It’s taken a year of Donald Trump as being president but Americans are starting to realize their country is viewed as a joke by outsiders.
To Canadians that’s not fake news – or even new news – but it seems to be sinking in with our neighbours to the south and they are beginning to accept it.
I travel a lot to the U.S. for my radio job. Most recently I was on the red carpet at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, and last week I was in Pittsburgh taping Christmas broadcasts. And it’s almost without fail, every time I am in that country and someone finds out I am from Canada I get asked the same thing.
“What do Canadians think of our country right now?”
At first I downplayed it and said something like, “Well, we’re concerned about the divisiveness and hope you guys can pull things together.” That was always the most diplomatic way of putting it. Plus, Canadians have a reputation of being friendly so I didn’t want to do anything to tarnish our good name.
But lately my bluntness has come through. I don’t hold back anymore. I found myself twice during two different dinners being put on the spot in Pittsburgh when asked about how Canucks feel about Yankees.
“Actually, we kinda laugh at you guys,” is what I said, testing the waters to see what the response would be. Much to my surprise, the Americans actually agreed with me. Though rather than them defend their country or make excuses for it, they sort of just took it in stride and acknowledged we as Canadians are lucky people.
As for our leader, I’m baffled by how many of them know of Justin Trudeau. Whenever he is brought up in conversation I often ask Americans if they know the prime minister who ruled before him. They never seem to know that.
My point in all of this is that nearly 12 years ago when I started my radio show and began regularly interacting with Americans I tried to keep it hush-hush that I was Canadian because I feared being an outcast and unwelcome in their country. Now, it’s a badge of honour. We’re kind of idolized there. It’s a good feeling for once.
Now if only our dollar got the same respect.