The Liberal Party of Canada has always had an uncanny knack of infantilizing the middle class. The US Democrats do this as well, but not to the debilitating level their Northern counterparts do.
The USMCA is a bad deal for Canada, as it eroded this nation’s independence and sovereignty, which I suspect was the US President’s true intentions all along. Everything else — the tariffs, threats, and other demands, were a mere ruse, as it is usual in negotiations. While Canadians focussed on tariffs and had their attention deflected, the US could slip in a stealth alteration that gave them unprecedented power over us. Misdirection is what was at play, and Canada fell for it hook, line, and sinker. The sky didn’t fall, but the ground has just eroded.
In boxing, the move is called a rope-a-dope: have your opponent think you are going to hit in one direction before smacking them hard where they do not have their guard up.
This deal is a classic rope-a-dope: that the US has veto powers and can meddle in affairs normally associated with the Bank of Canada and even the federal government is breath-taking.
Make no mistake: this was a bloodless coup, plain and simple, where the centre of gravity is no longer on Canadian soil. The unforeseen consequences will be felt, but people won’t realize how badly Canada got hosed until the US actually tweaks our noses with it.
The US has an open and established history of it, and they will reveal all when it suits their purposes.
But journalists in Canada are particularly brain dead. We have the Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente pretend she knows something as she praises Chrystia Freeland for falling for a simple ruse:
The proposed deal she helped to make is far from perfect, but it’s good enough, and in many ways it’s better than expected. And with an erratic bully in the White House, many Canadians feel we’re lucky to just avoid disaster. We can stop holding our breaths now.
No, the deal is absolutely perfect: for the US. Canada has now allowed the US to put a foot in the door in our domestic affairs, and it will not stop here. That is not a victory, and Freeland is no “warrior princess”: she was so focussed on an image and tweaking Trump’s nose — neither a sign of someone who understands power — and in the end, Canada is the backside of a three-piece donkey costume.
Had the warrior princess been successful, it would not have been called USMCA. The victor got top billing.
As Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow crowed:
Canada gave very graciously.
One or two Canadian journalists do see how horribly this country was played.
But for the most part, the denial of immaturity has been the narrative of choice:
…business leaders were largely heaving a sigh of relief that the deal, whatever its deficiencies, has averted an even worse scenario: no trade agreement at all with the U.S. and the prospect of Trump following through on his threat to impose economically devastating tariffs on Canadian-made autos and auto parts.
Even Canada's chicken farmers, despite their disappointment at giving up market share to U.S. producers, expressed relief that "over a year of uncertainty" was finally over.
With the clock ticking down to a federal election next October, Trudeau is clearly hoping voters will be similarly more relieved at getting a deal than outraged at the concessions required to achieve it.
We should be relieved that we willingly forked over our sovereignty because not having the final say over your own affairs is somehow better than having no deal at all. No deal was better than this deal, and the entire point of this exercise was to pressure the Liberal regime — the Government Party — into relinquishing their own power to Americans.
It is akin to the failing student who thinks handing in any lousy final paper is better than handing in no paper. It is better to take your chances and get a deferment on your assignment to hand it in at a later date than hand in a failing paper and ensure you flunk your course.
The tariffs would have been devastating, but the problem for the Grits was the effects would have been felt immediately and even the middle class in the country would understand what actually happened.
This way, the effect will be even more devastating — but as the Liberals’ fortunes are already bad, it can be someone else’s problem.
The National Post’s Andrew Coyne also seems oblivious to what actually happened:
All that cross-border yelling, a solid year of bluster and petulance, dire rhetoric about “stabs in the back” and “special places in hell,” fake deadlines and all-night negotiations, and we end up with pretty much the agreement we started with? All that was required to fix NAFTA, that destroyer of American jobs and pox on its prosperity, the deal Donald Trump memorably complained was “the worst agreement in history,” was to change its name — from North American Free Trade Agreement to US-Mexico-Canada Agreement? Seriously?
No, the yelling and blustering was a ruse by the Americans to unsettle Canada — a country that coasts on the status quo and fears making bold moves, first steps, and radical changes because when you pander to the middle class, they do not like to rock the boat. To make the yelling stop, the Grits capitulated, and the Americans threw us a bone or two just so they didn’t seem unreasonable or completely unwilling to bend.
But Canada did more than bend. It broke.
That means if Canada is trying to broaden its trading space, the US can — and will — veto it.
As I have said repeatedly, Donald Trump is a master of playing Go. He just took some critical liberties from us, and we gave in. A game of Go is not dependent on setting a nuclear bomb on your rival: you merely release a silent toxin in the air so they slowly wither away as they prolong their agony by deluding themselves into thinking they are winning or have a chance to turn around.
We have now stepped in quicksand, and no amount of lunacy narratives trying to save the Grits’ face it going to alter that reality. The only reason Canada signed before the deadline was that it had no other choice. It should have never come to that point, and the fact that the government is one that did not foresee the US was angling to usurp our own power speaks volumes, and no, I do not believe there is a federal alternative that would have been able to see what the game was truly about.
The federal government is no match for Trump, whose intelligence thrives in chaos, and as Canada is a nation terrified of chaos as it prefers the rote predictability of order, they have no alternative in place that can actually navigate through chaos, let alone get ahead of it to form a plan that has a long-term vision. We just fake it by feigning political correctness and bland and empty phrases. Thinkers thrive in chaos. Followers enslave themselves to order where there are rules to instruct you how to behave and what to think.
As the federal Grits keep infantilizing their flock, they are seeing their fortunes crash and burn on a provincial level as not everyone is buying their increasingly loopy narrative. Last night, Quebec kicked the provincial Grits to the curb. They haven’t had a conservative regime in decades, but the significant shift is not one anyone can truly ignore, even if the press does try to spin it to dismiss it. We have academics trying to lull people by making an argument that it was time for a regime change in Quebec, while ignoring that la belle province almost never votes for parties on the Right. This wasn’t a change. This was girding for battle as the Liberals have proven to be incompetent.
Politics has always been a grifter’s game where you merely spin lies to hide reality. It often works on the in-group; the problem for Canada now is that the out-group the US not only know us better than we know ourselves, but they have now reached a stage of their own game where they now have us in their sights and are going to make trouble.
And the Liberal regime is helping them right along by telling their citizens bedtime stories to keep them sleepwalking.
When your perceptions and interpretations of reality are misaligned, you are doing nothing but sleepwalking.
Canadian journalists, as usual, failed to see any of it ahead of time. They love their false narratives, propping up Canada to hide their own inferiority complexes, and stick to them, never looking at the game board or the bottom line.
The alternative to journalism understands it is always a war game. There are no “pep talks” or consoling sermons after the battle was lost. You report facts, you do not try to prop up one faulty regime after they blunder and dither. It is not about projecting a face-saving image or tweaking someone’s nose because the second you do, you blare to the world you are the junior throwing a jealous temper tantrum at the superior party.
And when you go to a childish life sink called “Taking on the Tyrant”, you have let the world know you are not powerful, nor a leader. You are just a minion with no clever ideas of your own who must stoop to tweaking to appease the other cowering minions. There is no better way of showing who you fear, as I am certain Trump doesn’t attend talks called “Slapping around the Pantywaist.”
The alternative to journalism is about the world of What Is. It is a reality-based discipline that explores the concept and nature of that reality. It does not mindlessly defer to an authority’s narrative, nor a mob’s narrative.
It just doesn’t use narrative. That is an interpretation of reality, not reality itself.
And our reality is one of a never-ending war game, and war, of course, is deception.
Liberating truth from lies. It is a simple and elegant mandate. It is not about trying to pretend you know something when you don’t. You must walk among those you are studying, and journalists always want to push themselves as high up the pecking order as they can, but they are a passive profession of sitters.
And sitter is just another word for pigeon or mark.
The grifter’s favourite target.
That means the alternative requires a different sort of training.
One where there are no sitters who make things easy for those grifters to bamboozle a public for their own worthless ends…