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Nothing new or shocking about Trump's threats to Canada

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Myths can be reassuring and misleading.

They are often, as well, easy substitutes for critical thinking among lazy writers whose gaze is permanently fixed on the present, without so much as an occasional glance at the not-so-distant past.

These truths have been on abundant, telling display over the past few weeks as Donald Trump continues to ricochet wildly like a frenetic pinball, bouncing from one petulant tirade to another.

Trump's latest spasm of idiocy wrapped in the imprimatur of the presidential seal was his primary-school-yard-like taunts over trade and tariffs lobbed like diplomatic grenades at Canada - that loveable, cuddly country led by a loveable, cuddly prime minister.

In Trump's manic mind, Canada is, in fact, a sly, fiendish, duplicitous "trading partner" that has fleeced America out of good jobs and profitable business for far too long.

"Canada's brutal, Canada's really tough," Trump told an adoring crowd of cultists in Pennsylvania recently. "Because they just outsmarted our politicians for decades."

To teach America's traditionally compliant poodle to the north and other foreign runts a sharp, potentially painful lesson, Trump has threatened to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium. Later, Trump offered Canada and Mexico a temporary reprieve on the proposed levies in exchange for concessions during the never-ending NAFTA re-negotiations.

Trump's vindictive gambit was, of course, in keeping with his vindictive character. Clearly, this is a president who considers brazen........

© Al Jazeera