As an American...

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JTHDevelops
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As an American...

Postby JTHDevelops » 26 Sep 2015, 18:59

this will be going onto my blog soon, but this seemed like the appropriate forum for an initial post.
As an American, I am proud of my country, my homeland, and my people.
I am proud of many of the great things my nation has brought to the world.
I am proud of the great ideals we espouse, even though we almost never live up to them.
But I am also ashamed. And the source of my shame comes in two words Donald Trump.

For some time, Canada was America's "At least we aren't them!" place. Like England's Scotland, Russia's Ukraine, China's DPRK, Japan's... Japan? I don't know anywhere with more ridiculous pop culture than Japan... Well, maybe that was a bad example, but you get the idea. We, as a society took great delight in poking fun at anything remotely ridiculous about Canada, from your abundance of maple syrup, to your eerie politeness, to your unhealthy obsession with Hockey (one which I share, mind you). But all of that came to a halt. We became preoccupied with our own, internal idiocy, the corruption in our government, and the incomprehensible lack of intellect professed and proved by our leaders in popular culture. We fell into a social depression fueled by comedic self-flagellation. There seemed to be no hope of outwardly projecting our razor-sharp tongue, partly because almost no Americans can be arsed to bother learning enough about any country that we aren't bombing to make fun of them in a non-racist (believe it or not, that part is important to most of us) way.

And then, The High Gods of Comedy rained down upon us with bountiful news reports of one Rob Ford, a mayor(title we understand), with a name we can pronounce (that's always helpful), from a city whose name we recognize as distinctly Canadian (and therefor representing /all/ of Canada in the collective unconsciousness of our society). With these multitudes of reports, and the absolute fiasco that ensued, we were able to proclaim, in a unified voice, "AT LEAST WE DON'T HAVE SOMEBODY LIKE THAT IN OUR GOVERNMENT." Neglecting the fact that the position of Mayor has nothing to do with national government at all. And we, collectively, decided that we were sooo much better than Canada, in that smug way that only Americans can do.

And smug we remained, until that fateful day when "The Donald" announced his candidacy for President of the United States. But, do not be fooled, it was not some abrupt epiphany, it has been the slow, steady, depressing realization that Donald Trump actually has a chance to become the Republican Nominee for President. This realization has implications much deeper than an outsider can realize. If Trump gets the nomination, it legitimizes his candidacy, and his policy positions. It's the national equivalent of realizing that your Crazy Racist Uncle Don, who wants to kick cousin Jessy out of the family reunions because she married a black guy, has some serious support for Chairmen of the Reunion Committee. It also comes with the realization that we saw this coming: from Sarah Palin to Michelle Bachmann we have slowly been allowing our political arena to become a spectacle of crazy, and Trump is just the logical extreme of that thought experiment.

No longer can we say to Canada, "Well, at least we don't have prominent politicians doing hard drugs in their offices, (which we totally do, they just don't get caught as often, does anyone remember Marion Barry?) even with all the crazy and infidelity, we're doing all right!"
Now, more than ever we have to own up and apologize.

Canada, and, by institutional proxy, all Canadians:
On behalf of myself and my fellow countrymen, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for making fun of your propensity for using the phrase "I'm sorry."
I'm sorry for laughing at the uniforms your police wear, they deserve more respect.
I'm sorry for not bothering to learn more than I have about your nations great history and heritage.
I'm sorry for making fun of your accents.
I'm sorry for not taking Maple Syrup for seriously. (Once you've tried that sugar-free crap, you'll never make fun of the Canadian Maple Syrup industry again!)
I'm sorry for making fun of Hockey (Considering Hockey players, that was probably dumb from the get-go).
And, most the relevant, I'm sorry for all of those Rob Ford jokes I laughed at. In retrospect, you may have had one large city with a crack-head mayor, but at least you don't have certifiable nut-jobs with a serious candidacy for the most powerful position in your government.

In closing, I'm hoping that any Canadian who reads this will, in as much as they are able, accept this apology from me, on behalf of my fellow countrymen, to the people of our great neighbor to the North. And, should my once-great homeland have gone so far down the tubes as I fear, and Donald Trump were to be elected President, I hope that this letter should serve as my first plea for asylum, as the life of a bi-sexual Wiccan with an emotional disorder would surely be under eminent threat under a Trump Administration.

Thank you.
Pax tecum, Semper.
~JT~
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Re: As an American...

Postby Garwulf » 26 Sep 2015, 19:36

Speaking for at least one Canadian (me) and possibly many more: you are forgiven, of course.

You may come up and join us. You may drink the sacred maple syrup, and partake in the Running of the Polar Bears.

But procuring a dogsled and team for getting around up here is your own damn problem.
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Re: As an American...

Postby fantôme » 26 Sep 2015, 23:42

I'm neither American nor Canadian, but I have had maple syrup recently - I have a little bit of Canada inside me - so I think I'm good to post here.

That was an interesting perspective and an interesting read, thank you for writing it JTH. As an Englishman it is especially interesting since we're currently in the opposite position - smug necrobestial millionaire android Cameron is likely on his way out, and actually just politically really awesome Corbyn on his way in, (Britain, if you're reading this - if you don't vote Corbyn in, I'm leaving you).

We get so complacent with really nice people like Obama, that the media suckers us and we end up voting for a monster like Trump. There'll be a number of years of hell, during which time we'll cement within ourselves why we vote left - and just hope that the right-wing administration hasn't dismantled the state for their own profit too much.

We're awful. You have my condolences, America.

ps. England doesn't really think of Scotland like that, if anything it would be more like England - England north/south.
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Re: As an American...

Postby empath » 27 Sep 2015, 01:38

To be fair, I think Scotland thinks of England like that (*coughcoughhamroncoughcough*).

But yes, as a Canadian, I can say I bear you no ill will regarding you reaction to Rob Ford (bee tea dubs: did you know he's still on Toronto city council? I stepped down as mayor, but ran for a 'loyal' district that's been held by his brother for a long time), I think we can share in the mirth, ridicule and pure, unadulterated schadenfreude from his meltdownS, and hold a common bond between us for that.

And, also, in the interests of quid pro quo, I respond with a (slightly-dated) apology to America, presented on our behalf by Colin Mochrie.
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Re: As an American...

Postby AdmiralMemo » 27 Sep 2015, 04:52

Graham wrote:The point is: Nyeh nyeh nyeh. I'm an old man.
LRRcast wrote:Paul: That does not answer that question at all.
James: Who cares about that question? That's a good answer.

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Re: As an American...

Postby Timelady » 27 Sep 2015, 10:27

Honestly, I think it's just as well we're getting our Carnival of Crazy on at a federal level. It's just not as visible at the local levels we usually have and harder to poke fun at. At least when we do it at the same time as David Cameron and Jerry Bance, we know we're not alone in the world...
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Re: As an American...

Postby Darkflame » 28 Sep 2015, 17:15

Regarding Cameron, he was pushing internet censorship on the UK.
I now suspect he knew these revelations were coming and he was making preparations to censor any images that come out :P

I jest, but frankly I am pretty scared - not of any piggy hanky panky itself - but the idea of a fraternity or secret club having such blackmail control over a figure of such power.
Who else do they have?

Its easy to look at "crazyness" somewhat in isolation but it seems to me sometimes theres more chilling implications beyond "who has the craziest leaders" :(
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Re: As an American...

Postby JTHDevelops » 28 Sep 2015, 21:50

I basically accepted a long time ago that I am effectively owned by the rich person who controls my political district, and the only really free choice that I have is to which rich master do I belong, based on where I choose to reside. The idea that there is some sort of Skull and Bones society that controls our political leaders is not a new one, and it's not even all that far fetched. Either we accept that these things are extreme probabilities, and that there is nothing we can do about it, or we do something to change it.

In my country, this system of corporate-controlled leaders is a double-edged sword, because, while the establishment will do everything it can to remove the Donald Trumps and Ben Carsons from the political field, it will also do all that it can to get rid of the Bernie Sanders and Lawrence Lessigs.
All in all, I think these circumstances only prove that the drinking age should be lowered to 18: if you can die for my country, and you are ethically obliged to uphold your civic duty, and wade through the pile'o'doody that is the political discourse, you should at least be able to legally buy a drink to numb the pain of the whole situation.
Pax tecum, Semper.
~JT~
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Re: As an American...

Postby AdmiralMemo » 29 Sep 2015, 06:15

JTHDevelops wrote:All in all, I think these circumstances only prove that the drinking age should be lowered to 18: if you can die for my country, and you are ethically obliged to uphold your civic duty, and wade through the pile'o'doody that is the political discourse, you should at least be able to legally buy a drink to numb the pain of the whole situation.
Not to derail the topic, but I use the same argument to raise the voting and other ages from 18 to 21, particularly due to the fact that your brain isn't fully-developed at 18. But otherwise, I agree, it should be the same age.
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LRRcast wrote:Paul: That does not answer that question at all.
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Re: As an American...

Postby Lord Chrusher » 29 Sep 2015, 15:59

Topic derailed.

The voting age in the United States was 21 until the Twenty-sixth Amendment was enacted in 1971. Several other countries, including the UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia an lowered their voting ages from 21 to 18 at a similar time.

The question of which age you should be allowed to do things is complicated. Becoming an adult is a gradual process - you don't go to bed one night a teenager and wake up the next day an adult. Also, different people mature at different rates.
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Re: As an American...

Postby Darkflame » 29 Sep 2015, 17:11

Meanwhile I think it should be anyone of any age able to answer a small policy quiz on each candidate.

(yes, i know this would be very hard to do from the "whos impartial enough to make the quiz" angle. I just think informed voters is more important then any other factor)
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Re: As an American...

Postby Jamfalcon » 29 Sep 2015, 17:53

I think one issue with a quiz is that it's one more hurdle, and one more reason for more apathetic voters to just stay at home.
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Re: As an American...

Postby Darkflame » 30 Sep 2015, 03:43

Oh, absolutely. It will probably drop to a 1/10th and results would be lots in the margin of error all the time.
:D

Just in principle I see a lot of talk of voter turnouts and such as "defacto bad" in itself.
Yet Id much rather people stay at home rather then, say, vote for the party their parents always did. Or vote for whoever was doing the most effective attack adverts.

I'm sort of a optimistic cynic here I think as well, as it might drive *a few* disenfranchised voters back if they thought their vote made more of a difference due to the lack of other people voting.
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Re: As an American...

Postby Lord Chrusher » 30 Sep 2015, 11:38

Australia has compulsory voting and pretty shit politicians.

Also, the thread's name makes me think of this Vine.
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