A Love Note to My Canadian Cousins

Remember the Peace Arch : Children of a Common Mother

Please excuse us in the USA. We have gone a little bit arrogant this last election season and the fallout appears to have damaged our relationship. I am dreadfully embarrassed. I am here, cowboy hat in hand, to apologize.

I am sorry our President has insulted your Prime Minister, and repudiated agreements he had just come to because he didn’t like what Mr. Trudeau had to say about Mr. Trump’s irresponsible conduct. I do not believe your people are taking advantage of our people.

I recognize truth is optional for Mr. Trump, and he fails to grasp even a basic understanding of the nature and benefits of international trade. While I expect his conduct will deepen the next recession I pray your country will not be impacted. I hope his policies on immigration have not separated any Canadian children from their parents. You are welcome to visit anytime you like, and we will not consider your presence an “infestation”.

I apologize for how our earlier Presidents have mistreated or ignored you. I understand President Jefferson wanted to annex your country, and I am happy he was talked out of it. Let us forget your role in the War of 1812.

Further I understand when Prime Minister Pearson appeared at the Texas ranch of Lyndon B. Johnson during his presidency he was wearing a suit and prepared for a diplomatic mission. I am sorry to learn our president met him in shirtsleeves, handed him a shot gun and loaded him in a jeep for some pheasant hunting. I also apologize for the manner in which LBJ grabbed Mr. Pearson by the lapels, angry Canada would not send troops to fight in Vietnam, and declared “You do not come into my living room and piss on my rug.”

One Man Stands Tall

By way of apology, consider our myth of the  rugged American individual. We really believe in the idea of one man stands tall when no one else will e.g. Gary Cooper in the film High Noon. Unfortunately Mr. Trump has taken to mean the American hero appears very pleased with himself, aggrandized, and everyone else is subordinate to his brilliance. At least that appears to be what it means to “Make America Great Again”.

Perhaps this myth was the cause for the American Revolution, this sense that we are somehow a chosen people, better than those who eased themselves in due course from British rule as you so gracefully have with little or no bloodshed.

Remembrance Day Juno Beach

And so it is Canada is somehow forgotten in this American myth, and particularly in our films, much like The Longest Day. John Wayne’s rugged American individualist parachuting into Normandy on D-Day eclipses nearly any reference to the 15000 Canadians who assaulted Juno Beach, one of five invaded June 6th 1944. Dozens and dozens of American, British, French and German actors portray roles in specific units involved and yet there is only one man, not famous at all, playing one Canadian in the film which does not reference his historical significance.

It is said President Trump does not read but he does watch television. Perhaps he saw High Noon and The Longest Day on the classic films channel in the middle of the night and got ideas of American identity from them.  Perhaps he cannot distinguish reality from reality TV. He apparently has never seen Dr. Strangelove.

I was tempted to say Mr Trump also got his impressions of Canada from the D-day film, but then recognized he treats the British, the French and the Germans the same as you. I have no cousins in Europe, but I do have cousins just north of Seattle, I love you all and I beg your forgiveness. I am so dreadfully embarrassed.


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