July 4: Before the Anglo-American revolution

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It could be that Canadians today are only experiencing  the “foreign devil” syndrome: They are happy because they imagine the foreign devil Americans to be sad. But Canada’s unbearably light happiness probably only awakened since 2002 when the Canadian women beat the Americans out of the gold at the Olympics with the dour Dick Cheney on hand, hoping for another “Miracle on Ice.” But we were obviously reaching for straws then, as we had apparently with full intention isolated ourselves from the rest of the world by the invasion of Iraq.

Canadians do have more money per capita — lots more. They have better banking, more stable politics, unimaginable forests, Tim Horton’s and The Great One. And if you live near Canada and business takes you there, or cousins and high school competitions take you there, you might begin to wonder why we are separate in the first place (and with England and Australia as well).

And why do American conservatives spend our fortunes— they are already spent — trying to get ancient Euro-souls like Ukraine to become pseudo-”modernist” American states. And why do liberals, to celebrate the most contemporary disaster of unconscionable American nihilism, ego inflation, dangerous instability and immaturity, do the same with that new “Silicon Valley” of innocents abroad, military-occupied Egypt?

In the end it is a question of who we are and who we expect to be.

Perhaps on July 4 we should think of revolution, our American Revolution, as a correction to a fraternal relationship rather than a leap of evolutionary consciousness or a moment of transfiguration. And maybe it is time again not for a revolution, but another correction.

Pirie cites Jefferson: “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. . . . [W]ith the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

Jefferson today would see the Revolution as a success in bringing our internal American lands to economic maturity and relative equity. But the inland states need new thinking today. They can no longer allow themselves to be influenced and dominated by the most puerile New York “Mad Men” influence, neurasthenic Hollywood celebs or prancing Canadian comics.

And externally we must recognize that Canadians, Australians and English — Chef Gordon Ramsay, royals Kate, William and Harry, Don Cherry, Frodo, Khaleesi and Harry Potter — can no longer be kept apart from us. They are us. It is why we fought together in WW II and possibly our only true purpose in doing so.

It is time to think about who we are this time instead of who we wish to be or who we wish not to be, and for the second time, Jefferson would be our best guide