Butt out of our elections!
Go read the entire post. My thoughts are on a topic related, but which Don does not address.
As some know, I have been known to take long kayak expeditions as a frolic. Three years ago I set out to kayak from Olympia, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. It seemed a good idea at the time.
I spent 5 to 10 hours most days kayaking, but this left me with a whole lot of time to everything else. I had lots of time to spend with Canadians, and I admit to enjoying every minute. Most Canadians were kind, and helpful to a fault, and, yes, they are about as liberal as most Portlandians. I tried to spend as much time as I could listening to what they were saying, and asking questions. They were mostly still hopped up on President Obama. They also offered copious advice on how and what we Americans should do in foreign affairs.
After a while I began to realize they really were different from Americans, not that they were more or less liberal, but that they seemed to be less tethered to the need for real outcomes.
They began to look frighteningly like the day students at Lewis and Clark, Northwestern School of Law. When I attended, I spent my first year in the night program, I worked and I did not want to leave my job. The night school was filled bout 60% with people like me, career oriented with a career job, either looking to gain a skill set to use on the job, or looking to enhance skills, and move into a new job. Many were career executives, corporate vice presidents, managers, or the like. With these people, case discussions leaned hard towards the analytical, rational, and reasonable.
The next year I took Constitutional law as a day class.The difference was amazing, the young people were energetic, active, and engaging. Of course, they were not working nine hour days, attending night classes from 6 pm to 9:30 pm, and studying 14 hours per day on weekends. But the greatest difference occurred when breaking down cases. These discussions leaned hard towards the wild eyed theory, esoteric ideas, and frankly harebrained thought. These young people were obviously intelligent, but it was an intelligence untempered with actual experiences, labor, or difficulty. I often sat in class, while the professor attempted to corral these long bolted minds, wondering whether all of this far afield nonsense was even of nominal importance.
Back in Canada, and somewhere between Nanaimo, and Powell River, I realized the Canadians I was speaking with were suffering from a problem similar to the young people in law school. These Canadians lived in a place where their ideas regarding foreign policy had no significance. I realized the world was made up of the significant, and the insignificant. The significant, are America and its public, Britain and its public, and a then mostly the leaders of only a few other nations, but the public of virtually no other nations. For many nations neither the public, nor the leaders have any significants.
American's feel the weight of our significance when we discuss far reaching political issues. Debates between friends are serious, and tend to seek solutions, or to sway others. On the other hand, my Canadian friends were likely to quickly to detour on a lark, or snipe hunt. They tended to think in polarized terms, and to seek villains, not solutions. Eventually even the most reasonable would begin to walk ever further onto obviously thin ice, arguing foolish positions long after they had fallen below the metaphoric surface. Even here in Portlandia, I have spoken to a few Canadian about these issues, and even here the problem of significance remains.
Without some real skin in the game, everyones opinions must be suspect. I take these opinions with a grain of salt. And I am honest enough to let the holder know why I do so. I can't say it has made me any friends, then again I always know exactly where I stand with them.