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Auchter's Art: Is the U.S. "that one neighbor"?

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists. I am not Canadian, nor do I have any Canadian clients. But a few years ago at a joint convention with the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists — the professional organization for U.S. cartoonists — the Canadians invited me to join their organization, too. Being based in Michigan, I draw an occasional Canada-related cartoon, and that was good enough for them. (There is a reason for the stereotype — they really are incredibly nice.)But I am an American and proud to be one. I will be in full-throated support of our American athletes at the Olympics in the coming weeks. Already this week I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to watch our women's soccer team's game against Sweden (and felt like throwing up after they crushed us, 3–0). They worry me now. Our men's basketball team worries me. Simone Biles does not worry me.

I just wanted to say that to make clear that I can see both perspectives of the recent churning over who is going to be letting whom into their country. Last week, Canada announced plans to open (with restrictions) its borders to non-essential travel from the U.S. This week, the U.S. announced it was extending current restrictions on nonessential travel from Canada through August 21.

It's complicated: Unlike Canada, the U.S. has a second significant border to manage. Officials have to take into consideration the increasingly dangerous delta variant, vaccination levels, short and long-term economic implications. And most Michiganders know that it has always been way more strict (and stressful) coming into the U.S. than going into Canada.

Still, from the Canadian perspective, I can imagine how they would currently be perceiving us as boorish and selfish. I mean, the fact that we're making them pay the whole cost of building a badly needed second bridge between Detroit and Windsor (for our mutual economic benefit) — that kind of sets the tone, right? At least we're building bridges and not fences.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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