Canadian home sickness and the Excited States of America

As a Canadian resident in Switzerland there are many things I miss about life in Canada:

I miss old friends and family.

I miss the magnificent splendour of my home and native land.

And I miss small things too:

  • Food like Habitant pea soup, poutine, tourtiere, Canadian breakfast, perogies, microwave dinners, beavertails…
  • Comedians like Lorne Elliot, Rick Mercer, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and many others…
    • Some gone but not forgotten like the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Wayne and Schuster…
    • Some not well-known outside Canada like the Arrogant Worms, Bowser and Blue, Radio Free Vestibule, to name just a few.
  • Newspapers like the Globe and Mail (affectionately known as “the Grope and Flail”), the Toronto Sun (the Toronto “Stunned”), the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette, the Quebec City Chronicle-Telegraph and Le Journal de Montreal (notoriously famous for headlines like “Crime boss decapitated”)
  • Musicians like Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Rush, Nickelback, Barenaked Ladies, to name only just five of many.
    • (I don´t miss Celine Dion or Justin Bieber as readers of my blog know if they´ve read my post Victims of the Machine.)
  • Writers past and present such as Alice Munro, Pierre Berton, Stephen Leacock, Robert W. Service, Will Ferguson, Farley Mowat (known by his critics as “Hardly Know-it”), among many.
  • I miss the CBC, both radio and TV.
  • I miss Maclean´s, Quill and Quire, Canadian Geographic magazines.

And zowie, Dr. Foth…

I miss Allan Fotheringham.

Allan Fotheringham (born August 31, 1932) is a Canadian newspaper and magazine journalist.

He is widely known by the nickname Dr. Foth and styles himself as, “Always controversial… never at a loss for words” and also as “the Great Gatheringfroth”.

I still recall with great fondness some of his most quotable expressions:

  • “the jaw that walks and talks like a man” (for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney)
  • “In the Maritimes politics is a disease, in Quebec a religion, in Ontario a business, on the Prairies a protest and in British Columbia – entertainment.” — Malice in Blunderland (1982)
  • “Zowie, Dr. Foth, could you please de-muddify the fuzzification?”
  • “the village that fun forgot”(for Ottawa)
  • “the Excited States of America”(for the USA)

This name for the States seems very appropriate, for I cannot think of a time in US history when Americans were not overly agitated about something.

As a Canadian resident in Switzerland, like the rest of the world´s billions who are not American, I am watching with avid fascination and horror the events taking place in the US at present.

And like the rest of the world I am greatly concerned about who will lead the world´s most powerful nation after US President Barack Obama leaves office.

Leading the pack in both popularity and notoriety of those who would be President is the phenomena, known as “the Donald”, Republican Party presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

I can´t decide what is more dangerous about this man:

The things he says, or that so many people are listening to him.

For those aliens new to the planet or for those who have been living under a rock, a brief summary of the man:

“Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American business magnate, investor, author, television personality and candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 Presidential Election.

He is the chairman and president of the Trump Organization and founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Trump’s career, branding efforts, lifestyle and outspoken manner helped make him a celebrity, a status amplified by the success of his NBC reality show, The Apprentice.

Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a New York City real estate developer.

He worked for his father’s firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and officially joined the company in 1968.

In 1971, he was given control of the company, renaming it The Trump Organization.

Trump remains a major figure in American real estate.

On June 16, 2015, Trump formally announced his candidacy for president in the 2016 election, seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.

Trump’s early campaigning drew intense media coverage and saw him rise to high levels of popular support.

Since early July 2015, he has consistently been the front-runner in public opinion polls for the Republican Party nomination.

Trump’s populist, anti-immigrant politics are a defining contrast to the establishment Republican faction, earning him support among working class voters amid heavy and frequent controversies in the news media.” (Wikipedia)

This man has suggested that:

  • the 11 million illegal immigrants in the US should be deported
  • the erection of a long tall wall on the Mexican border and paid for by the Mexican government
  • Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists
    • “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[
  • Arizona Senator John McCain was not to be considered a war hero because he was captured
  • he is pro-life and anti gun control
  • he wants to eliminate taxes on corporations
  • he wants to eliminate minimum wages
  • he believes that global warming is “a total hoax”
  • he thinks that there is an ongoing assault on Christmas
  • he is pro school prayer and anti same sex marriage
  • Iraq is a corrupt nation, not worthy of his respect
  • he proposes withdrawl of military support for allied countries unless the US were paid to defend them
  • he would limit access to the Internet
  • he would pursue aggressive bombing of ISIS
  • he would increase surveillance of mosques in the US
  • he would enforce a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States

And what frightens the world is that many Americans agree with him.

And that Americans in their fear, paranoia and xenophobia might actually elect this man to be their Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the world´s most powerful military.

Even before Trump threw his hat into the political arena, his name was often in the news:

  • He has been married three times.
  • Four of his businesses have declared bankruptcy.
  • He has initiated and been the target of many civil lawsuits.
    • My personal favourite was when he sued comedian Bill Maher for asking Trump to produce his birth certificate to prove that Trump´s mother had never mated with an orangutan!
  • There have been allegations that he has done business with firms linked to organized crime.
  • He has authored 18 books.
  • He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I know many Americans don´t much care for what the outside world thinks or says about it, but for those who do:

If America continues to let itself be lead by fear-mongering demagogues like Donald Trump then America will truly find itself in more difficult straits than it presently is in.

Of all the things I miss about living in Canada, I don´t miss living next door to the US in times like this.

It has often been said that people get the government they deserve, but does the Excited States of America truly deserve Donald Trump?

 

 

 

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