Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Foreigners for Kerry

The Washington Post headline trumpets, "Kerry Is Widely Favored Abroad."

An interesting conclusion, given that the article cites polls for only four countries (three for Kerry, one for Bush). The evidence from other countries is anecdotal. That's the equivalent of polling Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia and Tennessee, interviewing a few selected people in other states, then concluding in a headline, "Bush Is Widely Favored In America." Is it possible that Washington Post overseas reporters tend to hobnob with the intellectual elite, and that the intellectual elite's worldviews do not mirror that of the general populace?

For argument's sake, however, let's grant that Kerry is preferred overseas.

Upfront, the article cites some reasons foreigners prefer Kerry, most of which would carry virtually zero weight with the American electorate. In addition to liking Kerry's apparent respect for allies' views, according to the article, Kerry's foreign fans apparently like that
he seems worldly, with an African-born wife. He attended school in Geneva and speaks French. A first cousin of Kerry's, Brice Lalonde, is a Green Party mayor of a small town in western France.
And, needless to say they tend to hate Bush. Or at least the ones interviewed for this article do. Remember the last president that was hated overseas with a passion? The Post does:

The deep antipathy has produced a round of Bush-bashing magazine covers, books and television debates that many foreign policy observers say is unprecedented, stronger even than the widespread repudiation abroad of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
Remember the reasons for the European antipathy toward Reagan? He was a simpleton who couldn't understand that aggressive foreign policies like putting missiles in Europe would just antagonize the Russians and make the world a less safe place. He declared our enemy to be evil, not comprehending that the world is a more nuanced place.

Any of this sound familiar?