deeply hope that Euro lefties like Freedland continue to write this sort of drivel and that it is widely publicized in America, because I think that most Americans will be utterly disgusted by it and vote accordingly.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
World opinion is defined by American pundits. Camille Paglia:
I had heard vaguely about Palin but had never heard her speak.
Well, concerned Americans of the center right were quite familiar with Sarah - we yearned for her against entrenched proscriptions. If only she had a keynote slot at the last convention...

What is stunning is the fight they have chosen. In a world of adversarial players, Obama takes on the underling of his countryman (to show he is ready to lead.)
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Any country in the world can vote for President of the United States, and would have the enthusiastic backing of even the Republicans for doing so. Here is the process:

  1. Vote for annexation as a US territory, or whatever the process is under your legal system.
  2. Petition the Congress for annexation. This has never been refused in US history, to my knowledge.
  3. The President will appoint, with the approval of the Senate, a governor for your new territory.
  4. You will have to write a new territorial constitution, conformant with the US Constitution. While you are doing this, Federal law and taxes will apply, and the Federal government will be building out various American institutions in the territory.
  5. Once you have the new constitution ready to go, vote to petition for statehood. A simple majority is sufficient. Submit your petition for statehood and your constitution to the Congress for review.
  6. Congress will review your constitution to ensure (per Article IV) that it would maintain a republican form of government, as well as your legal and social climate. Congress will debate your petition and, if accepted (and none has ever been rejected in our history), you will be admitted to the Union as a new state. Congratulations!

Written By: Jeff Medcalf
What is stunning is the fight they have chosen. In a world of adversarial players, Obama takes on the underling of his countryman (to show he is ready to lead.)
A tall guy beating up on a girl. Can’t be a good move.

Thanks for the listing, Jeff.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Wonderful post! The rest of the world reminds me of our own spoiled, leftist whackos that scream and protest about how bad we are as a country. Both of them don’t think for a second that the only reason they can complain about how bad we are is because of freedom won by the U.S.A over the last century.

They are like the little brat taunting the tiger in the cage. They feel all brave antagonizing the tiger, even though they know the tiger can’t kill them.
Written By: Rohan
URL: http://
One question;

What level of hutzpah does it require to claim to speak for the entire world?

Written By: Bithead
Maybe we should just crown him king.
Better yet, the world, minus the US, should make him their King.

Take my Obama .. please (drum tit tat tat).
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
meh... what can you expect. It’s not just the long and painful American-envy that much of the European elite has lived with for generations, he also gets his... uhmmmmm... ’conservative’ perspective on US politics from Andy.

Written By: rgaye
URL: http://
"the United States had its day, but in the end couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race".
Ah yes, the good old, "if you don’t vote obama your racist" I wish i could tell these people off in a good public kind of way. You bloggers don’t know how good you have it :) im just left to stew.

You know i do feel like we should try to some extent to quell antiamericanism, i think its in our best interests, but in the end if they want to start complaining about our choices for president i think they can go screw.
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
First the Guardian makes the NYT’s look like a conservative paper.

Let an American get his head cutoff, and its GOOD front page news.

Don’t judge most Brits by this paper, most look at it, like most here view the Enquirer. I think they have a larger following here then they do in England. And from the comments I have been reading here I think all of you can figure out who. If you cannot, then I guess that is one of the reasons you are voting for Obama, the party of the uninformed.

docjim505, I know what you mean, I was stationed in Germany 83-87, and had to deal with the protesters most of the time. Must admit, we did enjoy watching the German Police send flying end over end with those water cannons.
Written By: TheBad
URL: http://
Michael, thanks for that. It is the first time I heard ponce used so well in a post.
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
But what does that say about today’s America, that the world’s esteem is now unwanted?
It means we aren’t completely co-dependant, and are able to see our own self-worth without seeking the validation of morons.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
hahah funny they talk all this $hit about how evil we are and then want to chose our leaders. jealousy some?
Written By: slntax
URL: http://
The rest of the world reminds me of our own spoiled, leftist whackos
There’s a reason for that to be the case...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Dear Europe:

Have fun dealing with Iran and Russia on your own.

XOXOXO - America
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"But what does that say about today’s America, that the world’s esteem is now unwanted?"

It’s not unwanted. We do not reject its presence, we just don’t lament too much about its absence.

If the rest of the world weren’t screwed up, there’d be no America in the first place. America IS the better mousetrap. Not perfect, just better than anything else.

See Also: Independence (like in Declaration of...)
Written By: Augustus
URL: http://
It says more about the world that they don’t want OUR esteem....

Written By: shark
URL: http://
like some bitter gun clinger once said;
"Europe: They’ve always been there when they needed us."

McCain/Palin 08
for Proven Change
Written By: firefirefire
URL: http://
Why do they vote against their own self interest? Doesn’t Obama want to reduce the defense budget? They don’t think that their defense will be the first to go from our military budget?

Written By: wilky
URL: http://
Should McCain win, I have a feeling Republicans will get their chance at nominating a minority for VP, and vote for him in the form of the double-trouble ticket.

Palin/Jindal 2012
Written By: Keith_Indy
The entire purpose of this poll is to let the world and Leftist Obama nuts show how superior they are to us "simple folk". And, sometimes, that is quite enough for them. This little worthless poll (what do you think the margin for error is of a poll of "voting" preferences for peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the everyone else superior to an American Redneck is?) fullfills half their mission. The Democrats are thinking, "sure, it will be nice to win so we can get what we deserve", but just knowing that they are proven superior is probably enough for them.
Written By: Mark
URL: http://
Sometimes isolationism sounds pretty good.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
And apparently there is a new "global" poll coming out that shows that the rest of the world does not have a "consensus" on who was behind 9/11. This is the "world" that we are dealing with here.
Written By: Mark
URL: http://
Sometimes isolationism sounds pretty good.
So true, so true...
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
But what does that say about today’s America, that the world’s esteem is now unwanted?
No. It says that we do not base the decision of who leads our country on how the rest of the world feels about it. We make the decision we feel is best for us, electoral majority rules, world opinion be damned. It’s an American presidential election, not a world esteem contest.
And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.
That would be most inconsequential, most inconsequential.
If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us - and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.
Uh... good?
Written By: Is
URL: http://
And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.
Whatcha gonna do, bubba? Pass a resolution in the UN? God knows your militaries can’t do jack to us...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us - and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.
Promises, promises.

Tell you what, world. You want Obama, you can have him. Make him Sec-Gen of the UN or some similarly useless institution. It’ll get him out of our hair, park him somewhere where he can’t do much harm, and satisfy his ginormous ego. Win-win-win.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
It seems that 80% of the people polled in France support Obama. That alone is a reason why he will lose.
Written By: Don
URL: http:// we have an inverse say?....I dunno....let’s start with English politics.

I like the queen, she’s okay by me, but let’s give her a chance to enjoy her waning years and put William on the throne. They haven’t had a King William in forever.
Do ya suppose they might care if we told them if they don’t put William on the throne by November we’re going to think very poorly of them?

And France...France,
Sarkozy is okay, but I like Jean Reno better, he’s been in some good movies, I particularly liked him in Nikita, The Professional and on the lighter side - Just Visiting. Tell the French if they don’t make Reno head of their government by November we’re going to rename french fries again.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
That survey was conducted between July 8, 2008 and August 27, 2008. Pre-Palin McCain got very little international press, post-Palin the McCain campaign dominates news from America and is competing with the hurricanes or Georgia for top billing. If the survey was re-run today there would be a massive swing to McCain.
Written By: unaha-closp
"It seems that 80% of the people polled in France support Obama."

People who eat garden pests and aquarium cleaners can’t be taken seriously.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
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