Skip to comments.Dubya trouble: Not all Canadians hate the current U.S. president...
Posted on 04/30/2005 8:29:58 AM PDT by fanfan
...but wearing a pro-Bush T-shirt can be a risky thing to do
Not all Canadians hate George W. Bush, contrary to the received wisdom. There is a secret underground society of Bush fans (three and a half of us, at last count) in Canada. How do I know this? It started with a T-shirt an American friend of mine gave me earlier this year. It has a big "W" on it, next to a wee American flag and an "04."
To clarify, I am a Bush fan, in the way Woody Allen's character, Mickey, in Hannah and her Sisters, wanted to become a Roman Catholic. Mid-existential crisis, Mickey tells a priest that some aspects of Catholicism entice him, but he would prefer to join the "against school prayer, pro-abortion, anti-nuclear wing" of the church. That's how I feel about Bush and his Republican party. I support the against school prayer, pro-war on terror, pro-war in Iraq, pro-war in Afghanistan, pro-pressure on tyrants, pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, pro-death penalty, thumb-your-nose-at-the-UN wing. And, on a human level, I like Bush, who seems to genuinely like and respect women -- a refreshing break from his predecessor.
Because my own government does not fret about jihadists, I am eternally grateful there is an administration in Washington that does. I don't think I realized how much I wanted Bush to win a second term until he actually did, and my shoulders went back down to where shoulders should be, in sharp contrast to where they had been all last summer, up around my forehead.
Still, I was reluctant to wear my "W" T-shirt in public, given the unfounded hysteria and fear George Bush seems to inspire in Canadians. I thought a good place to start might be my gym, a YMCA, as the Y's battle cry is "inclusivity." My membership card even warns that failure to comply with inclusivity will get me tossed out on my backside.
I told one gym friend of my plans, a fellow I knew to be of a similar political mindset. He is a man I initially started talking to for superficial reasons -- he is dead handsome -- only to discover he had more going for him than looks. That's so rare with men. Handsome Guy said this about my T-shirt: "Tell me when you're going to wear it so I can bring my camcorder."
No one beat me up the first time I wore it, in mid-February, but the furrowed brows and looks of horror were hard to miss (even more than I usually get). One fellow shook his head and said, "It's dangerous to wear that in Canada." Another told a joke about Bush out at a restaurant with Dick Cheney. Bush looks at the menu and orders a "quickie," shocking the waitress. The punchline was that Cheney explains to Bush that what he wants is, in fact, a "quiche." Hilarious! Do you get it? It's so funny, you see, because Bush is so dumb he needs Cheney to help him read menus. Get it? Oh, how funny.
On another occasion, a woman confronted me mid-weight training. "I am deeply offended by your shirt." All I could think to say was, "Then it's a good thing you're not the one wearing it." She asked me how I would feel if she wore a Hitler T-shirt. "Deeply offended," I said. "Well?" she said. "Surely you're not comparing the two," I replied. She was.At the gym, I have seen T-shirts with various union and political party logos, and I have seen those ubiquitous "Bush-- International Terrorist" T-shirts. None of those offend me, though some make me snicker. None make it hard for me to work out, either, which is the effect my "W" T-shirt had on another lady. She turned to me, after a boxing class, fuming that she could "barely concentrate" during the leaping and punching, due to seeing that damn W in the aerobics studio's mirrored walls. An hour of sweating didn't mitigate her fury. That George Bush is a powerful man.
More recently, an older, 1960s leftover lady I had shared friendly chitchat with asked me if my T-shirt was a joke. I told her no. She looked dubious and told me she was "very far left." "How fun for you!" I said. Days later, she introduced me to a friend of hers. "This is Rondi," she said. "She likes George Bush." She then paused, before saying, desperately trying to convince, "But she's very nice!"
I was tempted, in turn, to introduce her to people thusly: "This is Peggy. She's a leftist." Pause. "But she's not always illogical, infantile and myopic!"
Amidst more of the same, however, the rumblings of a radical uprising could be heard. A guy I'd seen around, but not talked to, sidled up to me one day, whispering conspiratorially, "I like your T-shirt."
I told my brother, who suggested that what this gentleman really liked was under my shirt. Perhaps, but he and I talked about politics, not my chest. He felt our underground society should come up with a secret handshake as a stealth means of identification. I realized that between him, Handsome Guy, and me, Bush had three fans in Canada, rebels all.
Three and a half, figuring in the teenage boy, who, taking a break from basketball one day, asked me if I had "gotten any grief" about my T-shirt. He was curious, he said, because while he had "no strong opinions," he had got into a fracas with friends, when they insisted there was nothing about the U.S. president that was not entirely evil. "I told them," he said, "there has to be something about him that isn't evil."
Now that's hopeful. Nonetheless, I am giving the T-shirt a break for a bit. It's too risky. In the meantime, we three and a half need a name for our group.
I like the sounds of the "Cold Weather Underground," myself.
Rondi Adamson is a Toronto writer whose work has been published in The Wall Street Journal Europe and the Christian Science Monitor.
Want to join?
The Canadian subversion is under way. Good luck. Maybe you could send us down some pre-owned Mulrooney sweatshirts.
This one rang a bell with me. I was sitting in a cafe in Europe (exact location redacted to protect the guilty), and talking with an assortment of Americans and Europeans. They were doing the usual tirade about American foreign policy. With the usual inconsistencies - they deplored the invasion of Iraq (implying we should have kept our hands off), but wanted us to do something about Saudi Arabia (implying we should have thrown our weight around).
I got exasperated at one point and said, "Look, you can't have it both ways. Every single thing the US does can't be wrong!"
The first words out of someone's mouth (one of the Americans, unfortunately) was "Yes, it can!"
Now, how can you have an intelligent discussion with someone who says something as stupid as that?
So I took a different tack. This was before the election, and I started challenging them on "put your money where your mouth is". I ended up winning about $100 on various bets - Bush winning the election, no draft reinstatement, free and open election in Iraq, etc. I didn't lose a single bet.
It's my hope that being forced to hand over money to someone with radically different political views, that person having proven a greater acumen on predicting political events, will cause them to re-examine their position. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but at least I got the pleasure of shutting them up for a while.
You can't. But making them pay up on bets was a good move. Well done.
I have a retail store, and this guy was making his buying decision. The sale was in the bag, as it were.
He asked to use the bathroom, and when he walked into the back room, he saw my US flags and Pro-Bush signs.
He used the bathroom, and then said he had changed his mind about the purchase for now, and would let me know.
Never saw the turd again. Oh well.
I think the proper approach is to keep making the bets, and pseudo-subtly start to encourage them to stay leftie. Maybe that will help them to see the link between "I lose money when I'm wrong" and "Leftie is wrong"...
Then again, their votes are tiny and they are probably not making a very effective statement for their causes anyway--so you might want to just keep them leftie for a constant revenue stream.
There are more of 'us' in western Canada. I've been a GWB fan since the Gov was running for election in August 2000. I prayed him through that election and recount and took last election day off to pray him through again. [I was thanking God the other day that Kerry never won.] I love Laura too. She's a wonderful lady - beautiful, intelligent, gracious. I'll be sad to see them both disappear from public life in 2008.
I have got to get one of those shirts.
Rondi Adamson is pro-Bush in that he is anti-terrorism, but nonetheless herself is "pro-choice."
That means that she likes to be protected, but does not feel motivated to protect others: i.e, the unborn.
She has just a bit more evolving to do.
I e mailed her. :-)
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