Robert Bothwell Quotes
We like to say medicare is uniquely Canadian, but Americans have Medicare too. Even the name. I can't actually determine where the name started, except that it appeared in the two countries at about the same time. Had the Vietnam War not occurred, the Americans would have had a Medicare system much like ours.
I would always argue to my students that Canada is not necessarily or inherently a left-wing country, and the United States is not necessarily the citadel of right-wing liberty. The obvious case there is Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, which made the Americans much further left than the Canadians at the time, and Americans coming to Canada found us backward, conservative, and out of tune with the kind of free-spirited liberalism that there was in the States. Then things reversed, with medicare the prime example.
We've never had to confront a really nationalistic American government since the War of 1812. But if it ever happened, it would be trouble for us. Such a government would be prepared to use trade as a club in dealing with us - one of many, if it decided to take American power out for a walk around the block. I don't mean military occupation or anything like that, but a desire for unquestioning adherence to whatever the nostrum of the day happened to be. That's rather scary. We've never had to deal with an American president who was completely a wing-nut.
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