Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Sex matters

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I was also planning some international travel and, once again, U.S. passports have lost some of the cachet they used to have in international circles when the U.S. was a shining light of freedom and democracy. It’s also worth noting that terrorists who storm cruise ships — not that I ever intend to set foot on one — tend to kill Americans first and, like most of the rest of the world, don’t have a clue where Canada is or what significance it has in the overall scheme of things so generally leave Canadians alone. Given a choice, I’ll always choose obscurity.

I was dared to become a Canadian by Doug Forseth, who said he would if I would in much the same way a friend and I used to dare each other to jump off the roof to see which of us would get hurt. We hedged our bets by sucking Scott Roberts into playing the game, perhaps hoping if we found another patsy we’d escape unharmed ourselves and he’d end up in the metaphorical cast.

But foremost on my list of reasons I became Canadian was because my fellow Americans re-elected George Bush and his immoral, bankrupt band of grim reapers to run my country-in-absentia for another four years. I was able to salve my wounded disbelief when he “won” the election in 2000 by believing he’d stolen it in both Florida — with the duplicity of his brother, the guv — and in the Supreme Court. It meant there was still hope, assuming he didn’t outlaw hope during his first term, which I’m sure he would have had he not been so busy dismantling the Constitution, marginalizing the UN, making the rich richer, instituting a military first-strike doctrine, revisiting the quagmire of Vietnam in Iraq and turning America into a rogue nation in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Having done all of that, and more, I reluctantly abandoned all hope when my fellow Americans re-elected him in 2004 without the help of the Supremes. What clearer sign did a liberal, left-leaning, ex-hippie redneck need that he could no longer find a home in a country that had, albeit by a slim margin, completely lost both its mind and its moral compass?

It’s been two years and slowly, I’ve grown more hopeful. I’ve begun to watch the news again. My spirits have rallied along with the likelihood the Republicans might lose control of at least one of the houses of Congress. Ironically though, those nascent hopes have been dashed by this week’s events that have given rise to the prospect of Republicans losing both houses of Congress. It’s not the American people’s distaste for the ill-conceived war in Iraq that’s raised the spectre of a Democratic rout. It’s not the death of habeas corpus , the unconscionable tax cuts, the burgeoning deficit, the about-to-fall-over-the-cliff housing market. It’s none of those.

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