For many years I have attended the July 4 parade in Blaine. This year, to show my support, I wore a small Canadian flag on my hat. I was surprised by the reaction. I naively expected a friendly smile or an acknowledging gesture, but instead was met with cold stares, silent condemnations and a passing remark that I was a “party pooper.” Having previously lived in the states, I found this somewhat disturbing and unusual.
My intention was not to be critical of Americans or to be culturally insensitive. If I had met someone on Canada Day with an American flag I would have considered this to be an honour and supportive.
I suspect the main reason for the reaction I received is Donald Trump. I understand that Americans are deeply divided about their president, who has exacerbated national and international relations.
His foreign and trade policies have isolated the country. His insistence on building a wall and treatment of refugees are deplorable. Trump’s recent Washington speech extolling “the revolutionary history” of American military interventions was ridiculous.
Another probable reason is American hubris. Trump’s overemphasis to “Make America Great Again” and “America First” appeals to many because this self-interest has always been part of the American psyche.
The altruism of the American people, however, has always been much greater; perhaps this will happen with the next federal election?
A. Leering, White Rock