Trump Makes Lame Canada Joke, Pisses Off Canadian Prime Minister

Here is a sentence I never expected to read:

In a poll by Ipsos Reid in 2012, the War of 1812 was second only to their universal health care in a list of events or items that could be used to define Canadian identity.

Not the Mounties? Not ice hockey? Not curling? Not Justin Bieber? Naturally I had to look up this poll:

Hmmm. That’s not really a lot of choices. Here’s another survey:

This bit of internet research into Canadian identity and the War of 1812 was prompted by reports of a phone call last month between the idiot-in-chief and Justin Trudeau about why the US suddenly considered Canada to be a national security threat. “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Trump asked, in what he must have thought was the height of wit. As it happens, Canadians take the War of 1812 a whole lot more seriously than we do, so even on its own terms it was a dumb joke. Plus it was British soldiers who burned down the White House anyway. Plus the Canadians really don’t think this business of being considered a national security threat is a laughing matter.

I wonder when everyone is going to learn? I know it’s easy to sit at my desk and advise world leaders to tell Trump off, but really, they should tell Trump off. It’s the only thing that works. Forbearance and good personal relations get you nowhere with Trump, as Trudeau, Shinzo Abe, Emmanuel Macron, and others have all learned. Just tell him to call back when he’s ready to talk like an adult and then hang up the phone. I don’t think that even most Americans would take offense.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.