Sunday, August 19, 2018

The things I cannot change.....

For years, I have been a debater of politics and a student of Constitutional law in both the USA and Canada. Truth be told, I know more about the USA than Canada because it is less muddled despite the varying interpretations. I admire the USA for making the concept of natural individual rights real and enshrining Constitutional protections of those rights. I have further enjoyed the discussions around this whole topic.

Through the years, I have done my best to stay objective and be respectful of differing viewpoints. Unfortunately, I lost my objectivity this summer when our biggest trading partner, the USA, levied what was (in my and many other minds) unwarranted import tariffs on our steel and aluminum. This was compounded by the President repeating how Canada had taken advantage of poor old America through NAFTA and dairy tariffs (I will concede this last one although it is analogous to their tariffs on our softwood lumber). That was compounded by some people I know in the USA disparaging Canada. I had decided after June that I would boycott travel to the US meaning our annual September trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas would not come to be.

I became particularly offended last night at some responses to an article I posted regarding President Trump's comments on their softwood lumber imports from Canada and wildfires in California. Some harsh words were exchanged.

In light of my uncharacteristic behaviour, I stopped to re-examine my whole approach to politics. I suddenly realized that neither I nor any of the folks I was arguing with had any control over what was happening. The Canadian government, led by a Prime Minister who was all nice hair and photo ops but who had made no real accomplishments and had approached the NAFTA deal with a social justice agenda was probably not doing us any good. Hell, I supported Max Bernier's desire to scrap the whole Supply Management system that the USA was so pissed at.

Further consideration brought me to realize that many of the American friends I was engaging with could barely find Canada on a map and had no clue about our cross border trade dynamics other than the misleading allegations emanating from the White House.

The Serenity Prayer came to mind:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

It looked to me like I could use some wisdom.

Why would I argue with long time friends and sacrifice one of our finite number of fall trips to support a government I generally disagreed with. As I burdened us with a missed opportunity to visit friends and ride great roads, the Snowbirds were preparing to head south for the winter. Better that I review my priorities and recast them with friends and travel at the top and nationalism further down the list.

The more I thought about distancing myself from the political issues, the happier I became. Somewhere near Stayner, we phoned Sherm to see if he had found anyone to replace us in our shared room at the Stonegate Inn. We were pleased to hear that he had been holding out, hoping we would change our minds. We told him we would be there, but to keep it to himself until I could make a post about this after we got home. Which I did.

And so the trip was back on. Arkansas, here we come.

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