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Author Topic: Question to Gustaf and other European Posters  (Read 15052 times)
MarkDel
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« on: January 30, 2004, 11:20:38 am »
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Gustaf and other European Posters,

I post at this site and several other forums that discuss American Politics, and at ALL of these forums, there are a shockingly high number of European posters who spend significant periods of time arguing about US politics. Can you please explain to me why you guys would spend so much time discussing the politics of another country, and why you think you are in any way qualified to make judgements concerning complex issues of American politics in light of the fact that you don't live in this country? I find this incredible. I would never go on a forum in England and try to tell Brits why the inhabitants of Leeds vote a certain way because I've never been there, so what makes it OK for you to try and tell me how people might vote in Alabama or South Dakota???

I find this trend of European posters very interesting, because they all fit the same modus operandi when it comes to their political ideology and posting style. Virtually 100% of the time they are well educated and decidedly LEFT of center in terms of their political ideology, always possessing a subtle anti-americanism that they generally hide very well until the debate gets heated.

So perhaps some of the European posters here could tell me what motivates them to spend so much time posting about American politics and why they feel qualified to have such strongly held opinions about something which they generally have little or no personal experience with?

I'm not trying to provoke a fight or be a jerk, but I am curious and looking for a coherent explanation. Thanks.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2004, 11:24:13 am »
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Leeds is a northern Industrial city so guessing which way it'll vote isn't very difficult.
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MarkDel
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2004, 11:42:05 am »
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Realpolitik,

Leeds was merely an example used to illustrate a point. I just as easily could have said Marseilles or Barcelona, or....How about addressing the real question?
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2004, 11:56:12 am »
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1. Although I am left wing (I'm a Christian Socialist and big fan of the Co-op movement), not all the Europeans here are (Pete Bell is a Tory for crying out loud)

2. I am certainly not anti-american. I'm both pro-American and pro-European (although the Commision needs some drastic reform) and I was anti the anti-war movement.

3. I take an interest in psephology and maps. 'nuff said.

4. Most Europeans are interested in American politics.
Most Americans have European ancestry anyways.

5. Why do certain American conservatives keep complaining about European's being on this board?

6. I am incredibly opinionated and like being that way.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2004, 01:46:37 pm »
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I don't understand why you're so bothered by it, but here goes:

1. First off, American politics affect the rest of the world rather a lot, so there's good reason for Europeans to take an interest in it.

2. If one is interested in politics, it's very natural to take an interest in international politics. That American conservatives are completely uninterested in the world around them doesn't mean that everyone live in little cocoons.

3. The whole "you don't know anything about us" is ridiculous. I don't think you would tell a a European professor in history giving a lecture on the Civil War to get out, b/c you're not from this country. One can be knowledgeable about other countries than one's own, even though Americans in general, and conservative Americans in particular seldom are. Maybe it's not us who are strange but you, but I suppose that would be a foreign concept to you, since the world evolves around your country. Conservatives are perhaps generally more absorbed with their own country, so that could be a reason for international debaters more often being left-winged.

It's perfectly OK for me if you have opinions on other countries. I am sure you have opinions on Islam or Iraq or China or the Soviet Union, though you probably had little or no personal experience of them. I find the notion that people need personal experiences to have opinions rather ridiculous.

4. Europe is different from the US politically, so most Europeans are left-wing by American standards. I am not though, I am clearly right-wing in Europe and dead centre in the US. If you check out the political tests I have posted as well as my "voting record" you would see that I am equally Democratic and Republican.

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Michael Z
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2004, 03:36:51 pm »
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I can't speak for the others, but I personally find American politics very fascinating. Besides, whatever happens in America affects the rest of the world, so I guess it's in my own personal interest to closely follow political events in the USA.

Like Realpolitik I'm also extremely opinionated. Wink

By the way, I find your suggestion that we are "subtly anti-American" rather offensive. I am a great admirer of America's achievements and its political system. Furthermore, I used to live in Chicago and have friends all over the USA. If anything it is your post which carries an element of subtle anti-Europeanism (not to mention xenophobia).
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 03:57:02 pm by Michael Zeigermann »Logged
Gustaf
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2004, 05:01:41 pm »
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I can't speak for the others, but I personally find American politics very fascinating. Besides, whatever happens in America affects the rest of the world, so I guess it's in my own personal interest to closely follow political events in the USA.

Like Realpolitik I'm also extremely opinionated. Wink

By the way, I find your suggestion that we are "subtly anti-American" rather offensive. I am a great admirer of America's achievements and its political system. Furthermore, I used to live in Chicago and have friends all over the USA. If anything it is your post which carries an element of subtle anti-Europeanism (not to mention xenophobia).

Yep. I think there is as much, if not more, anti-the-rest-of-the-worldism in America than there is anti-Americanism in Europe.
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2004, 05:29:54 pm »
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Gustaf and other European Posters,

I post at this site and several other forums that discuss American Politics, and at ALL of these forums, there are a shockingly high number of European posters who spend significant periods of time arguing about US politics. Can you please explain to me why you guys would spend so much time discussing the politics of another country, and why you think you are in any way qualified to make judgements concerning complex issues of American politics in light of the fact that you don't live in this country? I find this incredible. I would never go on a forum in England and try to tell Brits why the inhabitants of Leeds vote a certain way because I've never been there, so what makes it OK for you to try and tell me how people might vote in Alabama or South Dakota???

I find this trend of European posters very interesting, because they all fit the same modus operandi when it comes to their political ideology and posting style. Virtually 100% of the time they are well educated and decidedly LEFT of center in terms of their political ideology, always possessing a subtle anti-americanism that they generally hide very well until the debate gets heated.

So perhaps some of the European posters here could tell me what motivates them to spend so much time posting about American politics and why they feel qualified to have such strongly held opinions about something which they generally have little or no personal experience with?

I'm not trying to provoke a fight or be a jerk, but I am curious and looking for a coherent explanation. Thanks.
JMF---is that you?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2004, 05:41:59 pm »
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Gustaf and other European Posters,

I post at this site and several other forums that discuss American Politics, and at ALL of these forums, there are a shockingly high number of European posters who spend significant periods of time arguing about US politics. Can you please explain to me why you guys would spend so much time discussing the politics of another country, and why you think you are in any way qualified to make judgements concerning complex issues of American politics in light of the fact that you don't live in this country? I find this incredible. I would never go on a forum in England and try to tell Brits why the inhabitants of Leeds vote a certain way because I've never been there, so what makes it OK for you to try and tell me how people might vote in Alabama or South Dakota???

I find this trend of European posters very interesting, because they all fit the same modus operandi when it comes to their political ideology and posting style. Virtually 100% of the time they are well educated and decidedly LEFT of center in terms of their political ideology, always possessing a subtle anti-americanism that they generally hide very well until the debate gets heated.

So perhaps some of the European posters here could tell me what motivates them to spend so much time posting about American politics and why they feel qualified to have such strongly held opinions about something which they generally have little or no personal experience with?

I'm not trying to provoke a fight or be a jerk, but I am curious and looking for a coherent explanation. Thanks.
JMF---is that you?

Lol...JMF couldn't lie, he's a Christian. A lot of republicans have been muttering about these things before, I believe, so I'm not surprised. Comes with the world view, I guess.
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2004, 05:47:58 pm »
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Gustaf/Michael Z.,

I believe ALL of the available polling data will find that there's more anti-Americanism in Europe than vice versa. Americans LOVE European tourists and I can tell you that I was NOT loved when I went to Europe. I spent most of the time being told how arrogant we were as a people and how the United States was intruding on their culture. As for our attitude towards Europeans, it's extremely positive except for France.
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MarkDel
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2004, 05:48:48 pm »
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Miami,

I'm not JMF whoever that is.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2004, 05:50:35 pm »
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Gustaf/Michael Z.,

I believe ALL of the available polling data will find that there's more anti-Americanism in Europe than vice versa. Americans LOVE European tourists and I can tell you that I was NOT loved when I went to Europe. I spent most of the time being told how arrogant we were as a people and how the United States was intruding on their culture. As for our attitude towards Europeans, it's extremely positive except for France.

That's b/c you are arrogant...look at this thread...I am sure you love the exotic tourists, like when you watch monkeys in a zoo, but it doesn't really count as liking.
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2004, 05:56:22 pm »
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Miami,

I'm not JMF whoever that is.
That's jmfcst, our beloved Atlas Forum member.  Check otu this thread from the old forum:

http://uselectionatlas.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/leip/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=13&topic=84&start=10


There are more but I can find them right now.  And that one I posted is a poor example, really.
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2004, 06:05:20 pm »
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Miami,

I'm not JMF whoever that is.
That's jmfcst, our beloved Atlas Forum member.  Check otu this thread from the old forum:

http://uselectionatlas.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/leip/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=13&topic=84&start=10


There are more but I can find them right now.  And that one I posted is a poor example, really.


He stated it somewhere on this forum rather recently as well.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2004, 06:11:17 pm »
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Miami,

I know you think you are being terribly clever with this Sherlock Holmes thing about "JMF" but I am NOT this person. I just recently found this site less than two weeks ago and was not aware that there were past discussions on this "european" subject. If you like, please ask the moderator of this forum to check my IP address against this other poster. Contrary to what you might think, the questions I presented were not unique to one individual in terms of relevance.

Gustaf,

I love it. I'm arrogant...thanks for proving my point.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2004, 06:14:08 pm »
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Miami,

I know you think you are being terribly clever with this Sherlock Holmes thing about "JMF" but I am NOT this person. I just recently found this site less than two weeks ago and was not aware that there were past discussions on this "european" subject. If you like, please ask the moderator of this forum to check my IP address against this other poster. Contrary to what you might think, the questions I presented were not unique to one individual in terms of relevance.

Gustaf,

I love it. I'm arrogant...thanks for proving my point.

Well, you seem to think that people whoare not from your country aren't smart enough to discuss with you, I'd call that arrogant. You also have no interest in our country and think we should stay out and mind our own business. I'm sorry that people weren't nice to you when you visited Europe, that's really unwarranted considering how much you respect Europe. Maybe I should leave the forum as a gesture of sympathy?
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Michael Z
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2004, 06:16:58 pm »
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Gustaf/Michael Z.,

I believe ALL of the available polling data will find that there's more anti-Americanism in Europe than vice versa. Americans LOVE European tourists and I can tell you that I was NOT loved when I went to Europe. I spent most of the time being told how arrogant we were as a people and how the United States was intruding on their culture.

Unfortunately some people in Europe do feel a certain insecurity towards America, and there is, I'll admit, a currently popular sentiment that their cultures are being swallowed by America's dominance. For the record, I personally disagree with that sentiment. But it does exist.

That said, you can't judge all of Europe based on a few negative experiences. I mean, I've had some very bad experiences with Americans too, but I don't automatically think all Americans are bad people. I never judge an entire nation by the actions of a few people - everyone is an individual and I judge them accordingly, as human beings.

Europe and America share a great relationship. Let's keep it that way!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 06:18:28 pm by Michael Zeigermann »Logged
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2004, 06:19:34 pm »
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Gusta,

You are building a "straw man" argument that I did not make in my previous posts. I didn't say you were not SMART enough to discuss some issues related to American politics, I just stated that you might not be familiar enough with certain aspects of them. For example, I find it hilarious when posters like yourself try to comment on what might happen and why it might happen in certain Southern states that you wouldn't visit at gunpoint because of the alleged lack of culture in those states.
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2004, 06:20:06 pm »
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Maybe I should leave the forum as a gesture of sympathy?

I really hope you're joking Gustaf, I highly respect you and enjoy reading your posts.
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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2004, 06:25:12 pm »
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Gusta,

You are building a "straw man" argument that I did not make in my previous posts. I didn't say you were not SMART enough to discuss some issues related to American politics, I just stated that you might not be familiar enough with certain aspects of them. For example, I find it hilarious when posters like yourself try to comment on what might happen and why it might happen in certain Southern states that you wouldn't visit at gunpoint because of the alleged lack of culture in those states.

Oh, I'm sorry, of course it isn't arrogant to suggest that my posts are hilarious, I can see how I overreacted there.

Where have I stated that I wouldn't visit Southern states b/c of lack of culture? You'e making up a lot of thing here, calling me anti-American, leftist, ignorant of America, all things that you have no knowledge about.
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2004, 06:26:31 pm »
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Maybe I should leave the forum as a gesture of sympathy?

I really hope you're joking Gustaf, I highly respect you and enjoy reading your posts.

Yes, I was joking. Glad to see that you don't think my posts hilarious b/c I'm a foreigner. Good that someone realises that people do not have to be completely absorbed with their own country only.
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Michael Z
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2004, 06:29:12 pm »
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For example, I find it hilarious when posters like yourself try to comment on what might happen and why it might happen in certain Southern states that you wouldn't visit at gunpoint because of the alleged lack of culture in those states.

Did Gustaf ever individually say that, talk about a "lack of culture" in the South? No. You appear to be throwing all Europeans into the same pot, directing the anger you're feeling at some people who pissed you off on the internet or on holiday against us. You're generalising, in other words.

Try not to judge people based solely on their national or cultural background.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 06:32:33 pm by Michael Zeigermann »Logged
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2004, 06:34:22 pm »
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For example, I find it hilarious when posters like yourself try to comment on what might happen and why it might happen in certain Southern states that you wouldn't visit at gunpoint because of the alleged lack of culture in those states.

Did Gustaf ever individually say that? No. You appear to be throwing all Europeans into the same pot, directing the anger you're feeling at some people who pissed you off on the internet or on holiday against us. You're generalising, in other words.

Try not to judge people based solely on their national or cultural background.

I have actually stated repeatedly that I do NOT know that much about local politics of demographics in the US to give an opinion on a lot of issues. I have, for example, opted out of the "most dangerous liberals/conservatives" thread, b/c I didn't feel that I knew enough about it.

But Mark is probably very knowledgeable about Europe, he's been here, after all, and knows it all.
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« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2004, 06:43:29 pm »
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Michael Z,

Thank you for two very intelligent and accurate posts. I totally agree with you, it is dangerous and unfair to lump all people from a nation or continent together. That was not my intention and I'm sorry if it came across that way. I was referring specifically to certain posters here who all seemed to have similar political ideology.

I especially appreciate your admission that there is widespread anti-americanism in parts of Europe, and I appreciate even more your comment at the end about America and Europe being great long term allies. I agree with you and I assure you that until very, very recently, virtually all Americans shared our view. Unfortunately, a growing number of continental Europeans, including many of the most prominent leaders like Chirac, Schroeder, Fischer, etc...seem to believe that the post-Cold War world must be seen in different terms because the world is no longer "bi-polar" in terms of US and Soviet Union. The view of leaders like Chirac, and many prominent European academicians, suggest that the new world will include a bi-polar tension between the United States and Europe based on economic self-interest in the global economy. Thus anything which makes America weaker helps Europe. This is an unfortunate view, but it essentially explains the behavior of France and other nations. And when European nations take this dim view of US/Euro relations, the Neo-Conservatives (of which I am one) are forced to react in a rational manner and accept this as an unavoidable shift in international relations. This is VERY, VERY unfortunate, because the world will always be FAR safer when the United States and Europe are strong allies. But unless there is a change in the foreign policy of many European nations, this is the path we seem to be heading down in the 21st Century, and we head down this path to the peril of the entire world.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 06:46:20 pm by MarkDel »Logged
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2004, 06:46:49 pm »
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Michael Z,

Thank you for two very intelligent and accurate posts. I totally agree with you, it is dangerous and unfair to lump all people from a nation or continent together. That was not my intention an I'm sorry if it came across that way. I was referring specifically to certain posters here who all seemed to have similar political ideology.

I especially appreciate your admission that there is widespread anti-americanism in parts of Europe, and I appreciate even more your comment at the end about America and Europe being great long term allies. I agree with you and I assure you that unilt very, very recently, virtually all Americans shared our view. Unfortunately, a growing number of continental Europeans, including many of the most prominent leaders like Chirac, Schroeder, Fischer, etc...seem to believe that the post-Cold War world must be seen in different terms because the world is no longer "bi-polar" in terms of US and Soviet Union. The view of leaders like Chirac, and many prominent European academicians, suggest that the new world will include a bi-polar tension between the United States and Europe based on economic self-interest in the global economy. Thus anything which makes America weaker helps Europe. This is an unfortunate view, but it essentially explains the behavior of France and other nations. And when European nations take this dim view of US/Euro relations, the Neo-Conservatives (of which I am one) are forced to react in a rational manner and accept this as an unavoidable shift in international relations. This is VERY, VERY unfortunate, because the world will always be FAR safer when the United States and Europe are strong allies. But unless there is a change in the foreign policy of many European nations, this is the path we seem to be heading down in the 21st Century, and we head down this path to the peril of the entire world.

France has always been opportunist, they give amoral foreign policy a face. I wouldn't expect them to stand up for the West any time soon, unfortunately. Most of the other European countries should of course be part of the Western alliance.
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