David Brooks becomes just the latest American, who presumes upon his Exceptionalist right to inhabit our peaceable hinterland as their refuge of last resort. We have become their Elysium; their Iceland (Brave New World); their Potemkin village of Brigadoon. If Canada didn’t exist, Americans would have had to invent us.
It is only a matter of time and catalyst before their dam of schism breaks, threatening to swarm and overwhelm us with their swarthy masses of disgruntled partisans. Prudence and foresight demands that Canada build a Wall; a high, and mighty, and impregnable Wall of Separation, before these aliens spew into our borders and infect us with their vehemence and vitriol.
When did we consent to be their asylum; their outlet of outrage? I don’t recall us having that referendum. There is no statue of Sir Wilfred Laurier on Navy Island beckoning America, “Give me your disgruntled, your dissidents, your “outs,” your wearied partisans yearning to breathe peace.”
If ever that day should come, we would have to thank God for GPS. Otherwise, as one of their own wits has quipped, they would have had to wage a little war to find us.
Why would David Brooks assume that Canada wants him? The man may seem to have a congenial manner. But is it truly possible for Brooks to be immune to the civic vitriol and discord that infests U.S. ideologues, politicos, pandering sycophants of the media, and the masses?
We are, at least in Anglo-Immigrant Canada, a moderate country, an Anglican country; thanks partially to the expulsion of their Episcopalians in the 1780s. As N.T. Wright proclaimed, a typical representative of that Anglican elite, if you sign off on a minimalist set of premises, you’re in! You’re part of the family and citizenry!
When I backpacked around the Mediterranean in the late 1970s, I could almost always tell a Yank from a Canuck. Unlike them, there was a palpable absence of strong or extreme opinions among our countrymen; or at least of opinions expressed. Americans always want to be right; we just want to get along.
What need could Canada have of David Brooks? We are already a nation full of moderates. We actually have a genuine political center. We had hyphenated conservative pundits endorsing the NDP party in the recent election. And the present NDP leader had purportedly been offered a job from the Conservative Party of Canada. The Utah of Canada (Alberta) voted NDP in the last year. And Calgary, the most conservative of our urban centers had, until recently, banned gated communities; that barometer of excessive socioeconomic disparity and ensuing civic rift. What could David Brooks possibly add to our discourse and saturated market of moderation?
Yes we have our demagogues, still hankering to be unleashed to untold havoc. Donald Sutherland’s mischievous cry for revolution; the Ford’s trumpeting to be the Sam Brownback of the North. But I think that we can yet quarantine that local outbreak of sociopolitical psychosis to the Upstairs, Downstairs neighbourhood of Toronto.
I for one, do not want to see the likes of David Brooks in our peaceable hinterland. I am an ideological moderate. Brooks is a muddled moderate; having good sensibilities but a tad incoherent. And we must not have those other types swarming our country and tipping the delicate sociopolitical balance.
Canada needs to build a Wall; a high, and mighty, and impregnable Wall of Separation.
© Copyright John Hutchinson