Canada and Mexico: Hey, Remember Us?

north-america-mapHere is today’s current events quiz:

  1. Who is the political leader of the largest exporter of oil to the United States?
  2. Who is the political leader of the second largest exporter of oil to the United States?
  3. Which nations are the top two importers of U.S. goods?


  1. Yesterday Enrique Pena Nieto was inaugurated as president of Mexico.  He promises to create jobs and fight poverty in a nation that suffered 60,000 violent deaths and crushing corruption during the six year term of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.  Some say he is just another insider and not much will change.  Have you heard anything about our southern neighbor in our mainstream media or from any of our own political leaders?
  2. Stephen Harper was elected prime minister of Canada in 2006 and is now serving his second term.  An advocate of individual freedoms and government accountability, Harper’s administration enjoyed considerable fiscal success early in his presidency, but lately Canada has been held back by the slowdown in the U.S. and world economies.  How many times has President Obama met with the leader of our northern neighbor and largest import customer?  I can’t find reference to more than one meeting between the two.
  3. See numbers one and two above.

Few Americans know the answers to these questions because WE GET NO REAL NEWS.  And because WE HAVE NO REAL POLITICAL LEADERSHIP.

I am embarrassed every time I visit Canada and find that my friends from the Great White North know infinitely more about what’s going on in our country than we do about theirs.  Actually, they seem to know more about our government and events than most Americans do.

Recently a friend from Australia lamented to me that he and his wife drove around the United States for ten weeks this summer and never heard a single word about his home country in the news.

If this is how we treat our best friends, is it any wonder we have so few of them?  And that those we have are lukewarm, at best?

Earlier this week I railed about our critically injured sense of priorities. What should the top priorities of our President be?  He seems to spend most of his time campaigning, either for election or in support of his “tax the rich” non-solution to our economic woes. He engages in small social issues that affect very few Americans and don’t address the thundering herd of elephants in the room – unemployment, debt, and runaway government spending.  His priorities are climate change, fairness, and social engineering.

A true leader would be learning about, supporting, and working hand-in-hand with our North American friends and neighbors.  We should forge a regional alliance to take advantage of our human and natural resources to compete economically with China and Europe.  We should stand side-by-side before the world in support of human rights.  And for God’s sake, why aren’t we helping Mexico become the thriving democracy it should be – not only for our own economic well-being and security, but because it’s the right thing to do for a neighbor and friend?

I’m afraid our friends have, rightfully, lost confidence in us.  It’s time for all Americans to demand that our political leaders reset their priorities.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
As you walk on by, will you call my name?
As you walk on by, will you call my name?
Or will you walk away?  Will you walk on by?
Come on – call my name. Will you call my name?

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

Isn’t Mexico A Foreign Country?

Have we completely forgotten about our neighbors to the south?  In last night’s “foreign policy” presidential debate, Mexico was not mentioned.

At least 60,000 have died in Mexico’s drug war over the last five years.

Repeat, and pause.  At least 60,000 have died in Mexico’s drug war over the last five years.

Moderator Bob Schieffer doesn’t think Mexico is important enough to justify wasting a question.  Neither Obama nor Romney took an opportunity to mention Mexico, or illegal immigration, or violence on the border, or the flight of US manufacturers across the border, or our dependence on Mexican oil, or our lust for Mexican drugs.  The Hispanic vote does not seem to be of concern to anyone.  Apparently, neither is the ongoing human carnage.

The focus of the entire debate was the Middle East.  Watching the proceeding, one would never know that just a stone’s throw from U.S. soil our Mexican neighbors suffer and die every day at the hands of criminal thugs and a corrupt legal system.  Or that Latinos, primarily of Mexican descent, will make up a third of our population by 2050.

Like it or not, our country is becoming browner.  Our future is intertwined with Mexico’s.  The nation, while sadly adrift, is not without merit, talent or resources.  It seems to me that even a little bit of attention paid to Mexico could deliver rewards – plus, we should sleep better at night.  We ignore Mexico at our peril.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Never mind your name, just give us your number
Never mind your face, just show us your card
And we want to know whose wing are you under?
You better step to the right or we can make it hard

On the Border – the Eagles