Hello, America! It’s your upstairs neighbor, Canada.
Listen, can we talk about something? There’s been a lot of noise coming from down there over the past month — well, really the past year. We know that there’s an election going on right now and that it tends to get increasingly more noisy the closer you get to the actual election date. Normally we don’t really have a problem with it; in fact, most of the time we like to follow along at home. We know how raucous elections can be. We just had our own not long ago. Perhaps you noticed? No, we’re kidding; we know you didn’t.
Perhaps you’ve seen our new prime minister, though? Much like Obama, he’s an outspoken feminist, has a great sense of humor, and likes to surf. He goes on vacation and ends up in the background of wedding photos! Plus he has actual policy positions and enjoys basing them on evidence — you’d think that would be a no-brainer, but here we are.
Anyway, this is a good segue into what we wanted to chat about: leadership. You probably don’t know or care very much about our Prime Minister Trudeau and that’s fine, because it’s not your country or concern. We don’t go around calling ourselves The Leader Of The Free World, after all. The thing is, though, you do. What happens in your country affects the rest of the world in a very real fashion. Normally it’s not the biggest problem, of course. We upstairs tend to have a more progressive bent, so we’re naturally more in favor of President Obama. But we wouldn’t have been particularly bent out of shape by a President McCain or a President Romney.
Here’s the thing, though: One of your political parties has put forth a candidate who, to put it mildly, terrifies us beyond all reason and makes us wonder if there is, in fact, a future on this giant ball of rock hurtling at unreasonable speeds through a cold, uncaring vacuum.
It’s not just us, either, to be perfectly truthful. The other countries are a bit concerned about your election as well. There have been rumors in Eastern Europe that you aren’t going to live up to your end of the bargain because a certain candidate, who seems to think that decades-old alliances are actually a protection racket.
The Japanese are getting a bit edgy because that same candidate has been talking about leaving them with some nuclear weapons and calling it a day. Why, just the other day, he called the poor Philippines a “terrorist nation,” and we haven’t been able to figure that one out yet.
We’ve heard that this candidate of yours doesn’t understand why he can’t just use nuclear weapons to solve all of his intractable problems, and that’s really a big problem with the rest of us. We all watch our children playing in our backyards and on our playgrounds, and we watch them grow up and go to school and fall in love and become functioning adults with lives and careers of their own. We don’t think the best future that we could give our children is to blast everything but their shadows away and leave them a silent, irradiated ruin.
Beyond his obvious lack of knowledge about why he can’t just use nuclear weapons, your candidate seems to have forgotten that there are eight other countries who have nuclear weapons as well. Some of them can be a bit edgy, especially when an American presidential candidate is talking about walking away from his allies, cozying up to the neighborhood bully, and starting trade wars with very large nuclear-armed nations.
So, c’mon, America. We’re close enough that we feel like we can be real with you, and you’re better than this. We hope.
Your Friendly Neighbors Upstairs