Conspiring to Vote

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Yes, the dollar is nowadays considerably stronger versus most other major world currencies than it has been in a long while. Here’s my pet theory about why that is: it’s due to the veritable flood of news correspondents from outside the US who have traveled there – many taking their camera-crews along with them – to try to capture for their readers back home vignettes of American life in the context of the election that reveal some basic essence of where that country is going. I can’t even count by now all the “road trip through America” article-series I have seen sponsored by various foreign publications, for example. (Here’s the one from the Guardian, if you want a taste.)

Pauline Michgelsen is a writer who has been dispatched to the States by the excellent Dutch daily Trouw, and while she doesn’t seem to be road-trippin’ through the highways and by-ways in some caravan, in her recent piece Learning to vote she makes a bolder move: she deliberately infiltrates a gathering held by that band of subversives famously sworn to undermine the functioning of American elections in particular, and the American Way in general. I’m talking here about ACORN, of course, and Michgelsen somehow manages both to learn of the secret handshake required to gain access to a “Know your rights” evening held inside a Lutheran church in Lansing, MI and even make her way out of there at the end intact. (more…)

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