If you are of a certain age, you may recall the Oscar-nominated song “Blame Canada” which featured in the “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” motion picture installment of the popular (and crude) TV show. The song, blaming our quiet and peaceful neighbor to the north for all of our uniquely American ailments, is in jest; the most we could possibly blame Canada for is a cold front or for being too friendly.
On the other hand, it seems as though the United States is blamed for, well, EVERYTHING. If the U.S. does or doesn’t do something, you can count on some country blaming us for doing or not doing the thing in question. The crazed mullah leaders of Iran blame the United States for earthquakes.
Russia blames the C.I.A. for the weather in Moscow. Over in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) blames the U.S. for preventing conflict in the South China Sea and calls American peacekeeping actions “sabre rattling.” In a pinch, Europe can always be counted on to blame the U.S. for just about anything – simultaneously for being the world’s policeman and for not protecting them enough (all that rich European cuisine and idleness have given our continental friends soft underbellies).
By and large, Canada doesn’t like to take shots at the U.S. As we share a continent-wide border and the U.S. is Canada’s number one trading partner, it is best to keep relations civil for both parties. However, after the 2020 U.S. election Canada might have more than a couple of reasons to “blame America” if we export our 2020 election campaign tactics up north like we do our cars, beef, and entertainment programming.
Campaigning During a Pandemic
The United States is the first nation-state with a democratically-elected government to conduct a nationwide political campaign during an ongoing pandemic. Because of COVID-19 related restrictions, resources were shifted from in-person voter contact, such as door-knocking, and events to phone calls, email marketing, and voter engagement through digital media (for example, Facebook and YouTube). It is likely that Canadian politicians will follow suit in shifting their campaign budgets accordingly.
We play hardball in the U.S. But not every country is accustomed to the same kind of burn-it-down hardcore politics that is more and more frequent in U.S. politics. One analysis of U.S. presidential campaign ads found that only 20-percent of President Trump’s campaign ads were positive and 80-percent were negative or “contrast ads,” where there is a mix of criticism of the opponent and self-promotion.
Of those negative/contrast ads, 62-percent were pure attack ads and 18-percent were contrast ads. Roughly 40-percent of Joe Biden’s’ campaign ads were positive, while about 60-percent were negative or contrast, with 7-percent of those pure attack ads and contrast ads making up the 53-percent balance. Will the neighborly Canadians go the route of smash-mouth U.S. politics or will they stick to mannerly Marquess of Queensberry rules?
President Donald J. Trump made an art of trolling the media since he announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency in 2015. As Scott Adams, Trump supporter and creator of the Dilbert comic, frames it the key is to make a claim that is essentially accurate but includes a big exaggeration or factual error. Then wait for the media to notice and spend endless hours talking about how wrong it is. S
ays Adams, “when you dedicate focus and energy to an idea, you remember it. And the things that have the most mental impact on you will irrationally seem as though they are high in priority, even if they are not.”
Or as President Trump’s son-and-law, Jared Kushner, told washed up Washington D.C. fiction writer Bob Woodward for his book Rage, “controversy elevates the message.”
Color me skeptical if this particular talent of President Trump’s is exportable. Certainly, no one can replicate President Trump’s mastery of the media with the same zest and relish.
A Campaign About Nothing
Joe Biden’s campaign for president was like a lost episode of Seinfeld, famous for its success as ” a show about nothing.” Joe Biden didn’t talk about domestic or foreign policy in the 2020 campaign — matter of fact, Joe Biden barely spoke at all. Geriatric Joe Biden spent half the campaign snoozing in his basement and hiding from the media. Since the time of Cicero in the ancient Roman republic, politicians have been criticized for empty talk.
In 2020, however, we witnessed the apex of empty, meaningless platitudes and hollow slogans with Joe Biden’s campaign which, instead of providing useful information about Biden’s positions on the issues, used Biden as a human prop. The Biden campaign relied on popular dislike of President Trump and let voters fill in their own image of Joe Biden as he smiled silently and waved to the camera before his handlers rushed their senile sock puppet offstage.
Fake News Explosion
Beware, Canada: The Fake News epidemic in America is finding its way across the border. Radical Leftism seems to be a congenital illness of most political reporters, no matter the country, these days. One can only hope that our affable Canuck brethren are spared the brazen lies and Marxist propaganda of fake “news” outlets such as CNN. It is likely that patriotic Canadians who want to stand up for their country will have to fight both radical socialists in their government and their fake news appendages in the Canadian press.
If you’re like most Americans, the only time you want to hear a celebrity speak is in a movie that you paid to watch. The United States has more than its fair share of idiotic celebrities that feel entitled to forcing their opinion down the throat of everyday Americans. Celebrities such as Sarah Silverman, who about as bright as sunshine in a snowstorm, should stick to fart jokes and leave matters concerning the Electoral College to people who don’t have their head up their ass.
Loudmouth Samuel L. Jackson, who has the IQ of a radish, is another celebrity who could do us a favor and keep his yap shut when he’s not filming his next B-movie. If American celebrities are any example, they do not elevate the conversation and only subtract from meaningful dialogue and resolution with needlessly crude and sensational comments that are uninformed and, frankly, just plain dumb. Here’s looking at you, Robert DeNiro.
I am not one to wish ill on Canada, but there are a few celebrities that we would like to give back — starting with Jim Carrey.