I have to laugh at times, as sometimes, a detractor or two, expresses his/her chagrin at my “rhetoric” and announces that somehow I’m not being “fair” to other points of view, or somehow enticing people here with gimmicks and them lambasting them with “liberalism.”
I laugh since such people are apparently not very savvy when it comes to blogging. It is, after all, a personal place to speak, and thus the speaker controls perfectly the message.
I’m quick to admit that I have been obsessed in the past with “stats”. I write a lot, I am passionate in my opinions regardless of how “factually” right I am. I have something to say, I want to be heard. I plead guilty. Others, who have no such need, don’t blog. I am thrilled when people comment, yet I’ve come to realize that some of my most ardent readers probably never comment. They have no desire to speak their opinion.
As many of you have noticed, I have a “flag counter” and from time to time, I go to the site to see exactly how things break down. It’s a shock to me that only 62% of my readers are from the US. Of course, other large groups come from Canada and Great Britain. However Germany far outstrips Australia to the tune of about 3 to 1. I’m read in India as well quite regularly. But more people in Turkey read me than in New Zealand.
I wonder at what all this means. I don’t see a lot of discussion by bloggers of their international audience. SiteMeter does give you an option to see your visitors plotted on a world map similar to the cluster maps also located on the side bar. I don’t know if my percentages are odd or normal frankly, but somehow I suspect they are somewhat odd.
Regular readers here certainly notice that I am quick to speak harshly about my country and my government when I feel it is appropriate. The only folks, (I like to think anyway) who are unabashedly flag waving “my country right or wrong” folks, seem to be those whose education stopped forevermore at the completion of a basic GED. Given that most of the history taught in most schools in the US consists of our “achievements” this is rather expected.
One has to read long and systematically both history and politics to learn that the US is no different than most others in the thinking and motivations of its leaders. We tend to look out for number one, and unfortunately that has meant that a whole lot of folks around the world have paid rather severe prices for our needs to be met. We reap and will continue to reap the consequences of those actions.
No one seriously doubts that much of the anger directed at the US in the form of terrorism today is the direct result of our rather callus treatment of those “less well developed” than ourselves over the centuries. We carried on the European, and indeed world domination scheme that has always been with us. We have done little if any better than most of them in ruling our dynasty.
I like to think that I am read by so many over seas because they know that I will call a spade a spade as they say. I will not whitewash nor glorify the US when she is wrong. If we are ever to solve the seemingly unsolvable social issues that divide us internationally, then honesty must be attempted.
I like to think that I am read because over time, some have concluded that I represent fairly a segment of the population that is sane, rational, and still thinking. One comes here and will not find bizarre fantasies of creationism, American exceptionalism, neo-conservative power ploys, Christian superiority and other such flap. I hope my international brothers and sisters see that America is full of folks like me, and that we are working hard to undo some of the damage done over the decades and especially over the last eight misery laden years.
I hope they see that America is generally still sane. I like to think they see that most in America greet the rest of the world as equals, as responsible humans trying to figure out how in the best Rodney King display, “we can all just get along.”
The greatest sadness to me is that blogging has not caught on around the globe the way it has here. I have spend long hours searching for similarly situated blogs around the world, and have had little success. I would welcome an international discussion of policy and issues. For the most part that has not happened. I’m not sure why exactly, but just as there are people who write letters to the editor and there are people who would never dream of doing such a thing, the same seems to be part of the blogging/commenting world.
It is still a bit daunting and awesome to me to think that in some sense people might think I reflect some American truth. Those who worry about what we will do next and how it will affect them, perhaps find reason to have some faith that a steady hand is taking the tiller. Certainly President Obama has done much to give such assurance.
If I can do some tiny part to help that along, then I am gratified. On the other hand, I may be touted worldwide as nothing but an example of the crazy American that all must guard against. It’s perhaps a toss up. Still, I ponder, and in my imagination, I like to think I make some difference. How’s that for arrogance?