For much of my younger life, every Canadian I knew had a “dopey American” story. Americans an hour away from the border being amazed at our facility with English. Americans coming up in July looking for snow to play in.
As I grew up, I came to understand the entire world had “dopey American” stories. (in some grimmer locales, “ugly American”). American isolationist attitudes and the resulting geographical ignorance made their tourists the easy butts of jokes wherever they spent their tourist dollars.
BUT, for me anyway, under the mockery lay the unspoken subtext “this was a yokel minority”. This was, for crying out loud, the country that organized the Moon Landing. The home to many of my favourite authors. Creators of much to admire in the arts and sciences.
A year or so ago, I should have spoken this unspoken subtext, because my claim “Americans are stupid” fetched me a strong rebuke for uttering such a sweeping bigoted remark. I plead guilty to the charge and apologized.
Well, after Election Night 2016, I retract my apology. There are hard numbers to prove that the majority of Americans are racist, sexist, ignorant hammerheads. This fact gives me no pleasure and I’m frankly worried for the intelligent minority.
I’m worried for the world in general, come to that.