Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On anti-Americanism

I wouldn't have expected the best comment on this to come from the National Post, but here's John Moore:
Gibson wondered why, if we hate Americans so much, millions of us live in the U.S. Good question. Maybe it's because we don't hate Americans.

A recent poll on international attitudes toward the United States, conducted by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project, revealed that 59% of Canadians have a favourable opinion of their neighbor. While that may seem low, consider this: Of the 15 countries polled, Canada held the United States in higher esteem than all but two others. Even England, America's current best buddy, placed lower than we did.

In a world in which the United States is broadly disliked, Canadians have retained a tempered affection. When the poll asked about specific character traits, much was made of the fact that 62% of Canadians said they viewed Americans as greedy and 34% as immoral. Damning evidence of our sanctimoniousness, to be sure -- until you consider that the percentage of Americans who self-identified as greedy and immoral was actually higher...

To Gibson and his followers, my assertion that Canada is the best country in the world is churlish and smug. In other countries, the sentiment is called patriotism. In Canada, it's apparently just one more thing we have to apologize for.

Damn right. Of course we know better than to expect apologies from Gibson and his ilk - even when someone like Moore sets out the facts for easy consumption. We'll have to settle for being the ones living in reality instead.

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