Wherever we go, whomever we meet here in Canada, the question is the same, “What the heck is going on in the United States?”

Their question to us is always, “How can this be happening?” We have no answers. We are as mystified as our Canadian friends and acquaintances. All hell seems to be breaking lose in the U.S., with thugs and malcontents taking over. And the media is absolutely complicit in the mayhem. There seems a serious lack of civility, and we worry about what will happen during and after the elections, because there will be severe displeasure on one side or the other, and the way folks are behaving now, we fear violence and riots.

The violence and riots have already begun at some of the rallies, with one candidate encouraging his supporters to punch people out, and his thuggish bouncers tossing out of his rallies anyone who disagrees with his mindlessly repeated message of hatred and xenophobia.That’s not to say that the violence is only on one side, however. There are paid agitators who are throwing oil on the flames. The inciting factors are multitudes who feel left out, who feel their voices haven’t been heard over the past decade-plus. They are on every side, intent on making themselves heard now, and they are trying to shut down any speech that they don’t agree with. This isn’t isolated to one side alone. It is rampant throughout our social structure.

The barbarians are at the gates…on the inside!


A great fear is that none of the candidates will have what it takes to protect the nation from its increasing number of foes. Not only does the insanity affect the lives of Americans, but it will likely affect the lives of many around the world.

Canada and the United States have had a natural security for their nations, due to the fact that most enemies would have to cross an ocean to attack, or attack along a southern border that can be quickly protected. Canadians have also benefited from having the world’s police force on the other side of their border.

But now, the rules of the game are changing. We need true leaders (and the jury is still out on Canada’s recently elected prime minister), not posturing bullies with no coherent plan. And that is exactly how the Canadian’s view the current Republican front runner. They are also bewildered by the possibility of indictment for the Democratic front runner. Are these the best the U.S. has to offer?

People might mock the U.S. They might detest the U.S. But, like it or not, the U.S. has been a global linchpin, economically and militarily, for decades. If it falters even more than it has done in the past decade, other nations will suffer the consequences with the U.S. It is this fact that strikes fears in the Canadians. It’s not simply that the barbarians and fools are in charge–it’s the fact that the stability of the U.S. impacts the stability of many other nations.

Tom and I are as dismayed and bewildered as our new neighbors. In the almost four years since we left the U.S., the seams of civilization seem to have frayed. We, too, watch in horror as this year’s political farce plays out.