The US coughs and Canada catches cold


Some ask why I talk so much about the United States. “What about Canada?” The fact is that the United States is a very important country. It is not just in economics that the claim “The United States coughs and Canada catches a cold,” is true. It is also, sadly, often true in social matters too. So I will continue to comment on what happens there, but never forgetting that usually Canada is in the same position, though as a junior partner.

Recently, on the August long weekend, 2 mass killings occurred in the United States. One in Dayton Ohio and the other in El Paso Texas. After the killings, Donald Trump uttered some fine words, clearly saying that racism and hatred were unacceptable. His words could not be faulted as in other cases, but were his words adequate for the moment? Democratic rival Cory Booker called them “bullshit soup.”

As Alexander Burns pointed out in the New York Times, “President Trump faced intense new criticism and scrutiny for the plain echoes of his rhetoric in the El Paso gunman’s anti-immigrant manifesto.” According to Burns, “Democratic challengers blamed him explicitly for giving succor to extremists.” The leading Democratic contender at the time, Joe Biden, said Trump was guilty of trying “to encourage and embolden white supremacy.” Another contender, Elizabeth Warren, captured the situation well when she said that Trump had repeatedly been “amplifying these deadly ideologies.

What is clear is that Trump is no innocent bystander here. In recent weeks he has been loudly speaking out at rallies about 4 American Congresswomen of colour that they should go back to the rat infested countries from which they came. This was so even though 3 of them were born in the United States. I am not sure what a trope is or a dog whistle, but it is clear that such statement have made over and over again by blatant racists in the past.  Then at rallies he basked in the glow of hearing his audience loudly chant “Send them back; send them back.” In such circumstances “amplifying these deadly ideologies” is hardly an exaggeration. That is exactly what he has been doing.

In contrast to that, President Obama has been the voice of empathy and dignity. This is what he said, as quoted in the New York Times,  former President Obama wrote, “We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments, leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as subhuman, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people.” That is exactly what we should do–reject them.

The fact is that Donald Trump is not really the issue. The real issue, I submit, is that the United States, with Canada following right behind, is a country deeply infused with violence. It takes very little to light that fuse. Almost any crackpot can do it. I believe this is the legacy of a racial bias that runs so deep and came so early to that country and to Canada that it  led to genocide against the original inhabitants of this hemisphere and the subsequent enslavement of African people numbering in the millions in the US and less in Canada. Then we added male supremacy and visions of human superiority over all of nature to that already toxic stew is. It is hardly surprising that we are in a lethal mess. It is probably inevitable.

2 thoughts on “The US coughs and Canada catches cold

  1. what became clear 50 years ago is that there was a militia and paramilitary culture in the u.s.a. this phenomenon has grown over the decades. they now call it a white nationalist movement, but it extends well beyond that i think. the internet is clearly assisting with organizing this cabal.
    the possibilities for something akin to a civil war now exist. the coming economic/financial crash or the failure to re-elect the president could precipitate it. i have never thought this was possible until the last election.
    the president will likely declare an emergency. the military will come out. they will not be on the side of the liberals.
    race will play a role, but will likely not be the prime precipitant as it was in the original civil war.
    i also do not think it can achieve anything like the dimensions of the original one. the military will crush it.
    i do not believe this exists north of the border. there are simply not enough weapons. the society is just not psychotic enough.
    the society south of the border is absolutely saturated with guns. far more than the number of residents. some say hundreds of millions more. a lot of automatics to boot.
    the amerikan empire is dead. there is just no recognition of it yet. there are no constitutional or liberal political values left of any influence or significance.
    capital rules and even it will crash on a cosmos of debt. this multi-faceted bankruptcy was always lurking, but they managed to create a lot of window dressing, put on a lot of bandaids.
    what was that steppenwolf song? something about helping us fight against the monster.
    “gird the loins. pray without ceasing.”

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