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Posted: 9/25/2004 7:39:41 PM EST


www.commondreams.org/views04/0922-07.htm


Still No Votes in Leipzig
US Policy Now Affects Every Citizen on the Planet. So We Should All Have a Say in Who Gets to the White House

by Jonathan Freedland

There were few pleasures to be had following Bob Dole's doomed presidential campaign in 1996, but one was the unique brand of anti-charm adopted by the candidate. I was once on the receiving end of it myself, during a stop in New Hampshire. Dole had just inspected a factory and a huddle of reporters gathered to ask some questions. I was only three words into mine when the would-be president cut me off. He'd heard my accent and decided there was no point giving me the time of day. "No votes in Liverpool," he snapped, before calling on the man from the Kansas City Star.

I later heard a reporter from Finnish TV dismissed with a crisp "No votes in Leipzig". Dole's familiarity with both British accents and European geography may have been slightly off, but the point was clear enough. He was running in an American election: he needed to speak to Americans and Americans alone. No one else mattered.

At the time, that logic seemed fair enough. Americans were choosing their own leader to run their own government. Americans would pay the taxes and live with the consequences of their decision. It was up to them.

But now I'm not so sure. For who could honestly describe the 2004 contest of George Bush and John Kerry as a domestic affair? There's a reason why every newspaper in the world will have the same story on its front page on November 3. This election will be decisive not just for the United States but for the future of the world.

Anyone who doubts it need only look at the last four years. The war against Iraq, the introduction of the new doctrine of pre-emption, the direct challenge to multilateral institutions - chances are, not one of these world-changing developments would have happened under a President Al Gore. It is no exaggeration to say that the actions of a few hundred voters in Florida changed the world.

So perhaps it's time to make a modest proposal. If everyone in the world will be affected by this election, shouldn't everyone in the world have a vote? Despite Bob Dole, shouldn't the men who want to be president win the support of Liverpool and Leipzig as well as Louisville and Lexington?

It may sound wacky, but the idea could not be more American. After all, the country was founded on the notion that human beings must have a say in the decisions that govern their lives. The rebels' slogan of "No taxation without representation" endures two centuries later because it speaks about something larger than the narrow business of raising taxes. It says that those who pay for a government's actions must have a right to choose the government that takes them.

Today, people far from America's shores do indeed pay for the consequences of US actions. The citizens of Iraq are the obvious example, living in a land where a vile dictatorship was removed only for a military occupation and unspeakable violence to be unleashed in its place. The would-be voters of downtown Baghdad might like a say in whether their country would be better off with US forces gone. Perhaps John Kerry's Monday promise to start bringing the troops home, beginning next summer, would appeal to them. But they have no voice.

It's not just those who live under US military rule who might wish to choose the commander-in-chief. Everyone from Madrid to Bali is now drawn into the "war on terror" declared by President Bush. We might believe that war is being badly mishandled - that US actions are aggravating the threat rather than reducing it - and that we or our neighbours will eventually pay the price for those errors. We might fear that the Bush policy is inflaming al-Qaida, making it more not less likely to strike in our towns and cities, but right now we cannot do anything to change that policy. Instead we have to watch the US campaign on TV, with our fingers crossed - impotent spectators of a contest that could shake up our lives. (Those who feel the same way about Tony Blair should remember: at least we will get a vote.)

So we ought to hold America to its word. When George Bush spoke to the UN yesterday, he invoked democracy in almost every paragraph, citing America's declaration of independence which insists on the equal worth of every human being. Well, surely equal worth means an equal say in the decisions that affect the entire human race.

That 1776 declaration is worth rereading. Its very first sentence demands "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind": isn't that exactly what the world would like from America today? The document goes on to excoriate the distant emperor George for his recklessness, insisting that authority is only legitimate when it enjoys "the consent of the governed". As the world's sole superpower, the US now has global authority. But where is the consent?

By this logic, it is not a declaration of independence the world would be making. On the contrary, in seeking a say in US elections, the human race would be making a declaration of dependence - acknowledging that Washington's decisions affect us more than those taken in our own capitals. In contrast with those founding Americans, the new declaration would argue that, in order to take charge of our destiny, we do not need to break free from the imperial power - we need to tame it.

Such a request would also represent a recognition of an uncomfortable fact. It would be an admission that the old, postwar multilateral arrangements have broken down. In the past, America's allies could hope to influence the behemoth via treaties, agreements and the UN. The Bush era - not just Iraq, but Washington's disdain for Kyoto, the test ban treaty, the international criminal court and the rest - suggests that the US will no longer listen to those on the outside. As candidate Dole understood, only those with votes get a hearing.

Will this modest proposal fly? Will it hell. Despite Bush's smooth talk in New York yesterday, his position remains that America does not need a "permission slip" from anybody to do anything. If Washington won't listen to the security council, it's hardly likely to submit itself to the voters of Paris and Pretoria.

Besides, every good Republican knows the world is solid Kerry territory. A survey by pollsters HI Europe earlier this month found that, if Europeans had a vote, they would back Kerry over Bush by a 6 to 1 margin. Bush would win just 6% in Germany, 5% in Spain and a measly 4% in France. No Republican is going to cede turf like that to the enemy.

You would think those numbers would hurt Bush, making clear how unpopular he is in the world. But they don't. If anything they hurt Kerry, suggesting he is the candidate of limp-wristed foreigners and therefore somehow less American. We may find that a sorry state of affairs. But there is little we can do about it. In the democratic contest that matters most to the world, the world is disenfranchised.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004





Over my dead ass!

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:45:11 PM EST
What a crock of shit!!!
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:45:25 PM EST
Jonathan,

Fuck you and your mother in the ass.

Sincerely,

C-4
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:47:32 PM EST
Thank god the world is disinfranchised. If I wanted America to fail, like the rest of the world does, I would vote for John Kerry too. That guy is a fucking idiot. If it is EVER proposed that the rest of the world gets to vote for an American president I will respond and I doubt it will be a peaceful response.
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:49:22 PM EST
Fuck COMMIEdreams...
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:49:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2004 7:51:11 PM EST by NYPatriot]
What a good idea!!!

Why yes, they should have the opportunity to vote in our presidential election...

<­BR>





... just as soon as every last one of them eats the corn out of my shit!
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:50:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2004 7:51:26 PM EST by raven]
I think it's a great idea. But before we do it, let's have a trial run in the UK first, where 300,000,000 Americans can vote in British elections.

What? No takers? What are the Brits afraid of? Shouldn't we as Americans have a say in the elections of a foreign, sovereign nation?
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:52:17 PM EST


Sure, but first let's make sure they change their countries to conform to the US Constitution. They'd have to start off as protectorates of course. Only after they've proved themselves to be worthy of the vote will they be allowed to join in the process. They would also have to pay taxes to the US, renounce allegiance to their own country and become citizens of the US.
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:55:26 PM EST
i like it......................................give us a damned good excuse to use all these "assault rifles" we've been making lately
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:56:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
I think it's a great idea. But before we do it, let's have a trial run in the UK first, where 300,000,000 Americans can vote in British elections.

What? No takers? What are the Brits afraid of? Shouldn't we as Americans have a say in the elections of a foreign, sovereign nation?

Link Posted: 9/25/2004 7:58:36 PM EST
When the American flag flies over their country and the constitution of the United States of America rules the land. When they are added as states to our United States. When the senators and congressmen that represent them pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America.
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:05:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By lippo:


Today, people far from America's shores do indeed pay for the consequences of US actions. The citizens of Iraq are the obvious example, living in a land where a vile dictatorship was removed only for a military occupation and unspeakable violence to be unleashed in its place.



Simply put, if these people would keep thier own house in order, we wouldn't be over there kicking thier ass... fullclip
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:18:58 PM EST
The people of Nazi Germany should have had a say in the 1944 election. The VC should have had a say in the 1966 and 1970 elections.

"No idea is more American?" You dumbass, we got rid of your shitty little country and we didn't want to have anything to do with any other country back then! Why did we even start the revolution if we wanted foreigners telling us how to live our lives?
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:26:05 PM EST
Come on guys, the guy that wrote that is obviously a commie bastard. He doesnt realize that if other nations voted in our elections we would most likely have a Islamic Extremist or a Chinese national or an Indian Hindu as our president. Fucking Idiot.
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:41:16 PM EST
Sorry, but its already a reality, only 10 states in this country actually require proof of citizenship to vote. How easy was it for you to register and vote?
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:45:00 PM EST
Are there now 297 stars on our flag ? Did I miss something ?


GM
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:47:48 PM EST
right after we adopt global taxation on citizens to fund gun control...
Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:49:07 PM EST
I would like that.



So long as i can shoot everyone who doesn't agree with me.



Link Posted: 9/25/2004 8:53:40 PM EST
This is not funny. I hear Europeans insisting all the time that they feel they should have a right to vote in our elections, as well as the right to influence our voters. They say it is because the US has so much influence over their lives. When I hear that BS I go postal on them.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 8:57:43 AM EST
Maybe we should get to vote in every other country's elections too? We'd run the EU, then we could cut their taxes and remove all their socialist programs.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 9:04:20 AM EST
FUCK NO!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 9:56:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By C-4:
Jonathan,

Fuck you and your mother in the ass your mother's maggot-infested cottage cheese ass and die of AIDS you jitbag .

Sincerely,

C-4



fixed it.

Link Posted: 9/26/2004 10:03:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By lu380:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Jonathan,

Fuck you and your mother in the ass your mother's maggot-infested cottage cheese ass and die of AIDS you jitbag .

Sincerely,

C-4



fixed it.




And post pics
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 10:37:37 AM EST
hell no!!!!!

they dont have no say; they dont pay us taxes; they dont support us (most of em); and thtere too many damn liberals int he world today

h/w, ~50% of Americans don't vote

GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!

(yall know who to vote for)
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 11:49:00 AM EST
Good idea...

for me to poop on!
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 11:52:26 AM EST



And post pics




I think I can pass on the picks of that
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:11:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 12:13:08 PM EST by EvilDead]
"Ive been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding"

Obviously this line is true about Europe. That dumbson of a bitch, needs to be dragged into the street and shot.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:15:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
I think it's a great idea. But before we do it, let's have a trial run in the UK first, where 300,000,000 Americans can vote in British elections.



I would have no problem with that… at least the Socialists would be run out of town on a rail…

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:17:27 PM EST
So does it become the USW? Are we the supreme rulers? What do us Orig Usa'ers get? Do we get free booze from germany?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:21:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By olyarms:
So does it become the USW? Are we the supreme rulers? What do us Orig Usa'ers get? Do we get free booze from germany?



Actually it's all part of the New World Order, the Illuminati want Bush as World President…

Andy
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:23:16 PM EST
If Bush is that unpopular in Europe and the rest of the world, he must be doing something right.
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