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Perceived as giving a damn. Canada’s unofficial motto.

Great line in Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter today (my bolding):

…As a country, we’re not always quick to respond to far-off bloody massacres like the gassing of the Kurds or the Balkans or Rwanda, but we do denounce them. (Whether or not we actually give a damn, we give a damn about whether we’re perceived as giving a damn.) …

He’s talking about the U.S., and nationalist sentiment there now. But it looks like a fit for Canada – times ten.

Some Canadians (civilians, anyway) are all about talking the talk and looking good or sounding cool and hip, caring, concerned, and generous, about the plight of others around the world. Especially now in the Trump era. So, not being “some Canadians,” I was struck by some recent polls.

IPSOS – Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Toronto, ON – Canadians are evenly split on whether the impact of immigration on Canada has been positive or negative, according to a new Ipsos survey for Global News. One in three (36%) Canadians say the impact of immigration on Canada has been generally positive (9% ‘very’/26% ‘fairly’) – in line with perceptions from 2015 (down 1 point), balanced equally by the one in three (36%) who say it’s been generally negative (14% ‘very’/22% ‘fairly’) – although this is up 4 points since last year. A further one in four (26%) say the impact is neither positive or negative, while 2% just don’t know.

And I found these passages to be eye-opening:

Moreover, half (51%) of Canadians believe (221% very much/30% somewhat) that ‘there are terrorists pretending to be refugees who will enter the country to cause violence and destruction.’ …

… Six in ten Baby Boomers (61%) and more than half of Gen X’ers (56%) believe that there are terrorists pretending to be refugees coming to Canada, while Millennials (36%) are significantly less likely to share this belief.

Just (up to) six in ten believe something which is factually and demonstrably true — something which has actually happened in Europe and the U.S.? (And this is after the fact, but look at this week’s arrest of a Syrian refugee in Edmonton, Alberta.) At least we can still say that as people get older, they get wiser.

Here’s an earlier poll from the same pollster:

IPSOS – Sunday, July 01, 2012

Toronto, ON – Three-quarters (72%) of Canadians ‘disagree’ (34% strongly/38% somewhat) that ‘Canada should let in more immigrants than it currently does’, according to the fourth instalment in a special series on Canada conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Postmedia News and Global Television.

A study released just this week smacks smug Canadians in their sneering-at-Trump faces. It opens appropriately:

OTTAWA — Canadians may not be as tolerant of refugees and immigrants as they might think, a new study concludes.

“As they might think” can be replaced with “as they would like to be perceived.”

And it gets clearer the more you read, or read into it. Try to get your head around the double negatives as you read on:

…And yet, as Donnelly writes in the study, “Whatever is driving Canada’s exceptionally positive history of immigration and integration over the last half century, it does not appear to be an exceptionally tolerant public.” … [The word “tolerant” here is rather tendentious, if you ask me.]

… For example, the survey found what Donnelly described as “surprisingly weak” opposition to the idea of stopping all immigration to Canada.

While about 45 per cent of those surveyed would oppose any policy that would end all immigration, just under 20 per cent would support such a policy while nearly 35 per cent said they would neither oppose nor support such a policy [I’ll spell it out since they didn’t: a total of 55% of Canadians would either support or not oppose ending all immigration].

“These results suggest that a serious anti-immigrant movement is not impossible,” Donnelly wrote. …

It does more than “suggest” it. It spells it out — or at least I did. And, just as in the American liberal media, “anti-immigrant” is painfully tendentious. Being careful and being wary of the security of Canadian families and our values is not “anti-immigrant” — a term which is really just a leftist dog-whistle for the word “racist.” Canadians aren’t racist or stupid, Mr. Donnelly. They just care about the security of their families, and about Canadian values. So let’s use “wary” — the definition of which is the appropriately Canadian, “on guard”; or use the word “responsible,” rather than “anti-immigrant.”

And while we’re on it, lest you smug Canadians think you’re (what you’d call) “above” Kellie Leitch’s (or Donald Trump’s) sentiments toward immigrants’ integration with our Canadian values:

Just over half of those surveyed agreed with the statement “too many immigrants don’t seem to feel connected to Canadian society,” while better than two of three Canadians believe immigrants should change their behaviour to be more like Canadians once they arrive here.

“Over half.” And “two of three.” That’s what you anti-Trumpers call “winning the popular vote.” Not clear? Let’s review, via the left’s own Toronto Star division:

Sat., Sept. 10, 2016

OTTAWA—Two-thirds of Canadians want prospective immigrants to be screened for “anti-Canadian” values, a new poll reveals, lending support to an idea that is stirring controversy in political circles. …

And there are a lot more polls and facts and truth to see too, if you look. But the point becomes obvious: while Canadians — particularly progressives (liberals, socialists, communists, greenies, Gaia worshippers, CBC, the rest of the media, and the sundry other leftists) —  talk a pretty talk (or what sounds like pretty talk to them) about welcoming immigrants — especially refugees — from any damned place, especially in the wake of President Trump’s hard line on vetting immigrants and refugees, smug Canadians don’t really feel or actually think the way they would like to come off sounding or looking.

Whether or not we actually give a damn, we give a damn about whether we’re perceived as giving a damn. And by “we” I mean most of y’all but not me.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen

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