Saturday, February 10, 2018


Statistics from 2017 released last week show the United-States has lost its second place to Spain as the world's most 'visited' country. (France is #1) - Experts blame President Trump's travel ban on some primarily Muslim countries as well as his harsh rhetoric about Hispanics and others for this decline. It's also in part due to the 'Make America Great Again' mantra which has been interpreted by some as code for make America white era when and where the white family patriarch always knew best.
Like so many of us, I grew-up in the years of those popular American television sitcoms, 'Father Knows Best', 'I Love Lucy', 'Leave it to Beaver' and I'd defy anyone to recall when a person of colour, (A Negro as we called them), or an Asian, Hispanic or 'First Nation' American was ever featured, except perhaps as a caricature, though each, as is the case today, then also made-up a substantial percentage of the population of the United-States of America.

For reasons I really do not quite understand 49.6% of eligible voters in the United-States (about 50 million electors) chose to abstain from voting in the November 2016 Presidential election. Be that as it may, the nation that once prided itself as the world's greatest democracy chose a 'Brand' of some dubious background and character as its leader rather than a person of diplomacy and political know-how. 

Most assuredly entrepreneur Donald Trump has set the world on its ear, if not a Twitter, with his silly pronouncements, gross accusations, and blatant untruths.  In the process he's tarnished the country's reputation as the leader of the 'free world,' with little if any noteworthy accomplishments to his administration's credit.

I have no vote in the USA:  If I did, I would hope that unlike so many Americans, I would have chosen to cast my democratic ballot in the fall 'Presidentials' of 2016. Though since that election and as those statistics bear out, I have chosen, along with many others, to vote with my wallet and remain on the Canadian side of the border with the United-States. It's a personal choice, easy to make considering that at the close of markets this weekend the Canadian dollar (The Loonie) was discounted just about 25% of the U.S. dollar....Let alone other expenses such as the cost of travel, lodging and most important medical insurance coverage while outside of Canada. Lest I digress: In December of 2015 my Canadian insurer was billed $21,060 US for the 4 1/2 hours I spent at a Florida hospital with a kidney stone.

I'm prepared to admit, given the frigid winter we endure in this 'Great White North' particularly this year, that my choice to stay-put hasn't been easy. However, In my mind at least it's a choice that defines who I am as a Canadian willing to sacrifice my smallish level of personal comfort rather than enable they who chip away the basic tenets of their democracy.

I acknowledge and accept that others, Canadians like me, see things differently. That for reasons of their own they shop 'cross-border', travel to, and visit frequently for extended periods of time, months really, as Snowbirds spending hard earned discounted Canadian dollars contributing to making America great again. Canadians who seek admission to the United States are for the most part welcomed as visitors, and they become the guests of a foreign country. It's incumbent upon them to behave as respectful visitors. What I do not accept, and I witness it frequently, almost daily, is that they complain and be critical on social media and elsewhere of the politics of their host while on it's soil  - It's impolite, dangerous and akin to biting the hand that's feeding you with your discounted Canadian dollars : If I see and note it - Others too are watching !


  1. Didn't know you had a blog! This is good reading, thanks. While I don't seem to be travelling anywhere these days, I would not go to the US now. I have at least three couples who are relatives and/or friends who are there now. I ask them upon their return "so how was it?" Last year, it was - we can't talk about politics, it gets too crazy. It will be interesting this spring. What a sad state of affairs when people don't vote and then when they do, they find some arcane system from eons ago make their slight majority not count. Ah well, we could go on and on but we won't today.

    1. Thanks for your comment(s) - I'll look forward to you friends' insight on their return home. B