Canada is, at heart, a nanny state. There are too many people who work in the sheltered environment of the civil service, and our politicians are usually the sheltered and spoiled children of people who were also once politicians or came from money, and the same can be said of journalists.
For decades, our oblivious ways didn't place us in danger as we were too inconsequential for any power to notice us. We wisely flew under the radar, and we had a few savvy street-fighters who had to earn their keep pull us out of scrapes we found ourselves in when our foolish disposition got us in trouble. We had their love and loyalty, but somehow, everyone forgot to keep notes on what they did to keep us in the game when things went haywire.
We were in the strongest position when Jean Chretien was Prime Minister. He prevented the country from falling apart during the Quebec referendum, something I covered as a student in j-school, interviewing various editors and journalists about that nail-biter -- and those notes formed the backbone of a later article I had published in Skeptic magazine years later as a working journalist.
I remembered Chretien's blanched face that night -- he barely scraped a victory, but he saved both Quebec and the Rest of Canada from absolute ruin. Break up Canada, and we get swallowed up by the United States.
But beginning in the early 2000s, there was the beginnings of peculiar rumblings started by the George Bush regime. I saw one in person. The American organization I worked for as a Canadian correspondent for the journalism trade magazine held its annual convention in Toronto -- the first time they ventured out of their home country. There were two keynote speakers over two days: Vice President Dick Cheney, and then the late journalist and anchor Peter Jennings who was Canadian, but was an icon in the US.
I was there for both speeches. The Vice President's speech essentially spelled out that yes, natural resources may be running in short supply in the US, but they can just raid Canada's. No worries.
The next day, Jennings's speech was a real pushback to that notion and a powerful moment that reminded me how hard it was being a Canadian who had to push through in a foreign country to make a name for yourself. It was something to see.
It stayed with me, but I knew whatever the rumblings, Chretien was a silver fox who could dodge the traps.
And then came 9/11, and Chretien's regime wasn't playing ball with the Bush regime, and things got very sticky. Fox News was floating about boycotts and sanctions against Canada, and I discussed it at length in my book OutFoxed.
Again, I wasn't worried because I knew that Chretien was an adept strategist who literally could take care of himself. It was like having Batman as your Prime Minister.
There was no war of words. There was no missteps or diplomatic quagmires. Everything blew over with most Canadians having no clue about the gravity of the situation or the potential for trouble. That's what a good leader does. He makes it seem seamless and doesn't bring attention to himself.
I saw both those close calls as a journalist. I knew that the threat coming from the US was real, but I also knew Chretien alone could handle it because he understood the big picture.
Fast forward to 2018.
We have a sheltered little boy masquerading as a Prime Minister along with his haughty kid sidekick -- both who are not strategists, but oblivious divas who are obtuse to nuance.
Truth be hold, they are obtuse to big, honking signs of a cataclysm.
Unlike the the other two times, I am not shrugging off what is going down.
Trudeau has made things worse with his arrogant attitude. Kid sidekick Chrystia Freeland is equally dense.
They are both throwing temper tantrums in public -- having zero cards to play, going on and on how "insulted" they are that the US is not giving in to their demands, as if Americans care about what Canadian politicians are feeling.
Really, are you serious?
You are not being paid to be offended. No one cares how you feel or whether or not you are offended. This isn't a first-year Humanities course where your prof holds your hand and preaches about micro-aggression as he tell you that you are Gifted.
You were elected to get results. That's it. You go in, get dirty, get mud slapped all over your Botoxed face, but you get results that are beneficial to your country.
That didn't happen. They failed. The end. As in, The End. Drudge is chronicling all of this for posterity, of course.
This is now a serious crisis. Canada did well as long as they flew under the radar. We are like the rabbits of Watership Down: so long as the Elil are not on our scent, we are free to have our little warren just the way we like it.
But Trudeau is acting like a self-entitled brat who thinks his ego means anything. It doesn't. If he were competent, this should have been resolved months ago. You can whine about being bullied all you want, but you showed signs of weakness, and now the Elil have been primed to go after you.
And the campaign is breath-taking. It goes beyond tweets from Trump: the chorus of people who have instructed the flock to see Canada as liars is growing, and instead of dealing with this threat directly -- because once you lose credibility, you lose it all -- he and Freeland are repeatedly babbling about being insulted.
So here is the memo to those two bimbos: You have been repeatedly saying how "insulted" your majesties have been. Did it change the circumstances? Did it resolve a single thing?
So why are you aping your ineffectual script? Are you really that vapid and unteachable?
Do you not have someone with intelligence and experience dealing with Americans on your staff to advise you?
It's probably too late, but the immaturity of the Trudeau regime is disheartening.
And repeating the word "retaliation" is playing right into Trump's hands. That's what villains do when the hero stands up to them.
But do not expect the Canadian media to clue in. They are cheerleading Trudeau, not having the courage to see what is actually happening. My local television station CHCH is run by a group of five-year-olds sitting at some Disney On Ice show, spewing childish drivel that makes me wonder just how bad is our educational system has plummeted since I graduated.
Some American politicians disagree with Trump? Who? The inert Democrats who have been floundering in the polls because the economy is doing too well for them to build a credible argument to be voted in?
Other Canadian politician support Trudeau! Whoop di do, what can they do, but tremble in their boots knowing if Trump cuts off Canada, the tax base, such as it is, goes up in flames? They are too afraid, and they have little choice, but even that facade of unity won't last long.
The US can easily ride out the tariffs. Going after Hershey chocolates? Do you think there isn't a Plan B? Canadians look like petty little meanies...and then Americans will rally together to buy a lot more chocolates and stick it to those chocolate-hating Canadian villains.
If that is the very best hand you have to play, you already lost the game.
And Trump does have a plan. There is no doubt. There is a plan, and it involves breaking and humbling Canada, particularly Trudeau, who has a long history of being a spoiled little boy who cannot function if he is not the centre of attention. There is bad blood between him and the previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper. There is bad blood between him and former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
He is sticking with the same script, but the difference is Trump is not Harper or Mulcair. He is far more feral, cunning, and powerful than Trudeau whose entitled temper tantrums are about to come back to haunt him.
Let us not forget he cannot contain himself when things do not go his way. He loses his nerve.
Canada cannot afford this kind of childish games. Our federal debt makes us vulnerable, and just Ontario's debt alone can upset our ecosystem to the point that Trump does not have to do very much to throw us into disarray.
Because we had close calls with the US not that long ago -- less than two decades ago. It is not as if the thought never crossed their minds. Chretien cleaned up that mess beautifully.
We are now in Chapter two of the Chaos Narrative, and we are being set up for a real salvo by Chapter three. It is already set, and once that happens, there is no going back.
And our politicians are completely unprepared, and our journalists are weakened and clueless to the what is in store. Just months ago, there was threats of big red buttons and nuclear war between the US and North Korea.
Now, there is a summit that, if it has gone well, will give the US an alternative market for their chocolates.
Canada has been blinded by arrogance and cockiness, and it can make more trouble than we can handle. We are not used to being seen as villains and foreigners to the US, but it may be a label we may end up wearing for decades to come...