Why Can’t Y’All in the USA Get Along? (A Perspective From a Canadian)

Drawing portraying a Fracas in Congress: The Battle of Honor between Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold

If we here in Canada appear to be anti- or pro-Trump, it should not be assumed that our opinions are formed in a vacuum or without discerning the news. It may come as a surprise that many of us are capable of separating fact from fiction!

I would like to point out that it seems the nature of our American cousins is to divide themselves into entrenched camps over the smallest of issues. Despite this, I would hazard a guess that almost all Americans could still agree on many things fundamentally. Even so, you would not know this, seeing the non-stop polemic statements thrown back and forth between Trump’s die-hard supporters and those who “hate” him. There is something more onerous than the expression of opposing world-views that existed to some extent recently. Now, each camp swings for the fences, believing that their truth and world-view is being repressed and must be defended at all cost. While the viciousness is off-putting, I find the expanding weaponization of lies to be abhorrent. That this comes from the White House non-stop is particularly shocking. The blue team is also guilty here! Americans are bombarded with tweets, statements, and commentary, non-stop, and folks latch onto those statements that align with their own bias — unfortunately, without checking the facts first.

Whatever happened to tolerance, reasonable debate, and civil discourse? If America’s opposing leaders cannot appear to be civil and truthful to each other, how is it that they are best representing and leading the country?

How do you think the rest of the world sees the current USA?

For me, it is hard to believe that the American people are the ones in control of their political system, which is clearly broken and corrupt. As wise as the Framers of the US Constitution were, their vision for America was likely not beyond setting up a means of governing themselves that favored democracy and disfavored kings. Had they envisioned robber-baron-corporate propaganda machines influencing and inflaming rhetoric on both sides of a widening political divide, while bought-and-paid-for “elected” representatives working primarily to remove any sensible policy that could inhibit their ability to absorb every drop of money and blood from the very citizens they supposedly serve — just might of have given them pause, and inspired a few extra clarifying sentences for that US Constitution (as excellent as it is). Their vision of a Nation was grand in the light of late-18th century thinking and holds up well today. However, 27 amendments bear out that there is room for improvement as time goes on.

These days, the USA seems to lurch from election cycle to cycle, with no concerted plan or vision beyond the myopic — and divergent — interests of the divided. Meanwhile, higher education (and treasure) is less obtainable to the (shrinking) middle-class than it was a generation ago.  Life expectancy is decreasing. Healthcare for many is a luxury. More and more young families are struggling, but it’s somehow OK to erode desperately needed domestic social programs by millions, while spending trillions on un-winnable, and never-ending wars (and increasingly pressuring allies to do the same). It’s hard to understand why the American people tolerate that the major beneficiaries of such conflicts are the shareholders of weapons manufacturers and gun-for-hire mercenary companies (think Blackwater and others).  If the Iraq war was about ridding the world of evil and securing their oil resources, the Middle East is demonstrably less stable/“safe” than it was, and that Iraq oil is now flowing towards China. Regional tensions are insanely high. 

Those pesky corporations (for sake of argument, allow me to call them the American Oligarchs) have built and rely on a supply chain that is global. However, global policy/governance that may prohibit or curtail their opportunities to enrich them is somehow distasteful and must, therefore, be demonized. Fortunately for them, the rights afforded corporations in American law allow them to build and fund political propaganda machines to ensure that they can profit unfettered of regulation. So, globalism is “bad”, smoke-and-mirrors-to-obfuscate-that-which-is-really-going-on is “good”. That the vast majority of Americans either get their news from the Fox or CNN infotainment channels is telling.

Exactly who is “winning” when the leadership of the country works daily to undermine the US public’s trust in public institutions? You all clearly got some stuff to work out amongst yourselves.

The USA is currently “winning” as a result of the shift in global trade patterns and prices for fossil fuels. Sure, energy independence sounds amazing — but it comes at the cost of both climate and geo-political stability. As a policy, this would appear delusional and short-sighted.

Meanwhile, China is becoming a juggernaut of an economy, with leadership plotting and executing a very long game for influence, development, security/control of global resources (Silk Road, etc), while building up a middle class and capable military-industrial complex to back it all up.

India is no slouch in light of her development but is slowly leaning towards Russia’s sphere of influence. And they’re not the only nation leaning that way.

Globally, the USA is now expected to break agreements and treaties. Russia will proliferate unchecked by violence and meddling, NATO will continue to struggle with its raison d’etre, Iran and North Korea will get nukes, geo-political tensions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central Africa, and Central America will get far worse. It seems as though a geopolitical storm is coming, while the USA abdicates leadership of the “free world” and the Doomsday Clock moves to 100 seconds before Midnight.

Some might argue that the rest of the free world can no longer count on the USA to lead morally (or even pretend to do so, as it has in the decades past). Not my words… just saying what they are saying.

We in Canada love being the close neighbor and friend the US can rely on. We just want to politely request that our American friends get it together. The incessant bickering is disturbing the peace. – cPaul

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About cPaul

Father: "He never amounted to anything". Mother: "Who the hell does he think he is"? Former Teacher: "Smart as a bag of hammers". Former Boss: "Condescending". Brother: "Mom loves me more".
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