• Charlie Teljeur

Dear America: Advice From Your Little Brother Canada

Dear America,

I’ll cut right to the chase: You’ve been a real dick lately.

When I say “lately” I mean intermittently from the 1950s onward. I know hearing that makes you want to send a shitload of ICBMs at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but hear me out. I’m not saying (outright at least) that you’re always being a dick, but you do a lot of dick moves, and you don’t have to. You’re better than that. You’ve always been better than that.

Despite all the trauma and drama going on in the world, it wouldn’t take 32 months of intense therapy to figure out what’s wrong with you. It’s pretty simple really. You’ve lost your identity. You just don’t know who you are anymore. We sure as hell don’t.

In theory, your role in the world has never been in question. In theory, you are a beacon of democracy. In theory, you are the welcoming shores for the destitute and demoralized. And in theory, you as a nation, believe in the best parts of humanity. But we don’t live in theory, and you’re simply not doing what it takes to back up all of that boastful hyperbole you constantly spray on the rest of the world.

To be truthful — as your little-brother-to-the-north is apt to be — the rest of the world has been laughing at you. (No wait, don’t swing, just listen.) The rest of the world is laughing at you but is also very sad for you. We all believe that you’re better than this. We know (or at least we hope) that the core of who you really are is not being represented in how you currently carry yourself.

This didn’t just start with Donald Trump. You were already starting to rot from the inside decades before this. It’s just that this particular pandering idiot has thoroughly exposed America as a nation. He’s reading us the subtext and saying the quiet parts loud. There is no more charade anymore, and there is no more acting. America is truly lost. Believe me when I say that while there is some derisive laughter from your pals in the world we really aren’t revelling in it. You don’t laugh at the bear while he still has those teeth.

Let me mention at this point that I truly appreciate you not getting angry with me here. I‘m fully aware that you have the ability to “bomb us back to the stone age” because frankly, you’ve said it to us (and the rest of the world for that matter) a million times already, but therein lies part of your problem: Your willingness/eagerness, (and utter giddiness at times) to dominate the world with your (incredibly excessive) military might.

Truth is, you’re acting like a schoolyard bully. When the rhetoric fails, as it often does, you pull out the big guns and end the argument in the way in which you’re most comfortable. Your foreign policy, for the last forty years or more, reads like a Hollywood shoot -em-up movie. Cue the tanks.

You’d rather dictate than negotiate.

This is the part where, yes, you revert back to your age old argument of being the world’s policeman, and while that might have been somewhat true during WWII and for a few years that followed it, that justification just doesn’t work anymore. It really hasn’t worked for a long time, yet you still refuse to see it. You wave the flag and say you’re saving freedom, but a lot of what you’ve been doing since Vietnam is preserving your gold medal, cock-of-the-walk status internationally.

If your multiple military interventions had truly been about restoring freedom to others in the world, we would have been onside with that, but we’re simply not gullible enough to believe that hollow narrative anymore. No one is believing what they read in your brochure.

And that brings up another factor in your (yet unrecognized) identity crisis. Who are you? How do you see yourself?

To answer this question, answer this question: What does the average American look like? Describe an American.

Your answer will likely be a white male in his thirties, his forties perhaps, basically the guy from the brochure. Thing is, this doesn’t apply anymore. That guy, that image, is not the typical American anymore. It’s likely that you likely already know this, and that’s what really scares you.

Statistically it’s predicted that Caucasians will be a minority somewhere in the middle of this century. I’m sure you’ve heard that one too, which is why you rage so often and fight so hard to protect your precious borders while at the same time spewing the traditional (and empty) song of, “give me your tired, huddled masses yearning to be free”.

Well which one is it? Are your borders welcome to people who don’t look like your typical American, or are you wanting a much tighter filter on who exactly gets in?

This is where you bring up your tepid argument about gleefully wanting immigration “as long as they do it legally”. Truth is, you don’t really want much immigration, at least not to the level that would accommodate the massive throngs of people who are literally dying to become American.

You want the doctors and the lawyers and the scientists (we all do), but you want to redirect the “refuse” of the world to somewhere like Turkey (far enough away so as not to affect you). Basically, the subtext reads: Keep America the way it looked in 1955.

Newsflash though, brother. The year 1955 was an anomaly. It was never real. While America was booming, it did so at the expense of a lot of the rest of the world and even at the expense of a large portion of the nation itself.

1955 was a great year if you were white, American, and middle class. That’s the world you want to return to and that can only be achieved by doing what you’re doing now: suppressing those who don’t meet your criteria both domestically and abroad. Do you honestly believe you can re-animate that world?

If you do, you’re blind to reality. That’s not today’s world. Frankly, that hasn’t been the real world for quite some time. Asians, Hispanics, and those of East Indian heritage have, for a long time, outnumbered your American ideal.

Herein lies another harsh reality of your identity crisis: Why are you so darned scared of someone who doesn’t look like you?

While your answer will revolve around “simply wanting to protect your heritage” (which is fine) it comes with an underlying and ugly truth that, sadly only applies to the classic Euro-centric Caucasian race. And that’s the problem of White Angst which, more accurately, is White Male Angst.

White Male Angst goes like this:

Why are you so afraid of becoming a white minority?

I’ve never BEEN a minority.

So then what’s so bad about being a minority?

You don’t get to make the decisions anymore.


So WE’VE always made the decisions!


So that Chinese guy will get to make all the decisions now!


In MY country!


So, HE’LL have all the control!


So if HE has all the control and HE gets to make all of the decisions HE’S going to treat me the way I used to treat him when I had all the control!

Which is what?

Which is awful! I can be a real dick when I have absolute power! Look at my track record!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is White Male Angst.

Look, I get your “fear”, I really do, but there’s really nothing to worry about.

Maybe I say that because Canada seems to have been preparing for the Real World a lot longer than you have. Canadians are a minority by nature so we fully empathize with a minority’s way of thinking. I mean, if you can’t practice what you preach, what kind of nation are you?

You see, Canada with its sexy beavers and handsome moose, is a large country in land mass only. (We’re bigger than you, by the way. Little brothers love bringing that up.)

Canada has a meager population though, given the sheer size of the country, and because of that, immigration and immigration policy, has been a front burner concern of ours for a long time.

We’ve been talking racial mixing of Canadians since the 1970s. That’s when Prime Minister Trudeau (Dream Boat Justin’s dad) started our march towards multiculturalism as a national policy. He saw the writing on the wall at a time when a lot of Canadians wanted to smash his head through a wall just for bringing it up. You’ll of course get some heated arguments to the contrary even today, but it’s been a real success. Canada simply saw the world for what it would become, and set forth policy to follow through with that vision as best we could. We accepted change. We needed more bodies to keep us warm during the winter!

Canada today reflects the world as it really is, and we’re OK with that. No, strike that. We’re damned proud of it! We think it’s a very adult way to run a nation, and we think it’s time you took a page out of that playbook. For once, follow our lead.

If you do the research, you’ll actually find that most everyone’s doing it. In that regard, you’re a little behind the times, buddy. Racial integration ain’t so bad. Learning a new language or understanding a foreign culture is nicely enlightening. Accept people (as a national policy) as you would their cuisine.

And herein lies the final piece of rebuilding your national identity. A sense of humility, of which you have virtually none. I know that sounds harsh but Brother America, I’m sorry but it’s true. You’re not fond of being shown what to do and you sure as hell don’t like being told what to do. America simply doesn’t seem to like anything when it wasn’t your idea.

If you don’t believe me just look at universal health care. Look at how many developed nations in the world have it yet you, with your bottomless pit of money and plethora of brilliant people, can’t find someone smart enough and influential enough to institute government-run health care as a human right. That’s preposterous. And it’s all because you didn’t come up with the idea and you like your pay-or die health care alternative.

And point of fact, we Canadians didn’t come up with universal health care either. Neither did Great Britain. Evidently it dates back to 19th century Germany! Who knew?

The point I’m trying to make as your kind-hearted little brother, is that you have to practice being a little, no let’s be real, a LOT, more humble. There are some great things you could learn from the rest of the world if you only opened you mind a little more. You need to find a way to recycle all that patriotic fervor into an unquenchable, national desire for self-improvement.

It’s time for you to go back to your textbook and re-learn some of the many things you put down on paper way back when. Principles matter. Leading by example matters even more.

Show us a country with true freedom. Show the world true leadership. Hint: True leadership is not wielding power over everything, true leadership is empowering those around you to be the best they can be.

Sweet Brother America, tone down the flag-waving a little. Lower the guns. Cut the rhetoric. Turn the volume down. Learn to see the best in others. Accept that you don’t know everything. Accept being led occasionally. And just listen. We — the rest of the world — need you to be who we all think you are. And we really do believe in you.


Can you do that?

And one more thing. Please don’t bomb us. We’re brothers after all.



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