He waggled his finger at us.
Not just metaphorically - he REALLY waggled his finger at us, all the while scolding in a thick southern accent.
I first heard about Ambassador Wilkins' speech on a blog, and glancing through the report, didn't think much about it. Par for the political course, barely worth a roll of the eyes.
Then I saw the video clip. And I got it.
(Quote taken from the CTV report:)
Just think about this. What if one of our best friends criticized you directly and incorrectly almost relentlessly? What if that friend's agenda was to highlight your perceived flaws while avoiding mentioning your successes? What if that friend demanded respect but offered little in return?" Wilkins asked.
"Wouldn't that begin to sow the seeds of doubt in your mind about the strength of the friendship?"
"It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner," Wilkins said.
"But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn't have a long-term impact on the relationship."
That's where the finger waggled, if I remember correctly.
Sure, Canadians can be critical of the U.S. It is our right, in a free country, just as it's the right of Americans to be critical (and/or ignorant) of many foreign places.
Whether or not the criticism is INCORRECT however is a matter of opinion.
And it is not up to a new US Ambassador who had never even visited Canada before being appointed, to decide what our AGENDA is or how much we OFFER (or don't) to our neighbour.
But none of that matters if you can use bullying and barely veiled threats.
Ambassador Wilkins has proven himself a true American in the Bush Country mould.
(Cross-posted to CTV Election Weblog)