Canada is opposed to it, both literally and figuratively.
Waves of domestic anger and fear are coming from the United States, spilling over our border, and recent polls suggest we may be responding to it.
As growing political polarization in the United States sparked a not entirely bloodless civil war, Canadians have quietly taken the opposite direction. Maybe that’s our pragmatism, and we recognize that American culture has had an impact on ours, and we defend ourselves against it. Maybe we just don’t care as much about government policy as our neighbors. One way or another, we are looking to make our cars run closer and closer to the center. It’s too early to draw any stable conclusions, but it suggests a trend.
In my opinion, Canadians are fundamentally resistant to conflict, and the values responsible for our resistance run so deep, so ingrained in our northern soil, that we begin the process of compromise as our ideas are formed.
Like so many things, exceptions prove the rule. The national energy program introduced in 1980 was rare in that it polarized deeply from git-go, knowingly and perhaps intentionally. The waves of unsuccessful separation campaigns in Quebec are another. It is interesting to note that these two examples are regional in nature.
I think it’s hard for us to understand what Americans are going through.
On the one hand, many Canadians behave as if we think freedom, democracy and freedom are synonymous. American political and social behavior suggests that they see words as symbolizing quite different concepts.
Look at the scenery south of the border.
Democrats are frustrated that efforts to establish gun controls are likely to fail until there is a majority of left-wing Supreme Court judges. For this to happen, three conditions must exist: a Supreme Court judge or two or three must die or retire, the incumbent president must be a Democrat to appoint his replacements, and the Party needs a majority. to the Senate to confirm the appointments.
The majority of Americans believe that when these three conditions are met, the Supreme Court will reinterpret the Constitution, find the rationale for banning assault weapons, and mandate extensive background checks before anyone can purchase a gun. Just for example. In other words, a progressive administration and Senate will reinterpret the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Democrats and Republicans agree on this point. Democrats can’t wait to see this happen and Republicans are terrified of the prospect.
Likewise, Republicans have waited, not too patiently, for a right-wing Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution and find the rationale for making it illegal for a woman to have an abortion simply because she and her doctor want one. . That’s what it means to reverse Roe against Wade.
When you add up all the left leanings and all the right leanings, you have a large majority of the American population either in favor or willing to accept a partisan Supreme Court.
In the 1980s, when I had a business partner in the White House, I was told that after deciding to appoint the now-retired Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court, President Reagan said: “For years people will try to guess what he’s doing. go do.”
It will likely be a long time before another US president appoints an unpredictable Supreme Court judge.
What seems most important in all of this is what appears to be a growing definition of freedom in the United States that moves away from the guarantees of a minority protecting constitution towards much more power in the hands. a small majority, allowing them the freedom to impose their will on everyone.
These dynamics are a problem for American democracy because they lead, step by step, towards a totalitarian government. In the details of maintaining support for Donald Trump, we can see that the first steps have already been taken.
How is it possible that strangers can see what so many Americans cannot?
It has become a common world view that despite all of their wonderful qualities, Americans are prone to the occasional delusion about themselves and the rest of the world. Perhaps this is how mythology has always been conceived and then delivered.
Acknowledging this raises the question: will the national perception of freedom and liberty existing in the United States of America survive the arrival of totalitarianism, the demise of elections, free speech?
Will Republicans celebrate their liberation from socialism while Democrats fight among themselves, blaming factions for the fall to freedom?
In the unlikely event the Democrats win, will they suspend freedom – temporarily, of course – to extinguish any spark of looming social conservatism?
Ten years ago, these worries would have been laughable but are not so funny anymore.
And in five years? Can we take for granted that there will be a presidential election in 2028?
In addition to having a strong affection for our immediate southern neighbor, I am worried about Canada. If it turns out that there were no more US elections, how about trade disputes with a puny northern neighbor, especially one suffering under a democratically elected and whiny government who is free to return? on past decisions and leaves its future to the hazard of decision-making by another democratically elected government?
Beyond the interests of its economy, why would America tolerate us? Or someone else? Are we looking for new alliances that are currently unthinkable?
Wouldn’t it be great if this concern turned out to be unwarranted, at least for now?
If the current, right-wing Supreme Court decides to uphold Roe against Wade, maybe we can relax for a while. Not so much because our fate will be determined by an American woman’s right to choose, but because it could honor the Supreme Court of those who are convinced that the institution is in the bag.
Perhaps we could relax a bit if the partisanship of the US Supreme Court turns out to be a failed partisan dream, that the institution’s independence has not become another American myth.
Oversimplification? Important considerations ignored? Sure. Retrospection reveals that simplifiers abound, which crystal ball watchers who have understood correctly have also oversimplified.