After midterm sweep, Canadian asks: 'What were you thinking, America?'

Through the 'hope and change' highs and the 2014 midterm lows, Canadians have generally stuck by Obama - certainly more so than Americans.

Charles Dharapak/AP
President Barack Obama is saluted by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police as he arrives in Ottawa, Canada, in 2009.

However detested President Obama and his party may be to the many Americans who expressed their disapproval in a midterm election that has been called "Shellacking 2.0," the president can take comfort in the fact that he is loved by America's neighbor to the north.

As Canada's National Post once put it, "Barack Obama is Canada’s American president."

That was apparent in an open letter Canadian Richard Brunt, of Victoria, British Columbia, penned to Americans Nov. 7, following the midterm elections, in which Americans overwhelmingly showed their disapproval of Obama and the Democratic Party. The letter has since gone viral on the blogosphere.

Brunt's message, essentially, was "What is wrong with you people?"

"Many of us Canadians are confused by the US midterm elections," he began, before running down a list of accomplishments he credited to the president, including falling unemployment, gas prices, and interest rates, along with a record high dollar, stock market, and corporate profits.

He lists similar triumphs on the foreign-policy front.

"America is leading the world once again and respected internationally — in sharp contrast to the Bush years. Obama brought soldiers home from Iraq and killed Osama bin Laden."

"So, Americans vote for the party that got you into the mess that Obama just dug you out of? This defies reason," Brunt writes. "When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way?"

The letter has brought some on the liberal left - many of whom have long been disillusioned with Obama, and many of whom seem to have disappeared during the midterm election and its aftermath - out of the woodwork.

"[H]e’s right," wrote John Prager at Americans Against the Tea Party. "Apathetic and delusional voters alike allowed Republicans like hog-castrating psychopath Joni Ernst to rise to a position of authority, Mitch McConnell to keep his job, and a majority that seems to believe the best and only solution to our nation’s problems is to rid itself of the Affordable Care Act," he wrote. "Unfortunately, the midterm elections will prove to be a hard lesson for voters: You get what you ask for, and sometimes you ask for total destruction."

But Brunt's letter also highlights a perennial trend among our hockey-loving, Mountie-policing, queen-honoring, polite northern neighbors: they love Barack Obama.

Through the "hope and change" highs and the 2014 midterm lows, Canadians have generally stuck by Obama - certainly more so than Americans, and even liberal Americans, it appears. When it comes to supporting the US President, Canadians, you might say, are a more loyal bunch than Americans.

For example, in the lead-up to the 2012 election between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, polls showed Canadians overwhelmingly preferred Obama.

If they could, 65 percent of Canadian voters would have cast a ballot for Obama in 2012, reports Canada's Globe and Mail. Just 9 percent would have voted for Romney.

"We love him," writes Macleans in an article headed "Canada's love affair with Barack Obama." "The broad-band smile, the Lincolnesque bearing, the sense of the man as an avatar of multiculturalism—it all makes Barack Obama the perfect US president in the eyes of Canadians."

Heck, there's even a Facebook page for "Canadians for Obama."

Why the Obama love up north?

For starters, Obama has generally enjoyed international support, though that has been slipping more recently.

And when it comes to Canadians, at least, Obama had a relatively easy act to follow: Most Canadians hated George W. Bush as much as they love Obama.

Of course, Canadians tend to skew more liberal than Americans, and Obama's policy objectives align more closely with the political predilections of many Canadians.

"[A]s we all know, even most conservative Canadians become liberal Democrats once they cross the border, because they support public health care, gun control, multiculturalism and minority rights," writes the Globe and Mail in a 2012 article. "If Stephen Harper ran for political office in the United States on current Conservative policies, he’d be so far to the American left his only hope for success might lie in Vermont."

And then there's this: "Beyond that, Mr. Obama is cool. He is the first president who can wear sunglasses without embarrassing himself. He can switch convincingly from professorial to colloquial. He has more charisma than any president since Jack Kennedy, and he’s happily married to boot."

Voting based on good hair, stature, and style? Turns out Americans aren't alone in that.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to After midterm sweep, Canadian asks: 'What were you thinking, America?'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today