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June 12, 2018


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Hello from a Government of Canada communications strategist. When I woke up this morning the sun was shining, the temperature was a comfortable 10 degrees Celsius going up to 26 and we are proudly celebrating National Public Service Week here in the nation's capital. In other words, It's summer in Soviet Canuckistan and the world hasn't ended yet.

My wife and 18-year-old son are consumed by the news in ways that I rarely see from them. Personally, I'm worried that the next round of tariffs might include small fibreglass RVs assembled in Minnesota.

None of this is your fault, but we all could very well become collateral damage if this turns into a full-blown trade war. We don't blame you personally for Trump, but if we impose tariffs on Kentucky bourbon then I guess just about anything is possible -- even Chicago intellectual property.

On the other hand, if you are ever in Ottawa, look me up. We'll raise a glass of Canadian Club with a Sam Adams chaser. It's not the politicians that are going to keep this relationship strong, it's ordinary people like you and me.

Hi David,

Here in The Netherlands we are all under the spell of Liz Garbus'documentary The Fourth Estate about The New York Times after Trumps election…. You are living in interesting times, as the Chinese would say. And I think we are part jealous (the constant waiting for total meltdown is interesting...), part sorry for the 'good' Americans (their neighbours chose the megalomaniac idiot) and part angry (how could you elect a man who destroys everything we believe in?).
Will it stop speechwriters to go to your conference? Yes, some are boycotting the US, most just think you organise interesting conferences. Not cheap… but mostly the boss pays anyway…

I just hope you did not vote for him… :-) Then you are always welcome to seek asylum in The Netherlands. We make you a honorary member of our Dead Horse Society!

Renée Broekmeulen

And this will cheer you up, if you haven't seen it yet: America First, The Netherlands Second:

David, thanks for asking! For what it's worth, the short answer is: you're fine. We all know that America has had its share of awful Presidents just as it has had some of the world's finest leaders. Sure, Trump takes the world into new territory (though I confess right now I find it madly hilarious - that Singapore Summit produced some of the weirdest rhetoric ever).
I suspect the deeper point for we speechwriters is that the whole modern system is under strain - faith in democracy, the role of finance, global population movements, climate change, technology and its discontents. Perhaps Trump is more a symptom than a cause?
In which case we need thoughtful leaders and thinkers and speechwriters more than ever. And Australia will warmly welcome all American (and other) friends to the Asia-Pacific Speechwriters Conference next year.

From Canada, The Netherlands, and Australia so far (in addition to more countries on my Facebook page) ... insightful—and reassuring. Thanks, all.

Meanwhile, our Canadian military maven replied to me, with typical Canadian humor and grace:

"I am most certainly NOT upset with any of you down there in unfair softwood lumber practices USA! :-) I am so very sorry that I've left you with any impression otherwise. Things have been hectic hectic hectic over here. ... Apologies for not responding sooner, and thank you for the mention in your blog post."

More comments welcome ....

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