I am from Canada. I was born a raised here. Even though I grew up on a junk food diet of American sitcoms, news and entertainment, I was always well aware that these were products not actually targeted at me. I get a very funny feeling when I travel to the states because I am no longer seeing things from the outside. Instead, I’m in the belly of the beast. Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh and Lady Gaga are real people who dwell there. You have to understand that that stuff doesn’t really happen in Canada. We have our celebs and nut-cases, but they are small scale, and benign.
And herein lies what I see as the problem with the US. If you are from that country, please don’t take offense. I point this out only because sometimes it is more easy to see these things as an outsider.
The problem with the US is the following. There are crazy people. I mean, a lot of them. There are so many crazy people they form some sort of real corps. So many, in fact that it’s impossible not to take them seriously. The below clip is evidence. The woman is crazy. But so is Fox news and Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin. In most countries in the world, these people would be perceived as lunatics.
There are people in Canada who share these views, no doubt. The difference is that here they are a something of a sideshow to the real debate. The problem with the US isn’t that there are extremists with extreme views. The problem is that these are so numerous they are part of the general composition of the country. And they share some pretty absurd views. My favorite line from the following clip is the line: “there will be justice for the unborn, factories back on our shores”. Really? In what deluded world you must live to think that this guy comes into office and factories that employ people at 1/10 the cost would set up shop in the US.
They say that Canadians only share a few bonds:
- We like hockey
- We say “eh”
- We agree that our neighbours to the south are a strange lot and, in general, we’re thankful to be outside the belly of the beast.