Molly Jung-Fast, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Beast, got it right when she wrote today “America Finally Breaks Up With Her Abusive Boyfriend.”
As a Canadian watching from the sidelines for the past four years, I feel the analogy fits perfectly. When you watch a close friend or family member being constantly insulted or abused, you can offer all the advice in the world but it rarely makes any difference. She (and it is usually a woman) insists that she is in love, that he really doesn’t mean it, that things will work out, that he’s just going through a difficult patch, that she can deal with it.
It isn’t easy, but you have to wait and watch for things to go from bad to worse before your friend begins to see the light. Then, and only then, can you offer to help.
Canadians have very close ties to the United States, and we love so much about the nation and its people that we spend a lot of time and money there. We have family members there, we vacation there, we work there, and we have business ties there.
I have been in Canada since 1975 and for most of that time the US has felt like an old friend who always kept in touch. In recent years, though, that old friend has been through a strange transformation. So much so, that I hardly recognized them.
On Friday before the projected election results were announced, Catherine Porter, who writes for the New York Times, said “Canada Hasn’t Slept Well Since the U.S. Election,” and she was right. We have been ripping our cuticles off and constantly refreshing election vote-counting websites, watching and waiting. It has been almost as tense for us as it has been for Americans.
Generally speaking, we are glad that America voted the way she did. She was like that girlfriend who had been looking for that moment when it was safe to leave the abuser or kick him to the curb, and she finally did it. She isn’t sure what will happen next, and she isn’t sure how she is going to get by, but she has made a start.
Like a good friend, Canada will do what she can to help, and so will many others. America has more friends than she knows. We have just been waiting for her to realize that things could be so much better, and to make the break. We are very happy today and we are ready to roll up our sleeves to help you do the work of starting again.