27 April 2009

Jeffrey Simpson, anti-American?

Although I read a daily paper, I don't pay a lot of attention to columnists. Not that their opinions don't matter -- everyone's does -- it's just that, with a few exceptions, most of them are neither entertaining nor informative nor thoughtful enough to spend time on. Their prose is no more rewarding than chatting with the anonymous guy at the bus stop.

I do routinely read Jeffrey Simpson, however. Why I'm not sure, perhaps he's just become a habit. His comfortable, middle-of-the-road style is somehow relaxing, addicting even. That's why his column in last Saturday's Globe "Can We Reduce Our Dependence on America?" caught me off guard. Like many liberal and conservative writers, Simpson feels obliged from time to time to accuse the left of being anti-American. In this column he surprisingly took on task himself. Catch a load of this:
The U.S. got itself massively indebted through terrible government decisions. lax regulation, private-sector greed and a political culture that refused to face elementary facts.
Or this:
... the United States, a country whose share of world trade and general economic activity is declining, whose massive indebtedness and self-indulgence are weakening its power, and whose overstretched military is bleeding the country's resources.
Wow! Let's see a run of the mill anti-American top that. Of course, everything he says is simply the truth, but still, it's quite the rant. And what's this all about? Well, here's the point -- and it's sharp:
It's one thing to be an appendage of a country in the ascendancy; it's quite another to be one of a country that has screwed itself up. Such is Canada's fate.
When even an anti anti-American tees off like this, a mere anti-American may be inclined to think he was right all along.

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