Ryan F. Gassien
Meet The Author
I am a Canadian and was born in 1982 in Stratford, Ontario. I started school in Mississauga and it was quickly discovered that I had a different learning style than my class mates. Over my schooling years, I was given different labels by the school and medical system so that I could have a special education plan to meet my needs. This gave the school system a way of putting children with “different learning abilities” in one classroom. I was considered to have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Dyslexia. Despite having a High IQ of 160, I had great difficulties throughout my years in the educational system. Still I persevered and graduated from Trent University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies in 2007.
I love to travel. The world is a beautiful and amazing place, filled with both natural wonders and grand monuments showcasing man’s ingenuity and tenacity. I am fascinated by different cultures, their traditions, their eccentricities, and their art. They have so much to teach the Western world. It fills me with pride to know that we Canadians welcome so many people from different races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions to our country to learn, to work, and to raise their families.
I am a strong proponent of the multiculturalism championed by our late great prime minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Our diversity makes us strong but we still have ways to go. I believe in love of country, but not patriotism. Patriotism is mindless allegiance, something befitting a sheep, not a human being. I want Canada to be better, and I will hold my leaders to account when I feel we are not living up to our potential.
We Canadians need to protect our environment, which means getting off fossil fuels. Renewable energies are the future and Canada should be an innovator in this field. We must continue to work with the United Nations Paris Agreement (2016) and the Kyoto Protocol (1997). We should try to encourage the USA to change its mind about their recent decision to drop out of these agreements
There is much injustice in the world, including here in Canada. We Canadians need to do more for our Indigenous people and correct some of the past injustices. Hundreds of Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered over the decades. We need to do a better job safeguarding them. In other countries, too many people live without adequate food, water, and shelter. Many live under dictatorship and tyranny. Unfortunately, some of those countries are our allies and we must stand up to them.
I have been critical of Prime Minister Justine Trudeau, Pierre’s son, for selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Although the deal was made under Steven Harper’s administration. We are not honor bound to uphold arms sales when we know the weapons will be used to commit war crimes.
I am concerned over the use of child soldiers, and that issue will be a focus in both my novels and on my YouTube channel, Canada And the World. I can think of no greater evil than forcing an innocent child to take another person’s life. Many are being used as sex slaves and slave labor. We in the West need to do more. There are organizations that help them: Child Soldiers International, War Child, and Invisible Children. They need our support, here and abroad.
I’m a big believer in feminism. Women represent half our population and it seems only right that they make up half of our elected officials. Also, we need more compassionate and thoughtful leaders, not reckless and arrogant ones who want to dominate all. While males can also be compassionate, women have traditionally exhibited this virtue. In my novel Darkness of America, two of the three main protagonists are female, and both will grow to become examples of strong, independent women.
I am interested in American politics. While I am a Canadian, I realize that America is the Roman Empire of our time. Its leadership, or lack thereof, shapes the fortunes of all. I predicted the coming of someone like Donald Trump in 2012, though I did not think it would happen until after the American Empire had fallen. That assumption led me to underestimate him, as did so many others.
President Trump is dangerous, but the greater threat is the forces that have allowed him to come to hold the most powerful office in the world. America is crumbling, it’s ideals, good and righteous, have become nothing more than slogans. America is more an oligarchy than a republic these days. Washington is preoccupied with serving the rich and the powerful and has forgotten the average American. America’s media has blinkers on as all it cares about is ratings and making its advertisers happy. This results in fake news and irresponsible investigative journalism.
Economic inequality, social anxiety, and frustration with the status quo is what drove many to vote for Trump, not because they embrace him as a demagogue but because they were desperate for change. They threw themselves into the arms of a conman. Thankfully, Trump is no ideologue. He doesn’t believe in racial supremacy like Adolf Hitler or the One State like Stalin or Mao. Some in his inner circle, Steve Bannon being first among them, hold toxic ideologies, but Trump doesn’t. While Trump could be worse, he can still inflict harm on his nation and the world, like when he pulled America out of the Paris Agreement, a flawed, but necessary treaty in combating climate change.
These are troubled times we live in, but I am hopeful. While we have witnessed the ascendance of Donald Trump, we have also seen the election of Emmanuel Macron in France, who beat Marine Le Pen (a racist and a xenophobe) by two to one. Bernie Sanders (a socialist) is the most popular politician in America according to recent scientific polling, and California is seriously considering implementing single payer health coverage. Even long-time opponent Charles Krauthammer admits that universal healthcare in America is inevitable, maybe within the next seven years.
We can make this world a better place, and I plan on adding my voice to those demanding equality, freedom, and justice for all. On my YouTube channel, again titled Canada And the World, I will speak out about the political and social issues of the day. I hope that you will join me and become a subscriber. Together, we can be a force to reckoned with. Together, we can move mountains.