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The Expansionist
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
 
Canada: Anachronism in the Age of Obama? This is "Canada Day", formerly "Dominion Day", which commemorates the day in 1867 when the British Empire fraudulently created "the Dominion of Canada" into a supposedly "independent" country, even tho it was no such thing. Britain did that to keep the recently re-United States from invading to claim Canada as compensation for Britain's malicious assistance to the Confederacy in the Civil War, which had then only recently concluded in a massive Union victory. Britain in effect put the house in Canada's name to keep Britain's moral creditors from seizing "British North America" as damages for Britain's misdeeds.
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In actuality, Canada was not in the slitest independent in 1867, and did not achieve anything remotely like actual independence until 1931, when the Statute of Westminster was passed. Even then, Canadians could not amend their own constitution! — the "British North America Act" — until 1982, when the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau finally "repatriated" (but actually only "patriated") the BNA as a Canadian constitution. From 1867 to 1982, 115 years, Canada was an imitation country, not real. And it served the interests only of the British Empire, of which it was an integral, unwavering part, not of the people who happened to live in the Great White North.
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Canada teaches a hugely false national myth, in which it was the faithful son and the United States the unfaithful son. The U.S. left "the Empire" — which was in its day a magical phrase, imbued with all kinds of majesty and hubris — by 1781, whereas Canada remained "loyal", and scores of thousands of "United Empire Loyalists" were moved (repatriated) out from the abusive hands of the ungrateful scum of the 13 southern colonies to the faithful, pure north, where they provided the impetus for the rebirth of the British Empire, which went on to become even greater than it had been theretofore.
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Unfortunately for this UEL Canadian myth, the British Empire did not love the "Loyalists", nor accord them the welcome into the very bosom of the Empire that they wanted, by admitting their representatives into the Parliament at London that was to govern the whole of the Empire, including the home islands. Rather, the imperialist scum of the London Parliament refused Canadians representation in Parliament fully as much, and as militantly, as they had refused Americans representation in Parliament. Eventually, even the pussyboys of Canada said "Enuf is enuf. Let us in, or we are going out". Parliament said "We are certainly not letting you in to share governance of the Empire, including us in the home islands." So Canadians too did what Americans had, generations earlier, felt compelled to do, and LEFT the Empire. Some observers say that the British actually had to PUSH them out, because they were 'afraid' that if the British Empire didn't 'protect' them, they would be 'forced' into the United States (by their own desires, since the U.S. never so much as officially (or unofficially) SUGGESTED to post-Westminster Canada that it join the Union). Unlike Americans, however, Canadians insisted on ignoring their own "betrayal" of the magical "Empire", and pretended that they never left, but are faithful sons of Empire to this day, with "The Queen" on their money and in their heart. What a bunch of bullshit.
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Once Canada left the Empire in reality, any rational person would accept that it ceased to have any legitimate and intellectually defensible reason for continuing a national existence separate and apart from the United States. To put that a bit more simply, the instant Canada ceased to be part of the British Empire, THAT instant did it cease to have any reason for being. Canada was created by Britain to preserve British interests, period. It was not to protect French Canadians from pressures to assimilate, nor to advance any other purpose. Britain drew the border that we even now live with, purely and simply to preserve British territory from encroachment by Americans. That is all.
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Any rational person would have understood that instantly. But Canadian nationalists were not then, and are not now, rational. Nor honest.
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At first, they maintained the "pretence" of Britishness. They spelled differently from Americans, writing STUPID things like "centre" and "labour". They pretended that Victoria, BC was 'more British than Britain', and Canada preserved the best features of traditional British culture — even tho all Canadians speak almost exactly as do Americans, and not remotely as Britons do. I have been to all ten Canadian provinces, so would warn Canadian-nationalist liars not to try to 'snow' me.
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Then, as it became clear to all the world that Canadians aren't the slitest British — they don't drive on the left side of the road, for instance, like Indians and Pakistanis; they don't say a "broad"-A in words like "past" and "glance", as West Indians and Africans in other former British colonies do; they don't drop R's but pronounce every single one except for the occasional frenchified pronunciation like ma.kób for "macabre", which even some ridiculous and pretentious Americans do — they had to cast about desperately for something that was meaningfully different from the U.S. Merely different wasn't good enuf. To justify maintaining a separation from the U.S., they had to assert that something Canadian was superior to American. They found that, or thought they had found it, in being more liberal than Americans. They insisted that Canada is purer and nobler than the United States, as for instance in providing "free" healthcare for every citizen. Never mind that when Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan first proposed a province-wide public healthcare system (called "Medicare"; where have I heard that before?), he was condemned, in Canada (not just by his political opponents within Saskatchewan), as, for all practical purposes, a "Red" trying to impose "Socialized medicine" upon unwilling Canadians. Sound familiar? That was CANADIAN rhetoric from, among others, striking doctors in 1962.
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For Canadian nationalists casting about desperately for some defensible justification for not joining the United States, the U.S. has been represented as being subject to the will, even whims, of the Radical Right. Canadians could not consent to sully themselves in the impurity and contemptibly fascistic attitudes of the worst portions of American political opinion. Never mind that it is Canadian refusal to vote in U.S. elections that led to the triumph of the Radical Right, a triumph that Canadian votes would have prevented, absolutely and incontestibly. Had Canadians voted in 2000, Al Gore, not George W. Bush, would have become President. Had Al Gore become President, there is no way in HELL the U.S. would have invaded Iraq, tortured prisoners, or done any of the other things that Canadian nationalists use to justify NOT joining the U.S. But Canadians don't want to think about how THEY, thru contemptible aloofness from the political process of the country that means more to the future of Canadians even than their own government, produced George Bush, the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, waterboarding, or any of that. And they sure as hell don't want YOU to think about it — about their GUILT in co-conspiring, thru electoral inaction, in the crimes of the Bush Administration, an Administration that could never have taken office had Canadians joined the Union long ago and Canadian states voted for President. Even ONE major Canadian state in 2000 would have prevented the rise of Dumbya to the Presidency. "Don't think about that. It's not our fault." Yes, actually, it is.
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Politics is about the possible, not the perfect. Canadians pretended that anything less than perfection is impermissible and indefensible. They held themselves aloof from the fray, and permitted the triumph of the Republican Radical Right. And THEN they leapt to point an accusing finger at the result THEY PRODUCED, to say that the United States is intrinsically and irredeemably evil, and they were right not to taint themselves with a Bush presidency — even tho no such Presidency could have occurred had Canadians voted in the U.S. election of 2000. How very convenient: you get to cause the problem but disown its effects.
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That is the behavior of the infants who take their ball and go home when they so much as think they won't get their way. Boycott elections and then complain about the results. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Well, it does if you're an idiot. "We might lose, so let's not compete." Terrific. Hand victory to the enemies of everything you stand for. Brilliant!
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Canadian nationalists are inveterate liars, to themselves as much as to others. They pretend to be more tolerant than the United States. Oh? How many black Prime Ministers has Canada had? How many "aboriginals"? Has there EVER been a nonwhite Canadian prime minister or Governor General? How about Provincial Premiers? How many nonwhite Provincial Premiers has Canada had?
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The Canadian myth is that Canada indulges minority communities, affords them autonomy, and accords them far more respect than does the United States, governmentally or culturally. They have rushed to embrace the moronic and dishonest notion of a nearly-mystical multiplicity in the Canadian identity, the cultural "mosaic". Each piece in that mosaic maintains its separate, intrinsic differentness, and whatever overall impression Canada may make upon outsiders, any sense of uniformity is illusionary, even delusional. No, each piece of the 'mosaic' that is Canadian national identity is autonomous, different, pure and unsullied by adjoining — over a bit of grout — not interacting with other pieces. What a load of crap.
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Canada has the same kinds of ethnic musical and cultural festivals that many parts of the United States have, except that in most places the Canadian festival is a sham, a make-believe vibrant culture that is dragged out once a year for a parade or street fair, then returned to its mason jar. The Ukrainian festival in some Prairie province is less real than the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Few people in Canada still speak Ukrainian in the home or on the street. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans in NY, NJ, and other parts of the U.S. mainland still speak PR-accented Spanish in the home and with the neighbors. But somehow the United States is assimilationist, hell-bent on destroying all other cultures by eradicating them, as first choice, or subsuming them if exterminating them cannot be done. No.
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The reality, which many Quebecois and Acadien immigrants to the U.S. have understood over the ages, is that yes, the United States is a pressure cooker in which people of every group are indeed expected to learn English and talk to each other in that common language. BUT, if they do that, we don't care what language they speak in the home or among themselves.
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English Canada is fully as assimilationist to English as is the United States. And, a point sometimes lost on outsiders, Quebec is fully as assimilationist to French as the U.S., Ontario, or "British" Columbia are to English.
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The only real "mosaic" in Canada, then, comprises pieces of two types: English and French. Every major piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Canada is either red (British) or blue (French), in some shade or other. To the extent there is any "mosaic" at all, it is composed of different bits of British red and French blue, with just the tiniest odd admixture of Chinese yellow, "First Nations" red, or "Inuit" brown. English Canada is as relentlessly assimilationist as the most narrow-minded small town of the American Midwest or South.
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So what is left to the claims of Canadian nationalists that Canada is so distinct as to be incapable of integrating amiably and happily into the Great American Union? Nothing.
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What about Canadian-nationalist pretensions that Canada is a voice of civilization and benign action in a tumultuous world community — that the world "needs" Canada's voice of moderation and tolerance? As an independent country, Canada can only run its mouth. As part of the United States, Canadians could actually produce a wiser, more generous worldview on the part of the only country in this region that counts for anything in world affairs: the United States.
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The world's need of Canada's independent voice is as much bullshit as anything else Canadian nationalists drag out to try to justify the unjustifiable separation of Canada from the United States. Ontario or Quebec Liberals are not one whit more Liberal than New York, New Jersey, or California Liberals. And American Liberals FITE for what they believe, in the hurly-burly of American politics, where triumph is not foreordained but has to be won by diligent, intelligent, tireless effort. When votes are close, American Liberals are wheeled in on hospital gurneys to cast their vote in Congress, so deeply do they care about principle.
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Where do we stand now, in "The Age of Obama"? What Canadian politician is more principled than Barack Obama? What Canadian liberal group is more consistently Liberal than the Democrats swept in on a wave of anti-Bush fury on the part of the electorate? How can Canadian nationalists now distinguish themselves ideologically from the ruling Democratic coalition, especially now that Al Franken is to give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate? How, now (yes, I know: brown cow), can Canadian Liberals rationalize away their refusal to join the Union, a Union that is in every single way — linguistically, culturally, ideologically — congenial to the great preponderance of Canadians?
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The major political struggle in the United States now is between the people who want a single-payer universal-healthcare system and those who oppose it. In that contest, Canadian votes in Congress would prove absolutely and overwhelmingly decisive. Canadian nationalists want the U.S. to fail to enact a single-payer system, so they can continue to pretend not just that Canada is somehow strikingly unique (tho it is actually almost entirely identical to the United States in every regard) but also that Canada is, morally, massively superior to the United States. At end, doesn't that amount to wishing that Americans will continue to let people without (adequate) health insurance DIE from things that a single-payer plan could cure? Isn't that, then, exactly equivalent to wanting Americans to DIE so Canadians can feel themselves superior?
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Canadian nationalism is an absolute evil, given that Canada as part of the United States would prove massively TRANSFORMATIVE. Canadian votes in Congress every two years and for President every four would MASSIVELY ALTER the nature of the United States as an influence in the world. To understand that that is indubitably true but insist nonetheless that Canada should maintain its independence from the United States is EVIL. Ergo, Canadian nationalism is evil. I will not be lectured by Canadians about anything — until and unless they fite the good fite, in Congress and for President, and help Liberals win a permanent and unchallengeable majority for policies of generosity and enlitenment by the United States everywhere on Earth.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,321 — for Israel.)



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