Opinion

Gerding: Differences between Canada and U.S. coming into focus

This question was posed to me the other day: Is there any difference between people in Canada and the U.S.?

How I would have answered that 20 years ago was, no. But all these years later, my answer swings the other way. Why? Because the lunatics have been running the Washington D.C. political asylum for the past 12 years, and the damage it has caused to the U.S. is immeasurable, both to its economy and identity.

Nothing that can’t be fixed mind you, but given the partisan politics between the main political combatants, Republicans and Democrats, and further internal fractions within both parties, the hope of that happening remains remote.

The U.S. is $15 trillion in debt, a legacy from the presidency of George W. Bush. During his two terms in office from 2000 to 2008, Bush orchestrated tax cuts that weren’t affordable, engaged in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that weren’t paid for and continued to run a $2-billion a day operating deficit with questionable fiscal or political returns. He  feebly addressed an economic meltdown based on widespread fraud of mortgage lending with the financial industry, which to this day has not resulted in any arrests of high-ranking banking executives.

History has shown us that if you can’t understand or agree on how a problem was created, then you are helpless to correct it.

And if you are a U.S. cable news junkie, it becomes quite evident among the partisan bickering that no solution is readily evident, given the revisionary history being spewed.

America is sadly becoming a laughing stock of the world, a showcase that dictator governments in other countries can point to and say democracy doesn’t work. And the clout of America’s military machine as the police force of the world has been seriously damaged by its foray into the Middle East. But the defiant denial of too many in U.S. political circles to those realities has gone from being just sad to sadly amusing.

President Barrack Obama is probably the most ridiculed president ever elected in the U.S., and it’s no accident that coincides with him being the first African-American president in his country’s history.

He had four years to, with the cooperation of the Republican-controlled Congress, achieve great things for his country. He was the right person for the right time, but the Republicans effectively ruined that opportunity for their country in the hopes of defeating in the 2012 presidential election. But Obama was re-elected, so that scenario again lies before U.S. politicians to embrace or run away from.

When I was a kid, for reasons I’m not really sure of, I emulated the U.S., used to dream about living there, about touring the country.

Don’t have those same sentiments today. Don’t want to get accidentally shot or stampeded over by people trying to get ahead at the expense of others. That is not the Canadian way, and it didn’t use to be the American way, either.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Difficult birth for LNG cash cow
 
Letnick: Have your say about local capital spending
 
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
Destroyed by fire
 
Old man take a look at your facts
 
COLUMN: I walked with a zombie, several actually

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.