Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Two actually interesting takes
on that country to the south

A Canadian warns Americans this is their last chance,
an American lambastes Canadians and others
with some very surprising comments

September 11, 2016

Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Living among illegal immigrants
has its advantages, a resident says.
(Photo: Lonely Planet)


The undue interest many Canucks show in U.S. of fucking A politics demonstrates tremendous stamina, given that the country holds a boring two-year-long federal election campaign every two boring years with (up until now) candidates as boring as our own.

But, judging by the last few years of outrage, someone obviously has thrown the American establishment into conniptions.

Canada has experienced roughly similar hysteria towards political outsiders a few times already. Ineffectual Preston Manning found himself routinely vilified as a goof, a dangerous extremist or both. Bumbling Rob Ford suffered a disgraceful onslaught of gutter press harassment. Yet Manning held strong support among disaffected Westerners, as did Ford among working class and non-white Torontonians.

Writing about the American presidential contest in the National Post, Conrad Black sees it differently than most of the punditry. Here’s his main point, buried under a 940-word preamble with lots of metaphoric trees and forests:

The last forest, still undetected by the commentariat, is that this is the last play for the American political centre. A democratic Marxist, Sanders, pulled Hillary Clinton 60 degrees to the left and still received almost half the primary votes, defeated only by the ex officios as Clinton herself was by Obama in 2008. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican runner-up, took 30 per cent of the vote for a far-right program, and most of Trump’s supporters were voting for a cultural revolution, though for little policy radicalism apart from the issues of illegal immigration and some trade agreements. The traditional centrists are not a majority in either party or in the country.

If the next president, Trump or Clinton, is not more successful than anyone in that office since Ronald Reagan, the far right or the far left is going to take over the most powerful government in the world in four years. Then the fatuous alarms about Trump being an extremist, as opposed to just a rather coarse candidate at times, will be well founded. There will then be no distinction between woods and trees, and instead of Longfellow’s “union strong and great” we will be wandering in his “forest primeval.”

Dunno what was successful about Reagan’s reign. But then my knowledge of American politics comes from scanning headlines on Google News. It didn’t exist back then.

In, Los Angeles native and former Republican functionary David Cole argues that non-black and non-Hispanic Angelenos see Hispanics as a buffer against black violence. That results in some surprising opposition to the new guy.

I have to admit, these days I find myself getting rather shirty with the single-issue anti-immigration Trumpheads who opine endlessly about Southern California’s “illegals” problem without actually living here. If President Trump were to carry out his super-duper deportation plan, who the hell do you think would retake the communities emptied of Latinos? Who’d rush in for the low-income housing? Swedes? Welshmen? Mark Steyn’s distant Belgian cousins? I get pissed at the pundits who cheer the notion of removing Southern California’s undocumented Mexicans with no thought given to the unintended consequences for those of us who live here. Note to Canadian (and other far-removed) deportationists: A significant number of the people who live here do not want Watts and Compton to become black again. Do you get that?

Whew! Strong stuff.

What would result from a Trump success? Online headlines inadvertently give me forebodings of an extraordinary end. That might mean assassination or some kind of establishment coup, the latter possibly aided by widespread rioting and other civil unrest. Something very unusual might terminate either the presidency or the president.

We’ll see, if the Americans’ seemingly interminable election campaign ever terminates.

How’s my blogging?