How Representative is This?

Because US higher education has been so universally respected, this means that US higher educators including many in the network of student success educators, surely have friends and colleagues who are Canadian higher educators. This is certainly true of me. My own work in and for Canadian higher education dates to 1978 and includes hosting multiple “Canadian-American First-Year Experience Conferences” dating to 1985, and visits to more than two dozen Canadian institutions. I also lived in Canada as a child for five years in the 1950’s as a legal “landed immigrant” and hence was not separated at the border from my parents.

Given the insults hurled by our President on the Canadian Prime Minister, the nation of Canada and hence all its citizens including all my Canadian friends and colleagues, I thought I should write them to let them know of my own great personal embarrassment and regret about what has transpired recently between our two great nations. So I have done so.  I am going to insert below a reply I received from two Canadian educators. As I reflect on what they have said, I find it very understandable and wonder how representative they are of other higher educators around the globe….?

“John,

 We thought that both of us should respond. We do understand your embarrassment. You and several others are dear friends and we do not lump you in with the deplorables. Your principles and beliefs are beyond question.

 Having said that, as Canadians there is little we can do about Trump and only hope that the vast majority of Americans come to their senses soon. We have decided not to visit the US for the indefinite future and cannot put what little tourist dollars we have into the US economy. When we shop now I always look at the label 1st and if it comes from US I quickly put it back. Trump has done what no political party in Canada has been able to do...unite all Canadians behind our Prime Minister.

 Thousands of Canadians no longer see the US as the land of the free....in fact they view it as just the opposite. The respect for the US has slipped to the bottom of our list .The respect is on a par with Russia, North Korea and other countries ruled by dictators. We cannot understand how Republicans can get up every morning and like what they see when looking in the mirror. The damage that Trump and the Republican Party has caused to the US on the world stage is beyond belief.

 As you can tell I am on a bit of a rant and will stop.

 Not to worry ...you and Betsy will always be on our dearest friends list.”