Canada Bashing:  We Encourage It

By:  Rachel Marsden

The Canadian media got all jacked up recently over the fact that an American pundit let loose with an anti-Canadian rant on a cable TV show. Not since the president of Hershey's saw that crane-necked alien E.T. with Reese's Pieces in its hand has anyone been so giddy about high-profile brand placement.

Canadians don't get to respond very often to comments made about us by Americans, because more than a decade of Liberal rule has set our once-great country on a depressing descent into irrelevancy.

You know Canadian media are desperate for attention when they offer serious reportage and heartfelt, defensive analysis in response to comments like: "Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada." Or this one: "Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right?" Both gems are from MSNBC's Tucker Carlson.

I'm not sure where you have left to go in a debate when you start off by calling someone a retarded stalker. Why not do what everyone in America does with Carlson and ignore him? But judging by the reaction of some of our media, you'd think President George Bush had flipped us all off himself.

What Canadians should find far more troubling isn't that an American entertainer is talking smack for ratings, but that our own Prime Minister is doing the same thing for votes.

Paul Martin built himself a giant Uncle Sam "straw man" and was punching away at it when U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins walked in and asked Dithers the Clown what the heck he was doing.

Accusing an entire country of lacking a "global conscience" with respect to the environment when your own record is worse than theirs is really only a good move if you're auditioning for Tucker Carlson's job.

You can thank our Liberal government for the fact that Canada rarely registers at all on the American radar anymore -- except when it comes to things like harbouring war resisters or terror suspects, not to mention gay marriage and pot.

Starting with Jean Chretien and now under Martin, the Liberals have driven a wedge between Canada and our onetime best friend for the sake of a desperate power grab, constantly playing to insecure leftie voters who think our identity is dependent on being as different as possible from the U.S.A.

Now we have former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Montana Senator Conrad Burns falsely stating that the 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. from Canada. But Americans can't shoulder all the blame for the fact that they don't have all the details right -- because when Canada actually does register on their radar, all they likely see is one big blur of leftie lunacy. A few terrorists, notably the would-be Millenium Bomber, Ahmed Ressam, have entered the U.S. from Canada. And it seems barely a week goes by these days without a Canadian being paraded in front of the media as a potential terror suspect for Americans to extradite and deal with.

Maybe if we dropped the leftie fruitcake act on the home front, and started pulling our weight on the world stage rather than criticizing those who do, we would be treated with a little more seriousness by our southern neighbours. And perhaps they'd pay more attention. Respect isn't granted simply because we think we're worthy of it -- it has to be earned.

PUBLISHED:  TORONTO SUN (December 29/05)