I personally haven't seen anything I'd characterize as anti-American. People vehemently oppose current US policies, for sure. But if they were anti-American, I don't think they'd be so warm and welcoming when they learn we are Americans.
And if Canadians are a tad obsessed with the US, who can blame them, sharing a border with the 800-pound gorilla of the world. On our last trip to London, I remember thinking that the British were similarly obsessed, and this was many years before W stole the election and Tony Blair dragged them into a useless war.
Rob sent me an essay by an self-described liberal American living in Toronto. (It turns out several wingnutters sent this to me when it first ran.) The writer sees anti-Americanism at every turn. Now, she didn't relocate to Canada for political reasons. She made a career move, and thought the political side would be a nice plus. Instead, she found that being away from home helped her get in touch with what she values about the US:
And it's helped me discover what I do value about it: its contradictions, its eccentricities, its expansive spirit, all the intensity and opportunity of a deeply flawed, widely inconsistent, but always interesting country.How nice for her. For me, those deep flaws and wide inconsistencies prove that the "opportunity" is a bunch of crap. The expansive spirit is a just that - spirit. A bunch of slogans and hot air.
Perhaps I don't see the supposed anti-Americanism because to me it looks like honest criticism, and I agree with it. Perhaps I don't see it because it isn't there.
Maybe the writer is not as liberal as she imagines, or maybe she exemplifies why I don't call myself a liberal anymore. The results of the 2004 election made her miss the US. That might be a clue.
A year from now, if I've come to agree more with the observations expressed in this essay, I promise I'll let you know.