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Canada Still Has Much To Learn From The United States

02/02/2017 06:34 EST | Updated 02/02/2017 06:34 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, waves during the end of a town hall event in Bellevile, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Trudeau confirmed that his senior advisers have met with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's officials. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An article recently published in Macleans urges Canadians to not learn from what just happened in the United States. The author praises our multicultural heritage and makes effort to differentiate Canadian problems from American problems.

Please stop saying Canada has nothing to learn from what is happening down south. For we have similar problems here.

First, Trump's electoral victory must be taken as the beginning of the era of tribal politics. Critics can say as much about Trump's nasty remarks about the women, the minority, and the refugees. In the end, it's all irrelevant. Those who had voted for Trump has seen for decades that he is a man true to tribal instincts.

He has demonstrated that he is ruthless when he comes to getting what he wants. Now, he is successful in portraying himself as a leader and utilizes the ethnic nationalist sentiment in the U.S.

He promises that he would be just as ruthless in taking good from others for his tribe. Unfortunately, many admire leaders with such character and embrace Trump as 'one of us.'

donald trump

President Trump speaks during a meeting with a group to discuss the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Furthermore, social media, technological innovation, perpetuates the antipathy among people holding different views. Rather than engaging in open discussion with people who hold different views, people have become more interested in finding others who would validate their beliefs--no matter how biased they may be.

We now have Trudeau, who appears to take more democratic, the transparent approach to getting jobs done. But if his approach fails to achieve desirable outcomes, what then? It'd be imprudent to rule that Canadians are a different species of homo sapiens, completely detached from tribal instincts.

Can we really say that we do not have "fake news" in Canada? What about Rebel Media? Youtube is full of videos showing Rebel Media journalists preaching their political belief. Coincidently, they do not sound much different from arguments common in various internet media sources that were imperative in rallying support for Trump.

If the oil price continues to remain low, Alberta may as well as be the Canadian Rust Belt. I had lived in Alberta-Saskatchewan for a decade. Many western Canadians are good, hardworking people.

However, there are those who share the worldview of American South and the anxiety of Americans living in the Rust Belt. Those who are faithful to environmentalism may have welcomed Trudeau's "phase out" comment. But what makes you think that they won't rally for a tough, trash-talking individual who vows to give them back what they have lost?

alberta oil sands

A work boot walks on the oil covered floor at the Suncor processing plant at their tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo: Todd Korol/Reuters)

Without a doubt, oilsands development creates pollution. But for some, it is their only livelihood.

Canada has done so much for recognizing and improving the rights of LGBT and Feminists. But perhaps the hubris of LGBT and feminist movement is that they overlook the number of people who wish to abide traditional lifestyle. Thousands of U.S. Christians rallied for the person reflecting hardly any Christian values from his actions.

Again, not all Christians voted for Trump or like him personally. But they have prioritized the protection of their beliefs on Christianity and family headed by the opposite-sex couple over sexual preferences they cannot accept, or ideology that they cannot sympathize. Keep in mind that there are Canadians who identify themselves as evangelical.

Racism is alive and well in Canada. Even before the shooting at the mosque in Quebec City, there were numerous warnings. It was not too long ago when numbers of mosques, synagogues were vandalized with Swastika in Ottawa. The fact that such senseless act occurred in a capital of a country celebrating its multicultural heritage was a wake-up call.

But unlike some may presume, it is not always a white Canadian discriminating another Canadian of a visible minority. I recall an Aboriginal elder referring Koreans like myself are "slaves of Americans." Racism exists in every community in Canada. And that's the sad reality.

quebec city shooting

Messages are placed near a mosque that was the location of a shooting spree in Quebec City, Quebec on Jan. 31, 2017. (Photo: Alice Chiche/AFP/Getty)

Nothing is more dangerous than the efforts to make ourselves feel good about being Canadians by telling us that we are all good and free from the toxicity of U.S. politics. We keep telling ourselves that the incidents where we portrayed our distrust and hate towards each other are all isolated incidents, carried out by the misfits. They don't represent who we are. We are nice people.

Wake up, Canada.

No matter how much we try to differentiate ourselves from the misfits of our society, it does not shadow the fact that they too are Canadians.

Canada is like a boat in a middle of an ocean, stuck in a violent storm. In this boat, all Canadians are on board. An ancient Chinese proverb says even people who are enemies will help each other if they found themselves in a boat, drifting in middle of the raging sea. If people who are enemies can help each other, why can't we help ourselves?

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