November 29, 2004

"Dangerously uninformed about American realities"

TM Lutas is working on an essay to explain America to foreigners who are not getting the truth from their own news media. I will be interested to see what results, though my guess is that people in many other lands just don't want to know.

...If you (outside the US) depend on getting information about the US from news sources who maintain their own cordon sanitaire and do not read, listen, or react to the alternative media structures of the US center-right, you will be laughably misinformed, even dangerously uninformed, though you do your part and consume your national news media voraciously. Far too many foreigners seem dangerously uninformed about american realities.

If you woke up and neither you, nor anybody you knew, could explain why George W Bush was reelected, it's a strong warning sign. If everybody was depressed over how such a bad man could have possibly been elected, this is a dangerous warning sign that you and your set have not gotten enough information to even come close to predicting the US. It's not a problem of you disagreeing with the US electorate. Diversity is the spice of life. It is that those whose opinions were different were invisible to you and when they made their force felt at the ballot box, you were shocked by their very existence. Your news media had an absolute duty to explain these people to you and they failed to do so. That failure is just one data point in a very busy graph.

Suppose you are a Frenchman. The logical conclusion to draw from History, and from American and Anglosphere (and before them Dutch) success is that your nation took a wrong turn somewhere around the time of Cardinal Mazarin. And that, as a practical matter, there is no way France is going to change at this late date. Your best bet is to stick your fingers in your ears, shout "I can't hear you! Bush_Is_Hitler!" and hope things don't get too much worse...

Posted by John Weidner at November 29, 2004 10:51 AM
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