On January 20, 2017, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be become the next President of the United States, because no other candidate can win.
I’m a Canadian, but I believe that this is the world’s most critical election in a couple of generations. So this blog is directed mainly at Americans.
Now I’m sure many of you Americans are asking: what could a Canadian know about US politics, and what gives him the right to comment on the US election? So I’ll give you a little background.
For starters, Canada is America’s largest trading partner; larger than China, and you Americans will be happy to know that we buy from you almost exactly the same amount that you buy from us.
We’re your biggest oil supplier; bigger than Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. And our oil is produced under some of the strictest environmental regulations in the world, by some of the highest paid workers in the world, and many of the companies and workers are American.
For 40 years I’ve lived in Calgary Alberta, a city with over a million people, and the largest population of US citizens of any city in the world, outside of the United States.
On a more personal level, my maternal grandparents came from Philadelphia; my paternal grandmother was from Indiana.
In 1739, my Swiss Mennonite ancestors pioneered in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The 1775 church named after my ancestor is still there, near Elizabethtown, and still being used. I’ve been there. And on a political note, I’m a very distant cousin, by marriage, to Newt Gingrich.
But I do have first cousins in 6 states. And I’ve been in 45 states, for business and pleasure, several of them many times. I’ve also traveled for business in a number of countries in Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
I’ve long been a follower of Canadian and world politics. And, I’ve been an avid follower of American politics since November 22, 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. So I have a deep and personal interest in all things American.
I grew up in Saskatchewan, just across the border from Montana. In 1944, the year after I was born, Saskatchewan elected a socialist government. Businesses left, and for the next 65 years, Saskatchewan’s young people also left, looking for opportunities elsewhere. One place where opportunities were better was in the neighboring, business friendly province of Alberta.
In 1945, both provinces had populations of just under a million. 65 years later, Alberta’s population had quadrupled while Saskatchewan’s hadn’t moved. Over the years, most of its young people had left.
But last year, in a fluke election, Albertans elected a socialist government, and now we’re in big trouble. More on that later.
Our largest province, Ontario, used to be Canada’s economic powerhouse. But in recent years it’s gone “green energy” crazy; adopted endless leftist policies; accumulated massive debt, and tragically, has been reduced to what Canada categorizes as “a have not” province.
For some reason, many left-leaning politicians like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton look to European Social Democracies for their inspiration. Why?
Most European countries are massively in debt, and youth unemployment is chronically high, often near 20%. In Spain it actually reached 50%, but it’s now all the way down to 40%, and that’s considered an achievement.
Across Europe, ill-considered, Progressivist, open border immigration policies have led to growing racial tension, and social disruption.
So what does this all mean for the upcoming US election? Well, Hillary Clinton intends to implement many socialist policies, like open borders; a $15 an hour minimum wage; and higher taxes on businesses, which clearly reduces their ability to create jobs.
As I mentioned, last year Albertans unexpectedly elected a socialist government which immediately began implementing their socialist ideology.
One of their first acts was to begin a three year, 50% escalation of the minimum wage. By 2018 it will reach $15 an hour. That year our youngest grandson will turn 15, and he’ll be looking for an entry-level job.
But here’s the reality. If he can’t find an employer willing to train him, and pay him $15 an hour, our government says he can’t work.
Now I ask you: “Does any government have any business telling a kid that he and his parents can’t negotiate with a business owner, for a mutually agreed on wage?”
Needy families are obviously in a different category, although, sadly, it’s not obvious to socialists. If we wish to assist the truly needy – and I believe that we should – that’s a social program, and it should be funded by taxpayers, not businesses.
However, the central issue in this American election seems to be morals; well, only the morals of the male candidate. Apparently Trump’s don’t reach a high enough standard.
High like the Clinton’s standard?
On next week’s blog, I’ll explore some questions I have about, when principles and reality collide.
And that’s the view from across your northern border; the one with no walls; and just a few fences.