Sometimes, you cannot choose your friends.

A casual observation made in a commentary the other day about the difficulties of having Americans as neighbours and friends evoked some questions. It comes down to the fact that Canadians have little choice. You might think we Canadians get kicked around now but just think of what it would be like if Americans actively disliked us?

You could never drive to Florida in the winter again. Imagine every state along the way getting a piece of you. From new state taxes just for us to special speed traps, you would be too poor to stay long in Florida if you even got there. You would yearn for those good old days when the Americans only patronized you. Even your American relatives would not let you visit them unless you flew—God forbid you should park a car with Canadian plates in their driveway.

What you have to remember is that almost half of the population in that country are born-again, gun-loving, Tea Party Republicans who despise any foreign, colored, impoverished or possibly sexual deviant person who does not look or talk like them.

There are also Democrats in the U.S.A. who look and talk like Republicans just to confuse matters. There are also quite a few Latinos and blacks whose ancestors came to America long before many of the red-neck Republicans’ ancestors. There are also some native American Indian survivors. Which makes the point that in a land of more than 300 motley millions, they probably would not all dislike Canadians at the same time.

In fact, the principal American, President Obama is not as annoyed with Canadians as he is tired of the constant pressure from Prime Minister Harper and his friends to put through the Keystone XL pipeline. He knows that there are lots of us Canadians who are saying, “Good on you Mr. Obama, screw TransCanada Pipelines.”

Maybe one of these days Prime Minister Harper is going to realize that he cannot have both a customs plaza at Canada’s new bridge to Detroit and Keystone XL too. It is a safe bet that Mr. Obama would go along with the bridge plaza for $250 million if Mr. Harper would just shut up about Keystone. He has enough right-wing conservatives nagging at him in Congress.

But Obama has that warm feeling that comes from knowing that he will probably outlast that hard-ass Harper. His term of office is not up until 2016. Mr. Harper’s term of office is likely to end next year. And Canadians will be their old lovable selves again.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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