What others say: #ThankYouCanada

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:43pm
  • Opinion

Canadians delivered a love note to Americans via social media, and it was basically the international equivalent of taking a casserole to a neighbor in need.

Clearly our friends to the north can tell this election season is making a lot of us queasy.

The #TellAmericaItsGreat campaign includes a video in which several dozen Canadians tell us what’s right about our country.

“We know you’ve got some really big decisions to make,” says one. But “as you think about your future, we want you to know we really think you’re great.”

Why? There’s jazz. There are the National Parks. There’s America’s diversity and openness. We dream big and when “things are tough, you fight to make them better.”

But really.


“Sometimes friends just need to look out for each other,” said Shari Walczak, a founder of The Garden collective, an image marketing agency behind the effort.

In a blog post called “A Friend in Need,” the agency spelled it out:

“It’s no secret that America is going through a hard time right now. The election has exposed some pretty scary realities that will likely challenge them for years to come, regardless of who’s elected. They’ve been bombarded with a tremendous amount of negativity and it’s likely that for many of them, the immediate future seems rather bleak. … America could probably use a little cheering up.”

At a time we’re churning out so much rich material for comics and other peddlers of satire and one-liners, these Canadians decided a little kindness might be more helpful.

How right they are.

It’s not just neighborly. It’s a welcome reminder that we, the people of the United States, are bigger and better than any one election cycle.

These pro-America messages are a necessary reminder that America is better than its politicians. And that we will get through this — with a little help from our friends.

The pro-America campaign is the nice thing to do, which feeds into the stereotype about Canadians and will no doubt provide some fodder for those comics and one-line peddlers. So what? Have at it, laughmeisters.

Kindness is the only thing we need more than a good laugh right now.

We tend to undervalue power of nice

The Canadians who took the time to put together this Ode to the USA know us. In Arizona, Canadians have made significant investments in real estate and business, which builds on long-standing relationships with winter visitors.

There’s an endearing sincerity to taking the time to spread a little kindness. Let’s face it: The power of nice is something Americans tend to undervalue in our own celebrity-driven culture.

When things settle down — or sooner — Americans might think about a concerted effort to share some goodwill with our neighbor to the south. The U.S. presidential election has been tough on Mexico, too.

All three countries have a vested interest in taking care of the neighborhood.

Anyone who has ever gotten a casserole in a time of need knows the value of small acts of kindness.

Let’s respond with generosity of spirit

The American family is feeling bruised and bitter, but we still share common values and a long history of getting through tough times together. One of the characteristically American attributes mentioned in the Canadian video is our generosity in the form of charitable giving.

Right now, we need to respond to each other with generosity of spirit.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it?

Yet Americans responded to the #TellAmericaItsGreat campaign with #ThankYouCanada.

Sure. It’s a small thing — especially if you stay tightly wrapped in a cloak of cynicism.

But it’s also a kindness that speaks to what’s good in us and our international neighbors. This is a good time to look for our better angels.

— The Arizona Republic

Oct. 18

More in Opinion

Opinion: Freedom in the classroom sets precedence for the future

We advocate for the adoption of legislation to protect students’ First Amendment rights…

A roll of “I Voted” stickers await voters on Election Day in Alaska. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the prospect of a state constitutional convention. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Election winners, losers and poor losers

Tshibaka and Palin misread Alaskans by thinking Trump’s endorsement all but guaranteed they’d win.

This 1981 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows an electron micrograph of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV. Children’s hospitals in parts of the country are seeing a distressing surge in RSV, a common respiratory illness that can cause severe breathing problems for babies. Cases fell dramatically two years ago as the pandemic shut down schools, day cares and businesses. Then, with restrictions easing, the summer of 2021 brought an alarming increase in what is normally a fall and winter virus. (CDC via AP)
Alaska Voices: What Alaskans need to know about RSV

By learning more about respiratory illnesses and taking helpful actions, we can all take steps to improve the situation

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Multiplying the power of every local dollar given

Each community foundation is a public charity that focuses on supporting a geographic area by pooling donations to meet community needs

The Homer Public Library as seen on Aug. 18, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (File photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Point of View: Banning books corrodes diversity and inclusion in our community

Recently, a community member requested that a long list of books be removed from the children’s collection

Peninsula Oilers fans display encouragin signs for Oilers’ pitcher Bryan Woo, Friday, June 28, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: Judging judges — balancing the judicial selection process

Alaska’s method of selecting judges can be and should be improved.

Sarah Palin speaks at a July 11 Save America Rally featuring former President Donald Trump at Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The realities of Palin’s political demise

Palin wouldn’t be running for the seat if Rep. Don Young was still alive

Former Democratic state Rep. Beth Kerttula holds up a sign reading “Vote No Con Con,” during a recent rally at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza in Juneau. Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: What can a liberal and conservative agree on? Voting against a constitutional convention

“We disagree on many issues. But we… urge Alaskans to vote against Proposition 1.”

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Down to the wire: Be prepared before you vote

Remember your voice counts and all votes matter

Soldotna City Council member Justin Ruffridge. (Courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: We must refuse to reward ugly political tactics

With our vote we have to show that extremism and dishonesty do not win the day