John Derbyshire at the NRO corner posts a letter from a reader in China who is concerned about the impact of the over-the-top Bush-bashing by the U.S. media and the Democrats on perceptions of our country abroad:
One of the things I find particularly distressing is how the careless and hateful rhetoric of Democrats and the media have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the Chinese, who receive it via (God help us!) the BBC. Bush evil. Bush stupid. That’s what my students believe; the dismissive tone of their voices, when they mention President Bush’s name, speaks more than any words can. Democrats and the media are so insular, that they do not begin to conceive of the impact of their propaganda and how that shapes the way the rest of the world views us. What has poisoned the perception of the U.S. abroad is not the actions of GWB, but that of the Democrats and the media who noised abroad their disdain and lack of support for Dubya, all for political gain. Had the Democrats and media done what was right, the U.S. would be in different odor around the globe.
I suspect that, even absent the hateful rhetoric, foreign perceptions of the U.S. would be poisoned. It is, after all, the BBC that is transmitting the anti-Bush slanders into China. They can make up their own lies if they have to. I don’t doubt, though, that the anti-American propaganda of people like Michael Moore is injuring our country.
When it comes to the Democrats, I’m reminded of a story about the legendary English soccer manager Brian Clough. When Clough was managing Nottingham Forest his team won a big Cup tie (special tournament match) at home against my favorite team, Everton. The match turned on a controversial call in the final minutes. The Everton players didn’t take it well and, I’m ashamed to say, destroyed the visitors’ locker room. On Monday, the cleaning lady told Clough that the room was a shambles and that she didn’t know where to begin cleaning up. Clough told her to leave the room as is. Everton was scheduled to return on Saturday for a regular-season match.
UPDATE: House of Payne has more on this subject. The conclusion: “A lot of this I think can be chalked up to the effects of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Sensible, patriotic Americans are saying stupid things, and foreigners are listening and learning. And the legacy of this poisonous speech will be felt for years to come. If Kerry is elected, he will have to deal with it. If not him, perhaps Hillary in 2008. Sooner or later, some Democratic president is going to have to drink from this poisoned well.”