Is that a puck in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
It’s no secret that President Donald Trump is afraid of Canada. He’s invoked security concerns as a justification for tariffs on steel imports.
Never one to express an opinion without the rigorous research that is the hallmark of his presidency, Trump cited the burning of the White House in the War of 1812 as proof that the threat from the Great White North is huge.
Is the danger real? Should Americans be afraid of the Beaver Brigades lying in wait – possibly flicking their Bics even as we speak? If we were to invade, would we drop leaflets from aircraft saying “Sorry” as we marched across the 49th parallel?
Negative influences are inevitable. One of Canada’s founding principles is “peace, order and good government.” If that kind of subversive thinking were to make its way into American politics, the ripples of consequence could be felt for generations to come.
If the CBC were ever to gain a foothold in the broadcasting landscape of the United States, then millions of Americans could find themselves soberly evaluating arguments before acting. Clearly, that kind of introspection and self-examination is not something that the United States could take lying down.
This doesn’t even take into account that, come October, churchgoing Americans living close to the border could be subject to regular contact highs as our population collectively lights up a doobie as one united people.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already retaliated with tariffs of his own and said that “Canada will not be pushed around.” Hearing that, I find myself wanting to shout, “You go, girl!” The threat is made more ominous in the imagination – like the person who warns, “when you least expect it … expect it!”
We have already infiltrated their entertainment industry. Whether it’s Mike Myers or Jim Carrey, Kiefer Sutherland or William Shatner, there’s a decidedly Canuck flavour to U.S. popular culture. Heck, we’ve already carpet bombed them with Justin Bieber so, really, what worse could we do?
Let’s put ourselves in Yankee shoes. Every four years, VFP’s (very famous people) threaten to leave the United States if one candidate or another wins the presidential election. Whether it’s Alec Baldwin or Barbra Streisand, the angst this must engender at kitchen tables in Peoria or Pittsburgh is difficult to dismiss.
I’ve always wondered how Americans believe that they need only express the desire and they will instantly be granted entrée into our home and native land. Do they not realize that we, too, are a real country wearing grown-up pants and we may have something to say about it? We’re not Kansas where someone need only click their ruby red slippers three times and instantly be transported here.
We have one thing going for us in any conflict with the U.S.A. The giggling in the war room over names like Moose Jaw, Flin Flon and Saskatchewan keeps the generals so in stitches that no real battle plans are formulated.
A country with a very gung ho military that loves to –ahem – drop in on other countries is not to be trifled with. It’s kind of like a monkey having a machine-gun. Rather than debate the merits of the monkey’s point of view, it’s best to just accept it and see if he can be, if not disarmed, then at least placated with a banana.
All I can do is be prepared. Living behind the lines in the United States, I try to keep a full tank of gas in my car in case I’m exposed as a sleeper agent and need to make a run for the border.
Please watch for me. I’ll arrive at high speed with a bumper sticker that says “War of 1812 – Hot Enough For Ya?” We’ll also need a password for the inevitable checkpoints I’ll have to pass through on my way to safety and the welcoming, warm cocoon of Canada.
I suggest we have an unbreakable code that will allow true Canadians to return home. It will be one that no American could ever understand:
“Paul Henderson 1972.”
It’s foolproof. See you soon.
Troy Media columnist Gavin MacFadyen is a Canada-raised, U.S.-based writer. Blending insight and wit, he brings a unique perspective to the issues of the day.