Carolyn Parrish is a big, fat idiot (on anti-Americanism in Canada)

parrish.bmp

Carolyn Parrish is a Member of the Parliament of Canada.  Last year, she called Americans "bastards."  On Wednesday, she called them "idiots."   

Ms. Parrish offered her recent slur while commenting on a missile-defense treaty.  In the words of the National Post, she believes that "participating in missile defense [with the US] would make Canada a terrorist target.”" 

May I take this opportunity to apologize to American friends and readers?  I am guessing the typical reaction is, first, "What?"” and, then, "Whatever.”"  And indeed Ms. Parrish deserves the dismissal we reserve all for kooks and cranks.  The trouble is that there are millions of like minded kooks and cranks in my fair country. 

Anti-Americanism is rampant.  Many Canadians now make free with the most derogatory comments about their southern neighbors.  They are pleased to call Americans stupid, aggressive, and vulgar.  They are quick to say that Bush is a moron.  (And here I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "well, he may not be Stephen Hawking but he is almost certainly smarter than you.”")  Want an easy laugh at a gathering of Canadians?  Say something anti-American.  No sooner have you spoken than the room is awash in self congratulation.  American bashing is now a Canadian pastime, as passionately pursued as road hockey and Tim Horton do-nuts. 

Indeed, I have not heard prejudice as unabashed as this since I spent a summer in the south of France and listened to locals let fly with anti-Semitic sentiments.  (I do not mean to compare anti-Americanism to anti-Semitism, but merely the unapologetic ease with which both sentiments are, in this case, offered.)  Canadians pride themselves on being open minded and cosmopolitan.  But here they are stupid, aggressive, and vulgar. 

This is a classic "clique effect,"” according to which the members of a comparison set who are judged and found wanting have two choices: to accept the judgment or to cultivate values that release them from the comparison.  This is a kind of "you can’t judge me, I march to a different drummer"” strategy. 

In some ways, this is apt.  Canada is a country trembling on the verge of Second World status.  Its health care system is crumbling.  Its economy is underpowered.  Its education system, merely ordinary.  Its contribution to global culture, modest.  But let’s take the most immediate case in point, the Olympics.  So far, Canada has a score of 9 in the medal race.  The Netherlands, with a population of 16 million (Canada has 25 m.) is well ahead with 21.  (Naturally, everyone is thrilled we continue to outpace Estonia which has 3 medal points.)

Really, there is no comparison.  The US leads in scientific accomplishment (see Nobel lists and patents awards), athletics (see Olympic wins), education (see Ph.D.s produced), business innovation, technological innovation, and cultural innovation.  Oh, Canada.  Poor Canada.  Your neighbor outstrips you on every dimension.

But I have never heard a Canadian admit to admiration or even acknowledgement of this difference.  Instead, the strategy is to claim moral superiority.  Canadians are better, they suppose, because they have better social programs, pay more taxes, and do not go to war.  Why is that, I wonder?  The reason that Canada does not go to war is because it lives within the protection of the US.  This is the reason it has an Armed Force that would be hard pressed, if transplanted to Eastern Europe, to defend itself from an attack by Estonia. 

And this brings us to the question of terrorism and Ms. Parrish’s conviction that a missile defense treaty with the US would expose Canada to an attack.  It is hard to know whether this is naiveté or cowardice.  But it certainly smacks of ingratitude.  To accept American protection and then, in the American hour of urgency, to refuse to do what little we can, is wrong. 

It compounds the error made by former Prime Minister Chrétien when he refused to send Canadian troops to Iraq.  Chrétien claimed that there was insufficient evidence of weapons of mass destruction.  What in God’s name prompted him to think this was the point?  Plainly and simply, our neighbour needed us to close ranks, show solidarity, and present a single face to the dithering world community.  If friendship was not enough, surely the opportunity to repay the "protection" debt” should have been.  If you can’’t act from honor, you might at least think about acting out of reciprocity. 

Ms. Parrish calls Americans "bastards”" and "idiots"” because she would otherwise be obliged to accept a pressing reality: that Canada is no longer the "sleeping giant"” but a continental embarrassment, the little brother who turns out to be slow at learning, bad at sports, incapable of protecting himself, inclined to incoherent outbursts, and, in spite of this, insufferably smug, self important, and ungrateful.  Ms. Parrish, please, for the love of God, just shut up. 

References

Curry, Bill. 2004.  Liberal Insults U.S. Again.  National Post.  August 26, 2004.

136 thoughts on “Carolyn Parrish is a big, fat idiot (on anti-Americanism in Canada)

  1. Grant McSorley

    I just read the new post about The Bay. While it personnaly isn’t a huge deal , after all it will probably run the same way it always has, you should probably note the historical context. The Bay has been in Canada since before the country even existed, it’s an icon. I’m not sure what would be the American equivalent, but it’s simply something that people could identify as Canadian amid the huge part of our commercial and popular culture comes from the United States. The fact is, the US exports these things throughout most of world, not only to Canada, and we aren’t the only one’s concerned about the encroaching “Americanisms”. However, being neighbours makes us all the more wary. The last thing we want is for the rest of the world to see us as part of the United States, because there still are some fundamental differences between our socities. Just look at those practically accusing Canada of being communist. As far as comparing Canadian contributions to those of Iowa, knowing of more doesn’t mean there are more.

  2. Mike

    Any chance the Canadians are just reacting angrily to the Canada bashing taking place this side of the border? Have you ever heard Bill O’Reilly and the outrageous things he says about Canada and Canadians? I think people around the world are just sick and tired of Americans thumping their chests and dismissing every other nationality. There are good things in America but there are also a lot of things that are nothing to be proud of. And there are plenty of things in Canada that we could emulate.

  3. TrueNorth

    As a Canadian, I find it amazing that so many Americans can attempt to discuss why Canada has turned bitter toward our southern neighbours, yet miss the main point entirely.

    You see, Canada grieved with the U.S. that terrible day in September ’01. Canada took in terrified Americans stranded by their airlines. Canada held moments of silence for the fallen all over our country. Canada WAS in complete solidarity with our American friends as we voted to invade Afghanistan, and wipe out the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, who were responsible for that brutal calamity. We were there with you, and still are. We still have fighting men and women in Afghanistan, and proudly so.

    But the point is, the main and only point is, your government arbitrarily decided to invade Iraq a second time, under false pretenses. The first invasion of Iraq was a set up to a degree as well, but I won’t get into that. The second invasion was based on a lie, a series of lies, and attempted to usurp the good will, and the sympathy the world felt for the victims of 9/11, and turn that into a campaign for America’s interests.

    Iraq was not the ‘imminent threat’ it was accused of being, and anyone who still tries to claim that is simply a fool. Saddam may have been a ruthless dictator, but this was tolerated, yea endorsed by America when allying with Saddam served their interests. There are countless other dictators with similar backgrounds all over the world, that America tolerates, and even does arms sales business with. Saddam was not unique, or exclusive. Yet, the American government painted him to be the most dangerous man on earth. That, my friends, was a bold-faced lie.

    And now, nearly a thousand young Americans have died, more than six thousand have been wounded, there have been terrible losses of life on the Iraqi side, and the violence continues. The world is not safer today. Terrorism is not on the run. Take a look at Russia over the last couple of days. That could just as easily be happening in your country.

    To think you can wash away the lies of this war by scaring the American people may work in Iowa, but we are not so easily dazzled here. We see what is going on, we know what America has done, and we are alarmed and dismayed. So, when a politician like Parrish squawks flagrant ad-hominems at your President (who her comments were intended for, not the American people in general), they do so out of sheer exasperation for an administration that still, after all this time, and after all this death, still gets on the TV screen, and declares that they did the right thing in Iraq.

  4. Steve

    You wrote that “Chrétien claimed that there was insufficient evidence of weapons of mass destruction. What in God’s name prompted him to think this was the point?” Well, wasn’t that the point that Bush was making? Besides, both of our trucks were already in Afghanistan.

    Canada is not a US protectorate, and we have no “protection debt” to repay. Our military is relatively small because we don’t maintain much of a foreign presence and we don’t expect the Americans will attack us. (Unless we can’t get Carolyn Parrish to shut up.)

    Carolyn Parrish was way out of line with her nasty comments. Unfortunately, one of the most defining characteristics of being Canadian is not being American. She, and others like her, seem to think that American bashing is some kind of Canadian nationalism. She lacks the skills to present a reasonable argument, so she resorts to name calling. When you say that “Canada is a country trembling on the verge of Second World status” you are playing the same game that she is.

  5. Roy

    I am an older Canadian and I rarely hear this sort of thing. You can find a Canadian who will express extreme opinions on anything you care to name and another Canadian who will try to turn it into a cultural phenomena.

  6. triticale

    If our overseas military bases are there to project imperial power, why are the countries they are in so upset that Bush is talking of phasing them out. If they are there to protect our interests, how exactly are we profiting from South Korea in ways we couldn’t without a military presence?

  7. triticale

    And now, nearly a thousand young Americans have died, more than six thousand have been wounded…

    That would have been a worse than average day in WWII.

    Also note that the recent terrorist activity in Russia has been carried out by their own Chechan Islamists, who are acting upon anger tracing back to Stalin, and have been doing so since the time the U.S. government thought that moderation was the wise way to respond to terrorism

  8. glory

    Fareed Zakaria on anti-Americanism: “In this post-ideological age, anti-Americanism fills the void left by defunct belief systems. It has become a powerful trend in international politics today—and perhaps the most dangerous. U.S. hegemony has its problems, but a world that reacts instinctively against the United States will be less peaceful, less cooperative, less prosperous, less open, and less stable.”

  9. gaius marius

    If our overseas military bases are there to project imperial power, why are the countries they are in so upset that Bush is talking of phasing them out. If they are there to protect our interests, how exactly are we profiting from South Korea in ways we couldn’t without a military presence?

    triticale, i’d suggest that there are real and material benefits to being within the empire. protection is just one. trade access is another — americans consume voraciously, of course, and even if you can’t get a square trade deal, access is better than no access. money is another — the united states doles out a hell of a lot of bread to its friends in one manner or another.

    against that, you have people who grow to resent american domination and cultural export. in places where they are misruled by american proxies (here saudi arabia is an instructive example, but so are any number of central american nations) and are without a measure of self-determination, that resentment can boil up into insurgency. and being an imperial state often means ponying up bodies for the collective defense of the empire — american “coalition building”.

    being within the empire isn’t universally bad — but, over time, the lesson of history is that the benefits will not seem worth the costs to most subjects.

  10. Colin

    Dear Sweet Truthseeker: Of course Canada suppressed its aboriginal peoples. Go back and read some history. Virtually every nation that exists today, and nearly all of those that used to exist came into being as a result of displacing the previous owners. When you get past a certain size, its called an empire, but the process is the same. Did I say Canada was pure and innocent in any of my previous posts? You misinterpret my post completely if you assumed I was making any implication of moral superiority in any of this perspective. This is historical analysis, it’s about facts and events, not right and wrong. So if I’ve got my facts wrong or you dispute my analysis, that’s fine, lets discuss it to find out where we agree or disagree. Incidentally, your suggestion about aboriginal standards of living may not be the only matter of interest here. We never had to round our aboriginals up and massacre them in wholesale lots.

    Mike: An interesting thought about Bill O’Reilly, but I suspect the answer is no. Canadians have only the foggiest notion of what Fox news is. The anti-Americanism of the chattering classes is deeper seated and of longer duration than that.

    Gaius Marius: There is a real difference between attitudes in Canada and the United States, perhaps summarized by Stephen Decatur’s famous toast, “My country, may she always be in the right, but, my country right or wrong.” Such strongly stated and believed nationalism does not form a part of the cultural attitudes in Canada.

  11. Stewart Vardaman

    Ilkka,

    I don’t think there’s any question that the Mississippi Delta bluesmen have had a larger impact on music than anything that ever came out of Canada. In fact, my current favorite band, Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies, have done a number of covers of MS blues tunes. And of course, Elvis > Neil Young. My view may be biased because I as born in MS.

    Dawn, that’s Huntsville, AL, not Huntington. Sometimes called “Rocket City.”

  12. Anonymous

    Americans are just far more kinder to foreigners than foreigners are to not only Americans but each other. I’m not sure if this is because Americans are just nicer people or much more niave.

  13. Colin

    My dear sweetie truthseeker: If you are going to make statements about a country, you at least have to have a few facts about it. 1958 has nothing to do with Canadian independence. Please stop confusing Canadian independence with Newfoundland joining Confederation, which by the way happened in 1949. 1981 had nothing to do with making war and everything to do with domestic constitutional reform. Domestic independence happened in 1867. If you are going to make factual mistakes this large, perhaps you should reconsider your handle.

    As for your so-called examples, I read through the papers noted. If you pretend that those are “some of the largest riots and mass arrests against minorities in New World history”, you have a truly rose-coloured view of events around the world. I am not in the slightest interested in accepting the propaganda of a radical minority gay group in Toronto as being either factual or meaningful from an historical perspective.

    You persist in missing my point. Read my previous posts, have I once pretended that Canada had any claim to moral superiority? Even once? Moreover, none of what you have posted denies what appears to have been established in this thread by myself and a number of other posters, namely that America constitutes an empire and behaves as such.

  14. Anonymous

    “triticale, i’d suggest that there are real and material benefits to being within the empire. protection is just one. trade access is another — americans consume voraciously, of course, and even if you can’t get a square trade deal, access is better than no access. money is another — the united states doles out a hell of a lot of bread to its friends in one manner or another.”

    There is a stark difference between international friends and subservient colonies. Do you really think Germans feel threatened by the US presence there? If we are an empire, shouldn’t we have been able to demand conformity to our wishes in Iraq? What kind of empire is this?

    Under these terms, any foreign policy whatsoever is imperial. Trade agreements are just agreements. Protection treaties are just treaties. Cultural export is a confused term that skirts the notion that someone is choosing to import that same culture. If we have an empire, there are some serious tax dollars we need to be collecting.

  15. SARAH

    Re: James Wilson’s comments on supposed “feminazation of politics.”—What a stupid, absurd comment.Since women make up 50% of the populace, we should have an equal place in politics. Carolyn Parrish’s beliefs and the beliefs on defense, guns etc.you listed are the beliefs of the far left wing, which contains both men(ie. Michael Moore) and women .It has nothing to do with gender. Adolph Hitler was a man, does that represent the “masculinzation of politics.”??? Women, just like men, have all different kinds of politcal views. Oh and speaking of replacing marriage and entitlements, it is the MEN who want to go out and sleep around and not committ to the women or support their kids, that are causing the replacement of marriage and are responsible for so much welfare benefits being paid. I’m a strong believer in defence however we wouldn’t have to worry about defense so much if men didn’t cause most of the wars and violence in society thanks to your masculinzation of the world.

  16. kevrob

    Jo quoted the Declaration of Independence: from the US constitution comes “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; – people constantly misattribute Jefferson’s phrase to Madison’s document – the Canadian counterpart (if memory serves) “peace, prosperity (actually the far creepier order) – and good government.”

    Kevin

  17. JustFactsPleeeeez

    Let’s face it, Canadians strive for mediocrity and simplicity. Americans strive for progress and individual excellence. If it weren’t for the latter types, the former types wouldn’t have the luxury of pursuing mediocrity and simplicity.

  18. jzt

    re: truenorth–Your “type” doesn’t look at facts but has a knee-jerk anti-American reaction to everything. Do you really believe Hussein stopped producing wmd’s out of the goodness of his heart? Do you really think that he was going to leave wmd’s lying around to be found??? Do you really think the Iraqi people were better off under a madman like Hussein??Do your really think it’s all about oil when it would have been cheaper to buy all the oil in Iraq than it would have been to invade???Would you really have cared about Iraq if it had been say the Dutch that had ousted Hussein instead of the Americans. Don’t you think that you should be very concerned about the fact that Canada has become the number 1 terrorist haven in the world due to lax immigration and deportation policies??? Perhaps you should be honest about the real reasons for your beliefs.

  19. TrueNorth

    Saddam Hussein was contained after Gulf War 1, and the reason Saddam Hussein stopped producing WMDs is due to the fact that America stopped selling them to him. Funny how that works, huh?

    The first Gulf War was effective in eliminating Iraq as an imminent threat in the region, let alone a threat to America. George Bush Sr. knew what would happen if they proceeded on to Baghdad, and he wisely withdrew. His son didn’t benefit from the gene pool when it comes to his father’s intelligence.

    America grew itchy when the UN weapons inspectors got close to concluding that there were no WMDs, and ordered them out of the country. Now we know why: there were no WMDs. America bullied its way into Iraq, lied about its pretense for being there, and then shamefully disgraced themselves by doing the same sorts of raping, torture, and murder that they accused Saddam of perpetrating. And all this time, the actual culprit of the 911 tragedy, Osama bin Laden, goes free. How can you possibly rationalize any of this as good policy, or righteous action?

    And as far as Canada being the number 1 haven for terror in the world, please, don’t make me laugh. What, is America working up a new set of lies so they can squelch Canadian dissent with a show of force? Please, don’t make me laugh a second time.

  20. jzt

    Oh please give me a break. Back in the 80’s, Iraq was in a war with Iran who was our enemy at the time so the US gave Hussein weapons to fight against the Iranians. Times change. Get real, someone like Hussein didn’t just get rid of his wmd’s, common sense will tell you that. How naive are you?

    The Iraqi people are much better off now than they were under Hussein. As far as raping, torturing and murder goes it is against policy, however there are going to be a few bad apples in any war. The people involved were punished as they should be. I mean a few Canadians committed murder when in Somalia but we don’t say all Canadians who were there are murderers nor was murder condoned by the Canadian military.

    Yes, Canada has become the number 1 haven for terrorists in any Western country because of its’ close proximity to the USA and because Canada has very lax immigration and deportation policies. Even if one is a known terrorist, he can claim the threat of torture and not be deported and often is turned loose. There are Canadians who have cited these true facts. If you don’t believe me, go to the bookstore and read some books by Canadian authors on the subject, I did when I was in Canada. These Islamic extremists have a “global jihad agenda” and for now they won’t cause Canada trouble yet because Canada is their favorite hideout but someday they will turn on Canada with a vengeance when they get through using her sad to say and it won’t be pretty. Better worry about you own country’s policies instead of hating the USA.

  21. jo

    TrueNorth
    You really ought to take the trouble to find out if your opinions have any basis in fact. Iraqi weapons between 1973 and 1990 were imported from 23 countries, primarily the USSR/Russa (57%,) France (13%), and China (12%). Czechoslovakia shipped 7%, Poland 4%, Brazil 2% — The Great Satan (the USA) is among 12 other countries, including Canada, who supplied 1% or less. Bin Laden himself insists that Queda has purchased no weaponry from the US. (France continued to supply munitions and night vision scopes through 2002.) WMD have been found (sarin, mustard gas) but not in quantities that would qualify as a “stockpile.” Credible evidence supports the movement of WMD from Iraq into Syria; the connections between Saddam and Queda are well and truly documented, including the 9/11 commission.

    You are exceedingly ill-informed if you believe that Saddam was “contained”; containment/MAD only works with rational players. WMD was one of three reasons for the invasion, and if you believe that Iraqis are worse off today, then you aren’t paying attention.

    Of the 50,000 people detained in Iraq, Afghanistan and other venues in the GWOT by US and coalition forces, 300 registered complaints of abuse, which triggered 155 investigations; 66 cases have been documented, with 1/3 occurring in combat, leaving 44 cases of abuse in detention settings. This is 44 too many, but I wonder if you would care to compare that number to abuses in Canadian prisons?

    Every one of your points is either blatantly false or easily countered. You aren’t interested in honesty and rational thought or in constructive discourse; on many issues, there is no truly *right* answer and in virtually all instances, reasonable people can differ. You, however, will only believe that which supports your preconceptions, no matter its veracity. I recommend indymedia and the democraticunderground, where you’ll find lots and lots of support.

    (ps — I apologize for continuing this off-topic thread.)

  22. True North

    Jo, you are blinded by dogma and the American propaganda machine. These responses, including yours, are not off-topic at all, because your ignorance is at the very root of why our leaders in Canada have taken up the practice of calling your leaders bastards and idiots.

    Do yourself a favour. Research the transcripts of April Gilespie, American Ambassador to Iraq, just prior to the first Gulf War. Find out what she told America’s ally, Saddam Hussein, about the potential of an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. This is a matter of public record in American governmental archives.

    Then, while you are at it, why not investigate the amount of assistance America gave to Iraq, militarily, financially, and technologically, during the years that led up to the first Gulf War, including the period of the Iraq-Iran War, in which America played an active role, openly assisting Iraq to gas Iranian forces, and turning a blind eye to the gassing of the Kurds by Saddam’s army.

    Then, once you are done opening your eyes on these matters, then and only then, you should dig a little deeper, and research how it came to pass that the Taliban took over Afghanistan, leading to the brutal repression of the Afghan people, and made possible the organization of Al-Qaeda to the point of sophistication in which it was able to pull off an attack like the one that occurred on 9/11.

    America’s hands are covered in blood. America has twisted up the internal dynamics in the Middle-East to the point where genocide will soon be your only real possibility of a solution to the horrific mess you have created. But wholesale slaughter of Muslim Arabs would break the trance of even the thickest American skulls, and your people would finally wake up to what you have become, in the same manner that the rest of the world has suffered this undesirable enlightenment. Looking at America today, I sometimes wish I had stayed sleeping. I would sleep better at night.

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  24. jzt

    There will likely be war and genocide in the Middle East someday, but it won’t be because of the USA. It will be because of radical Islam even though you are far too naive to see this. It makes me laugh when you and your type accuse Americans of being “blinded by dogma” or “brainwashed.” It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Have you looked at Canada? Canada is a nation in which the socialists and anti-Americans control the news media and tell you what they want you to know. Canada won’t allow Fox news into your country but will allow Al-Jazeera. People in Canada can be charged with hate speech for expressing an opinion. No wonder you are so incorrect in your views. Anyway if you knew anything about the USA, you’d know that in general, the media leans to the left. Face it, you don’t care about Iraq. You just use it as an excuse to complain about the US. Your country chose not to get involved so why don’t you mind your own business.

  25. Mark

    It is amazing how the Liberal left wingers (Democrats in the U.S.)just spout venom, rather than trying to have a thoughtful discussion. The media in North America is so unbalanced to the left, that it goes unmentioned.

    If Republicans/Conservatives said half the things that have been said by Democrats/Liberals all hell would break loose ! Carolyn Parrish and her left wing ‘Human Rights’ type warriors can be as hateful as they like without them seeing any problem(mainly because they are targeting Israel or the U.S). However if any Conservative even mentions abortion or any other sacred Liberal area, they are tagged as Nazis or worse. I’m sick of it !

  26. Mark(Alberta)

    Just read some of ‘True North’s’ recent entries…pathetic. He is sure trotting out the party line though.

    He forgets the 10 years of U.N. resolutions…how many 10 or 11 ? The U.S. had every right to go in to Iraq to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolutions….What is the point of all the talk without the action ? Especially in the Arab world. They only respect power. Well Saddam gambled and lost. Maybe some day true North will understand that you can’t negotiate with terrorists or rogues. Chamberlain didn’t understand, but Churchill did…Chretien didn’t understand, but Bush did ! God Bless America !!

  27. TrueNorth

    The UN voted against America’s invasion of Iraq, so touting ‘UN resolutions’ as america’s justification for invasion is pure hogwash. You can’t disregard the UN on one hand, and cite them as an alibi with the other.

    Action was being taken. The UN inspectors were making progress. Iraq was complying with the inspections. There was no need to attack, or order the UN inspectors out of the country. America’s lies about ‘mobile chemical factories’ was used as a justification for attack. Where are they? They never existed.

    If America had only waited for the UN to conclude their last inspections, one of two possible outcomes would have occurred: 1. That weapons would have been found, and the world would have been in total agreement with a UN invasion, or 2. No weapons would have been found, and 1,000 American troops would not have had to see the inside of a body bag.

    Either outcome would have been preferable to what actually took place. But then again, America wouldn’t have ended up in sole control of one of the world’s largest oil reserves, now would they?

  28. mark

    Guess we in Alberta should be watching for the troops to come across the border any day now, huh ? Our oil reserves would be a lot easier to access, less camels to deal with too.

  29. E. Bow Ted Williams

    As a Canadian, I just hope our neighbors to the south (and some to the north in Alaska, and west in Hawaii) understand that not all Canadians are like Carolyn Parrish. There are idiots in every country and Parrish is one of most vocal idiots. The majority of Canadian voters showed just how short their memories are, thus we get another few years of Parrish and her Liberal ilk. I have many, many American friends and family members. Hate an individual (like Parrish) if you must but please don’t write off a country as a whole. Canada is a great country, in spite of the Liberals. The United States Of America is also a great country. And I’m proud to be their neighbor.

  30. Scott McArthur

    Your overdoing it Grant. You’ve matched hysteria with hysteria. And from a quick perusal of your comment section you have attracted some ugly voices.

    Look, it wasn’t pretty but does it really demand this much self flagellation, such condemnation. It’s nothing. Jesse Helmes said much worse every other week about some foreigner or other. Was it not a year or two ago that Congress passed the Freedom Fry Bill? Did Americans castagate themselves? Did they rush to defend the action? No, they laughed because it was funny. Carole was stupid but funny it does not merit this storm of comment.

    But since it has happened. Since all this comment is out there, we have to ask what is this all about. And I think the answer lies in the ideological battle for America between the Dems and the Repubs.

    Canada has become a Liberal totem in the American political discourse. This means that regardless of the truth of Canada as it really is, Republicans and their supporters will try to demonize the country at every opportunity and Democrats will use it as a virtuous example for America to emulate.

    This is not a great development for Canada. It complicates our relationship with America, which is competitive but also extremely practical, based on mutual commercial and security interests.

    Canada is the way it is for a variety of historical reasons and in this sense calling Canadians anti-American misses the point. Of course the contry is anti American, it was founded by English colonists who REJECTED the American revolution and French colonists who had fought the 13 colonies for 200 years. America tried to conquer Canada in 1776 and 1812-14, and Canada’s modern border shows the scars of aggressive American negotiation/intimidation (Northern Main, the Alaska pan handle, etc..)
    Based on that history alone some ambivalence towards America is normal, no?
    If Mexico had invaded the USA twice in the past would there not be some lingering mistrust? One need only look at the attitudes of Southern American’s about the War of Northern Agression (The Civil War) to get an idea of what these feelings are like.

    Let us now examine some of your more colorful comments:

    “The US leads in scientific accomplishment…Oh, Canada. Poor Canada. Your neighbor outstrips you on every dimension.”

    Um. Grant. What is the population of the United States. What was that 280 million. Thank you. Now what is the population of Canada? 30 million? Ok just want to clear that up. I mean I would hope the US would have more achievements based on its population and climate advantages alone. And you know as well as I do that we are not so bad, Insulin anyone? Standard time? How’s about that nifty new space telescope we launched on that tiny sattelite. There’s a lot of accomplishment, we just don’t yell and scream about it. As for the Olympics. Yeah, you spend the money, you get the results. Per capita we are doing fine. Also it would help if you factored in the Winter olympics cause it’s kinda cold in Canada, eh.

    “The reason that Canada does not go to war is because it lives within the protection of the US”

    Look. Do you remember the Monroe doctrine? The US basically said – North America from Panama to the Artic circle – that is our sphere of influence. Faced with that we dicided to go along. As has every other nation in the North American Hemisphere. America prefers neighbors who are “weak” on defence. Could we spend more, yes. Are we crap soldiers, well I have some dead Al Queda in Afghanistan who met up with our sniper unit who would beg to differ. Canada’s Korea, WWII and WWI record speaks for itself – Glory.

    “It compounds the error made by former Prime Minister Chrétien when he refused to send Canadian troops to Iraq”

    Funny. A majority of Americans kinda wish Bush had listened to Chretien back when he said it was a bad idea. Has there ever been a policy where elite Washington opinion both conservative and liberal agree was a terrible mistake? I’m not sure you are up to date here. Little Green Footballs is not a source of informed opinion. For a better take on what the wise now think of the Iraq misadventure see:
    http://www.juancole.com/

    The last time I posted it was because you identified Canada with a losing set of cultural and economic values – I think you are describing the country to fit your ideas and I look forward to your road to Damascus moment.

    God Bless.

  31. Grant

    Scott, another good one:

    “of course the country is anti-American.” that’s a little blithe of you, no. We had choices, we made the wrong one. More than that, our anti-Americanness actually serves to warrant, to justify our tepid performance on all measures. We’re too good to actually engage with the world. That way lies 2nd world status.

    As to the comparison between the US and Canada, certainly the latter is smaller but I believe the difference is NOT proportional. We are not a little, scaled down, US in terms of accomplishment, we are dramatically less productive of accomplishment. And stop dragging out the chestnuts. Standard time? What have we done for the world lately?

    Gotta run. Thanks! Grant

  32. Scott McArthur

    All I wanted to point out is that Canada was born through the violent military rejection of the United States and therefore the anti Americanism in Canada is different from what some idiot in Berlin says at a “peace” rally. If I can put in another way, Canada comes by its anti americanism organically, historically and honestly. It has nothing to do with Fritz Fanon, or other idiots of that ilk.

    I do appreciate your concerns however. And the more important question is does Anti Americanism serve to make Canada stonger or weaker?
    This is the key question for the Canadian patriot.

    The best answer I can come up with is that we need to move beyond Americanism itself. That the key question is Global excellence. If America is the leader then they are the bench mark. If Ireland is the leader then they are the bench mark (say in corporate taxation) Americanism is no longer the point.

    The key is to see things as they really are and not as we would wish them to be and then to draw conclusions from that. The reason why I hesitate to reject anti americanism out of hand is because I have observed the overtly pro americans see virtues that aren’t there and proscribe policies based on their illusions (David Frum and Terence Cocoran are two good journalistic examples, I am sure there are academic examples)

    A ruthless practicality and outcomes based approach must be taken when comparing the two countries. Soft analysis or intuitive reasoning is fun but it doesn’t really tell us anything.

    In this respect the Free Trade Agreement is a godsend because it allows Canada to stand or fall on its merits. When you play against the best you become better yourself and Canada has definately benefited and will continue to benefit from the American challenge.

    Achievement today is becoming less and less national and more incremental rather than monumental. I googled to see what I would get
    http://www.on.lung.ca/ola/timeline
    http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/csa_sectors/space_science/astronomy/most.asp
    http://www.robertsonscrew.com/

    I think the space sattelite is interesting in a very positive way. Samller Faster More powerfull
    A model of excellence? Hopefully the wave of the future.

    God Bless.

  33. Grant

    Scott, when anti-americanism makes us world renouncing or at least world disengaging, I think it makes us weaker. As to moving beyond Americanism, I think America has done that pretty convincingly. Insisting on a competitive individualism, they have made a hundred poppies bloom (or whatever that phrase is). They are now a global culture. Ironically, becoming more Canadian makes us less global, less competitive, less productive. Thanks for great comments! Best, Grant

  34. Scott McArthur

    Hello Grant,

    Canadianness and competitive individualism are not mutuallty exclusive categories.
    If the US is 7/10 then Canada is 6/10. We would not of come this far if we were 4/10. The question is whether 9/10 leads to perfection or failure.

    Canadian achievement of the day:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5934021/

    God Bless

  35. Jeff

    I agree with this:

    “The fact is, Americans have a tendency to view the world with rose-colored glasses. Americans think the world is a theme park populated with characters out of fairy books. Maybe Americans are stupid, or maybe they are just a lot more nicer and generous than Canadians and their ilk.”

    Although I can’t stand the (often vitriol) anti-Americanism exported from Canada, I just can’t help but to like Canadians. How odd.

    Incidentally, I’ll just comment on the following much ballyhooed comment:

    “Well, Blue America clearly does. Red America clearly does not. I can’t name very many scientific accomplishments or business or cultural innovations coming from Kansas or Mississippi or Alabama, even though I can name a few coming from Canada. Can you?”

    The Red, the conservative, the capitalists, pretty much create everything that is of value (sure there’s exceptions, but this is a prime example of where the exception proves the rule); the Blues, the socialists, the distributors of the wealth created by the Reds, are just a drag. I’ll leave the proof of that as an exercise to the reader (lazy, ain’t I?).

    I will say, though, than an enlightening introduction of an understanding of the driving force behind the creation of such value can be gleaned from a single reading of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. (Yes, I know, the book is too cliche to mention anymore, and detractors would rather lampoon Rand’s readers than actually tackle her arguments, but be that as it may, I’m quite happy to submit myself for target practice in the expectation that someone, someday, may be open minded enough to pick up the book and enjoy a few days of reading.) Once you read that book, the things happening around you make a whole lot more sense.

  36. jzt

    While achievments certainly have come out of Canada, they have also come out of Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama etc. Mississippi has produced more writers than any state and many scientific and cultural achievments have come from people from small towns in the Midwest(Kansas) or the South. Also, Canadians, many from small towns too have made great gains to society. What a lot of sometimes arrogant “big city” folks don’t realize is that some of the most influential and intelligent people have come from rural areas, I think because people in small towns live slower paced lives and often have more time to develop their talens.

  37. jzt

    Oh and one more thing, we Americans don’t view everything thru rose colored glasses any more than anyone else. Ever been here in the USA and heard people complain about this and that, it’s the same everywhere.

  38. Mike

    You think Canadians bash you americans! Americans bash us Canadians. I spend most of my summer in the U.S. and I endure a lot of Canadian bashing so its equal for both parties. I do agree that the Americans are superior over Canadians in some fashions, but Canadians are superior to Americans in other aspects. And about Iraq, I agree with the idea not to go to war, and I believe there have been a few recent reports claiming that there were never any weapons of mass destruction. One more thing, of course there are more notable Americans than Canadians, the are 10 times more of them! Both Canada and the U.S. has their faults, but its messages like these that just make me sick

  39. Mike

    One more mistake I found. “Canada won’t allow Fox news into your country ” Um….. where did you get that? I watch Fox news about once a week. For whoever said this, please do research before you post something.

  40. Incognito

    It’s not about being Canadian or American, it’s about being either a liberal or non-liberal. I sincerely believe it is a disservice to loosely apply the label of conservative because it is not that cut and dry. A individual who refuses to get caught up in the regurgitation of liberal bile and bashing of decency should not automatically be referred to as conservative. Words like ‘happy’,’ content’, and ‘intelligent’ immediately come to mind as appropriate labels. Being conservative requires a greater commitment in self-discipline than just being sane.

  41. Terry Walbert

    Carolyn Parrish is right. By reelecting George W. Bush, we Americans show that we are out of step with the rest of the world.

    But we’ve been out of step with the rest of the world ever since July 4, 1776.

  42. Steven

    Archie Bunker said it best,,,”Dingbat” Obviously this C Parrish is not only without compassion but is incredibly television educated, and I’m sure has received her doctorate in bias and immoral representation of the Nation famous for being “Just North of The USA”
    Thank God we still have a choice!
    Let Freedom Reign
    I’m Ashamed to say my family Pioneered Canada with People like her representing it.

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