Friday, March 18, 2005

"We deny the difference between right and wrong and then condemn people as being wrong if they disagree"

It pains me to say it, it really does. But the fact is that in so many areas and walks and ways of life, the United States is now a better country than Canada
writes Michael Coren in the Toronto Sun. Replace Canada/Canadien throughout with Germany/Germans, France/French, Great Britain/Britons, suggests FR Hoffmann, and see if Coren's comment doesn't fit equally for these countries.
There, I've said it. Because I'm so very tired of the way, particularly in the last two years, that we Canadians have come to define ourselves not by who we are but by who we are not.

…With a malodorous stew of ignorance and malice, [publicly funded mediocrities screaming abuse at a great and noble nation] pump Canada at the expense of deflating the United States.

They say that we are about peace and they are about war. Nonsense. We haven't been able to keep the peace for years even if we'd wanted to do so. We haven't the aircraft or the equipment. It's the Americans who send most of the aid and keep most of the peace.

They say we are informed and intelligent, they are insular and foolish. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and a plethora of world-class universities. Nobel Prize winners by the dozen, internationally renowned scientists, scholars and sages. Goodness me, they even produce better anti-Americans than we do.

They say we are sophisticated, they are dumb. Yet they have more symphony orchestras, more theatres, more libraries, more museums per head than we do in Canada.

They say we are free, they are not. Really? Take the example of Fox News. For years this right-of-centre network was barred from Canadian airwaves, while we publicly funded left-of-centre equivalents such as the CBC. …

They say we have diversity and wit in our press, while they have conformity and lack of style. Yet every American city has a number of impressive daily newspapers and most small towns have weekly publications. They have liberal and conservative, religious and secular, black and white.

They have wide and different ownership, a multitude of different and contrary expression, the right to say almost anything, the liberty to question authority, the expectation of argument and debate, the protection of the basic right to speak one's mind.

Bashers of the U.S. say we have the separation of church and state while they have too much religion. The truth is that they have a constitutional requirement to separate church and state but allow religion to have its place in the public square, thus giving voice to so many brilliant and ethical people.

We effectively silence people of faith, lie to and about them and insult the very ideas that founded Canada itself. We stifle talk of moral behaviour in the name of morality. We deny the difference between right and wrong and then condemn people as being wrong if they disagree.

We say we are mature and they are childish. Which shows just how immature we are and how much growing up we need to do.

Time to put away the toys of smugness and conceit and make our own way in the world. With or without a government grant.

A week later, Coren's mailbox was overflowing, including with 1,000 letters from Canadians of all backgrounds and ages. Over 90% "wrote to say that I had spoken for them." Unsurprizingly, the remainder only served to prove… exactly what Coren had written the previous week, "deliciously [illustrating] Canadian hypocrisy and self-delusion":
Less than 10% of the responses were critical, but they were a lesson in themselves. In all honesty, not one of them managed to disagree with me without being abusive. …

We flatter ourselves into a false sense of grandeur by flippant assumptions of our own tolerance and liberalism. Yet the enforcement of secular humanism is not tolerance at all but in itself a genuine form of fundamentalism.

[One of my critics] disagrees with me but instead of simply saying this, as if [sic] her perfect right and democratic duty, she tries to marginalize and insult the messenger rather than deal in any substantive manner with the message.

An e-mail warrior and Canadian nationalist named Mark told me I was a "collaborationist, double-crossing fifth columnist, fraternizer, quisling, saboteur, security risk, subversive traitor, treasonous turncoat, two-timing quisling." and added for good measure: "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Not once but twice a quisling! Goodness me, I'm as bad as the Norwegian fascist who sold his country to the Nazis because I wrote that the United States is not the ugly bully so many Canadians make it out to be.

All this silliness aside, the irony is that my critics simply did not appreciate that the hurt they felt at having their country criticized might just be shared by Americans when far worse things, with far less foundation, are said about the U.S. by Canadian leaders on a regular basis.

Another constant characteristic of the negative letters was the sheer anger. Dozens of people told me, in no uncertain terms, to go to the United States. But surely a Canadian has a right to appreciate another country and critique his own. …

Conclusion? The chauvinistic neurosis of the Canadian liberal is in many ways even more repugnant than the insularity of some Americans.

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