Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Americans & Canadians

A friend of mine has written a bit on his reactions to my post which referenced Bill Whittle's long piece about guns. Jason is a Canadian who spent some time in America, living and working, and has a better perspective on the differences between our two countries, being a bit removed from his own experiences. He notes that:

When I got back to Canada, and people asked me about my five years in the United States, it was so hard to describe! I told them that I liked the US better, that I missed it there... that things were different, that I started out being so nauseatingly pro-Canadian (read anti-American) that I even sickened myself, but eventually started to see things differently. I couldn't quite explain it.

All I could say was this: it's a DIFFERENT kind of freedom.

We might not even be free here in Canada. Sometimes it feels like I have to be sneaky to get away with it. Like I'm breaking rules to be free. We're so about rules here.
I think it's time to clear some air about a few things I've noticed while here in Canada. Southern Ontario is the political equivalent to New York City, or Southern California. It is rather Liberal politically, and the country as a whole leans further to the Left than the United States does.

However, this does not mean that everyone here thinks this way. Though this should be a rather obvious fact, I find that too often the only side that gets any play in the media is the government's opposition to American policies, and the rather muted anti-American feeling that covers so much of the nation.

In fact, I've had quite a few comments given to me that flow against that 'overwhelming Canadian feeling.' I've met several people who feel similarly about several of the issues I've addressed here. And not only that, I've had a good friend recommend me to others as required reading. [That's a compliment beyond words, and I thank you.] Let it be known, here and now, that there are Canadians who stand with Americans, even though their government may not. Even though all of their friends may not.

It's an encouraging thing to me, a heartwarming display, and I thank my Canadian friends for it.

[NOTE: This is not to say that my Canadian friends have expressed dislike for their own country - not at all. I wouldn't dream of implying that. They are proud of their nation, what it is and what it could be; and they want to fix what problems it has - and I say good for them! Go to it!

Too often it is assumed that because a person expresses an affection for something, they are implying a disaffection for something else; and in a few cases, this holds. But not in the majority of cases - I can like the color blue while still enjoying the color red, after all. It's not always an either/or proposition. A person can like Canada and the United States at the same time, without decreasing their affection for either.]
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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