In a recent poll taken in Canada – USA Jr. as I like to call it – 40 percent of Canadian teens said the United States is a force for evil in the world.
Not surprisingly, French-Canadians were even harsher, with 64 percent calling America a force for evil. (Perhaps the French-Canadians are still upset over the Quebec-baiting performance in Canada earlier this year by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog of Late Night with Conan OBrien fame.)
The poll further revealed that if the U.S. – or any country for that matter – invaded, 100 percent of French-Canadians would immediately surrender. Okay, I made that up, but the first two percentages are real.
Anyway, why do such a large percentage of Canadian teens label America evil? There are three reasons.
First, a lot of teenagers are just plain stupid. This phenomenon, of course, is not specific to Canada, as our own population of politically-naive, overly-tattooed, baggy-clothes-wearing adolescents prove.
Second, like a lot of other countries (especially France), Canada is jealous of Americas power and influence. Im sure Im not the only one to have noticed the good will the U.S. enjoyed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, evaporated pretty quickly. Why? Because its a lot easier to feel compassion for a country that has just had its nose bloodied than it is when that same nation gets back on its feet and takes aggressive action against those responsible.
Third, I think a lot of Canadians – especially French-Canadians – take themselves a little too seriously, meaning they dont have much of a sense of self-depracating humor. (Theres a chance some Canadians are reading this right now and are very upset with me. Cmon, you have to admit USA Jr. is pretty funny, eh.)
Anyway, Im not too frightened by a country whose national symbol is a maple leaf. I mean, really, how intimidating is a maple leaf? Whats it going to do, dry up and blow away?
Still, I have hope for our neighbor to the north, as this same survey showed 50 percent of Canadian teens viewed the U.S. as a force for good.
My Two Cents is a weekly column where the author – whose been to Canada on a few occasions and thinks its a lovey country – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.