I am absolutely mindblown by how much Canadians care about the US Republican primary. This is a nomination they can't vote in, in a country they don't live in, between four men none of them would vote for, who are competing to see which one of them will (as far as most Canadians are concerned) lose the Presidential election in the fall.
What I find amazing about Simpson's lament for the Republican Party and America is that he does not mention
I'm fairly certain that, for most Canadians, the current situation is entirely the fault of George W Bush, the Tea Party, an undisclosed group of Wall Street people, Fox News, the "neo-cons", and the 1%. The current President, the guy running the show, is utterly powerless before this Legion Of Doom.
From what I can tell, the spectacle of the Republican primary is not just an entertaining diversion for these gawkers. Instead, it is an assault on the very foundation of what makes Canada Canada. We are Canadians and Canadians are progressive and moderate and want government that does things that are socially acceptable. Watching the Americans say crazy things makes us feel better about ourselves, because we don't do things like that.
Now since we don't do crazy things like the Americans, we are absolved of any impetus to change. Americans are the ones that need to get themselves in order, so that must mean we're doing fantastically. We ignore very large and obvious problems, like a health care system that struggles to meet people's needs. And we give lousy, diffident governments, like Dalton McGuinty's government, the benefit of the doubt because they say and do things that are progressive, moderate, and socially acceptable.
Governments that aren't progressive, moderate and socially acceptable, like Stephen Harper's government, are fundamentally illegitimate. That's why they must have orchestrated an illegal robocall scheme despite the fact that nothing has been proven yet. Here's a guy from Bracebridge who says as much in a letter to the Toronto Star.
The act of apologizing for Dalton McGuinty's government is a reflex Ontarians have developed to keep themselves from having to do anything to improve their current situation. Dalton McGuinty released a Youtube video last week asking teachers not to strike, so I guess our education system is OK because Dalton says it is. And in the letters to the Globe today, someone from the TDSB says the Ontario school system is among the best in the world, so that must be true. It certainly seems to be true for enough Ontarians that our school system doesn't have any problems that are worth mentioning or complaining about. That's why no, repeat, no cuts to the education budget will be tolerated. Not one dollar.
There are people in Ontario who are angry about wind turbines, about subways, about the deficit, and other issues. But because these people are angry, they tend not to be progressive, moderate, and socially acceptable. So nobody pays any attention to them except as objects of derision. They are outside the box. Like the Republicans.
Now as it becomes more and more obvious that this is a massive, province-wide defence mechanism, the area inside the box gets smaller and smaller. The NDP is outside the box too. For while the NDP is certainly progressive, they are a lot less moderate, and a lot less socially acceptable. And while some conservative politicians, like John Tory as PC Party leader, may be progressive and moderate, they are certainly not socially acceptable because they propose ideas like funding faith based schools. Now that John Tory is on the radio talking all day about how much he loves Dalton's ideas, he's a lot more socially acceptable.
Pointing out (as I do) that Dalton's government is an incoherent mess driven by inside-the-Liberal-box thinking tends to go largely unnoticed. (Except when I make fun of the War Room Boss. Then I know people are noticing, because my hit-count spikes way up.) Every aspect of Liberal governance is fundamentally contradictory, right down to the fact that Liberals consider themselves to be socially progressive and fiscally conservative while in reality you must PAY FOR MORE SOCIAL PROGRAMS WITH MORE TAX DOLLARS. But people do not want to notice these contradictions because it would cause their safe little progressive moderate socially acceptable fantasylands to fall apart.
When, as was the case with Mike Harris, the province has finally gotten to the point where the insane situation has overwhelmed the sanity preached by the Liberals, then the government of the day will be justified in being not progressive, not moderate, and not socially acceptable because they will hopefully identify progressive, moderate, and socially acceptable governance as the CAUSE of the current madness. That pushing people "forward" against their will eventually leads to a backlash, not acceptance.
And then we here in Ontario will be in the same situation as poor, lost America. And it'll be Dalton's fault.