Friday, October 15, 2004

the Guardian

Tim Blair reports that the Guardian, a British newspaper, has gotten a voter list from Clark County, Ohio and they are encouraging British citizens to write to those people about the election (link from Instapundit).

There is a lot of sport made about it (read the comments too, some are very funny), but there is also a bit of anger. I don't see why people should be angry about this. What's wrong with encouraging people to communicate? Tim Blair and his commenters are interpreting this an attempt to influence an American election, and they're right, but the point is that the attempt is by perfectly legitimate means.

Isn't this what blogging is all about? Wouldn't we all like it if some European leftists were influenced by some conservative American blogs? Influenced to the point of changing the way they vote? We American bloggers who write some political commentary, would any of us claim that we only want to influence other Americans? I doubt it.

We have opinions. We think our opinions are right. We think we have good reasons for our opinions and that if we could adequately express these reasons to the other side, then we might get some of them to change their minds. The Guardian editors are no different, they just have different opinions.

And who knows, maybe some Ohioans will write back and change the mind of some Guardian readers. Lot's of Guardian readers probably have no idea how little they know about the world. They think that they get lots of good international news from the Guardian and BBC and Reuters. They have no idea how distorted their news is. Maybe a letter from Ohio is just what they need to clue them in that they need to get on the Internet and find out what is really going on.

I not only approve the Guardian effort, I'd encourage other newspapers around the world to do the same thing. Let's have political pen pals from all over. Get the newspapers out of middle and let people talk.

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