Planet America: A Canadian Perspective on the U.S.

| November 7, 2000

Planet America:A Canadian Perspective on the U.S.

More than 150 years ago, Frenchman Alexis de Toqueville offered what is still one of the most influential critiques of American democracy. Now, as we enter the voting booths to elect the first president of the new millennium, we thought readers would once again enjoy looking beyond our borders to see how the rest of the world views us.

Toronto's daily paper, The Globe and Mail, has compiled a seven-article report that touches upon the kinds of power the USA wields and the impact of its use. From business and military muscle to the culture of the United States, this survey provides a fascinating perspective from our northern neighbors.

In Andrew Cohen's stinging critique, 'The Nation That Makes the World Go Round,' he writes: '[W]ho can deny the supremacy of the United States today? Industry, finance, technology and information give it economic power. Democracy, diversity and mobility give it moral power. And arms and diplomacy give it military power. This is America's moment.' He further asserts that many of the content, self-absorbed people of the USA seem distanced from the rest of the world.

Jeffrey Simpson touches upon a different element of the relationship between Canada and the United States in his article 'Why We Love New York.' Simpson interviews Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair and a native of Ottawa. Carter says he knew from age 10 that he wanted to live in New York, 'close to the epicentre of North America's most vibrant, exciting, chaotic city.' When offered a job in the city during college, he accepted and has lived there ever since.
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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