America’s role, and The Shinbone Star’s international appeal

In just three months, The Shinbone Star has drawn readers from 124 territories and countries.

At the moment of this posting, we here at The Shinbone Star have amassed 766 followers on WordPress, 44 more who follow us by e-mail, and another 403 who read us on various social media. Considering that we’ve only been around for three months, it’s easy to see why we’re very happy with those numbers.

True, this is a far cry from the halcyon days of the newspaper business when most of our staff members were counting circulation numbers in the hundreds of thousands, but for a bunch of (mostly) tired old has-beens who are doing this for free in our spare time, it’s not half bad.

But the thing that really rocks me back is when I look at our WordPress readership map. Our site is all about hating Don Trump, and if you’re a reader, there’s really no reason for you to be here unless you feel the same way. What that tells me is that there’s a great big brimming bowl of hate for Donny Trump that encircles the globe. Huzzah!

Another thing that strikes home is something I already knew, but is reinforced by a look at the map, and that is the insularity of most Americans. For example, how many Americans can say that they have any understanding of politics in Nigeria? Yet at least one person in that country has read articles at The Shinbone Star 16 times since we’ve been publishing.

Among our readership heavy hitters: the United Kingdom with 591 page views, India with 316 and Ireland with 300.

Why would so many readers in other countries have an interest in our orange shitgibbon of a president? Well, it should be obvious that a nation that drives the world economy and is led by an absolute moron — with access to enough nuclear-tipped missiles to destroy the world a dozen times over — might spark a bit of concern and morbid curiosity.

Before writing this post, I contacted a couple of foreign readers who also happen to be friends of mine, so I’ll let them tell you. First K.G., a blogger friend and an Indian national now living in the United Kingdom:

“I read it because I like to know what the authors who are also ex-journalists think and say about what is happening in the USA, given that they have been stamped as ‘Fake News’ by the current government. You can say it is kind of my in-depth news source at the moment. I have never been a huge politics fan, never understood the ins and outs of it. I hardly bothered with the daily happenings of the USA during the previous government. But ever since the election campaign last year with two people who are so varied in their opinions, views, experiences, mentality, gender and common sense, it was hard not to follow. For a country that is considered a superpower, it is not possible to ignore the happenings in U.S. politics especially when it is headed by someone who comes across a bully and a very inefficient government servant. It not only impacts the U.S. but also its relation with all other countries. I also have friends and their families who are in the U.S. and the current government impacts them and their lives in many ways.”

And then there’s Fiona from Ireland:

“I read the Shinbone Star to see on the ground, unfiltered opinions of local U.S. journalists and commentators additional to mainstream news coverage from a variety of Irish, U.S., European, Russian and British channels and newspapers. American politics is set in context to world politics, peace, economics and global environmental welfare. The USA is not in isolation — there is a big Rest-of-the-World beyond U.S. borders, and the decisions and actions of the U.S. administrations affect the rest of the world in all respects, for better or worse.”

Yes indeed, there really is a big “Rest-of-the-World” out there beyond the United States, and it’s obvious that our Imbecile in Chief doesn’t give two shakes about any of it. His “America First” doctrine makes it apparent that he has no regard for what happens elsewhere in the world, and his domestic policies since taking office certainly bring into question whether he has any regard for what goes on within our borders either.

It’s long been said by foreigners that Americans are amazingly parochial, and I think that’s an accurate assessment, even for those of us who might consider ourselves among the enlightened. Even a liberal snowflake like me can’t say that I know much about what’s been going on lately in Cameroon, but I think you can double down on that statement when you’re talking about a typical Republican. At the very least, most liberal Democrats will have heard of Cameroon and have a vague notion that it’s located somewhere in Africa. A typical conservative Republican probably thinks it’s a small city in Kansas.

Is “America First” a bad thing? Well, not necessarily. I love my country, and I suppose it’s natural to want what’s best for yourself and for the place you call home. But there’s something else that separates Democrats and Republicans: the Democratic Party is the “Party of We,” while the Republicans are the “Party of Me.”

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

  • I have health insurance for myself but I’m very concerned about people who don’t, and I’m willing to pay money out of my own pocket to help those less fortunate. Most Democrats feel the same way, but Republicans . . . not so much.
  • I’m a 60-year-old white guy with thinning gray hair who looks like he oughta be a Republican, but because I actually care about women’s rights and people with skin colors different than my own, I’m a registered Democrat.
  • I’m a pagan who doesn’t care whether other people believe what I believe, and I also don’t think it’s my job to try to convert or save anybody. I try hard to respect Christians and Christianity, but I don’t view it as the national religion, and I don’t think prayer in school is a good idea whether you’re praying to Jesus, Mohammed, Zeus or Frigg, and if you don’t pray to anything at all, well, that’s fine with me too. When you add all that up, it’s just one more reason why I vote Democrat, which sure ain’t the party of the religious right.
  • I vote Democrat because I don’t believe we should be constructing walls on our southern border. While Trump was issuing his rallying cries of hate and isolationism during the presidential campaign, I could easily remember watching on television as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989, and oh my, how things have changed in the GOP, because it was just two years previously that Republican Party icon Ronald Reagan said this:

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!”

  • If you vote with the “Party of Me,” you don’t care about the science of climate change, because, “Aw hell, Maude, it’s 10 below zero today in Minneapolis, so what the hell are them libtards talking about Climate Change?” Yep, that’s how most Republicans think. They conveniently leave out the “Global” in Global Warming, and don’t care if somebody in Africa starves to death, or whether the Netherlands is swamped by sea-level change.

I want to thank all the foreign readers of The Shinbone Star who have made us a part of their daily reading. I want to extend the hand of friendship to you all, but I also want to apologize.

The United States became a world player during World War I, and quite frankly, most Americans feel some sense of pride for our global accomplishments. We’ve fed and clothed millions, come to your assistance in times of war, and championed the cause of Freedom as if we alone coined the meaning of the word.

But with the rise of the radical Republican agenda, we have become a rogue nation, unworthy of your continued love or trust. If you cast a wary eye in our direction, how can anyone blame you? We have abandoned whatever claim we had as a model nation and champion of democracy. Half of our electorate is dumb beyond measure. Half of our citizens don’t care whether you die in a dustbowl famine or drown beneath the rising tide.

But know this: There is another half to America, and here we are marching, fighting, writing and legislating, not just for ourselves, but for you. Again, thank you for reading, whether it’s a lot or a little. No matter where you live, no matter what your color, creed or worldview, you have friends here at The Shinbone Star, and we’re fighting hard to be worthy of your continued support.

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10 thoughts on “America’s role, and The Shinbone Star’s international appeal

  1. Very interesting. i have FB friends in South Africa , so we commiserate abt the situation in our homes. it must be a pandemic. Help. Somebody?

    Liked by 1 person

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