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A Modest Proposal

UnknownMy official position is that this sort of talk is unseemly, unpatriotic, and counterproductive. Unofficially, it's pretty funny. The downside is that the USC would have some real military recruitment problems and needing to cross an international boundary every time I want to go to the Apple Store in Arlington, Virginia would be a real pain in the ass. Come to think of it, having a Metro system that crosses an international boundary would be problematic in a variety of ways. Perhaps we can annex some key portions of Northern Virginia and South Florida in exchange for the downstate portions of Illinois. Alberta also probably belongs in Jesusland.

UPDATE: There's actually a semi-serious point to be made here that's relevant to ongoing discussions about the importance of cultural conservatism in US politics, namely that the real lines of cultural cleavage in North America do not track the international boundary very well. Québec is obviously culturally distinct from the rest of Canada in a variety of ways. The American South isn't like the rest of the USA. Meanwhile, the northen portions of the US tend to resemble whichever bits of (English speaking) Canada they happen to be adjacent to.

UPDATE II: To be clear, I didn't create this graphic, and I'm not responsible for the decision to call Red America "Jesusland." It's just something my aunt forwarded me that someone forwarded to her.

November 3, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

Yes, we may need to institute some relocation programs, but I could live with that.

Posted by: Chibi | Nov 3, 2004 8:08:14 PM

I can see one obvious problem, right off the bat: Didn't it occur to you that there were parts of Canada, (Quite large parts, as a matter of fact.) that might want to be part of "Jesusland"???

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Nov 3, 2004 8:12:04 PM

The downside is that the USC would have some real military recruitment problems...

Not necessarily. Costa Rica used to make do without an army. You could simply outsource all your military needs to Jesusland in exchange for Canadian beer.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Nov 3, 2004 8:12:22 PM

Devolution.

It worked for Scotland.

It worked for Wales.

It can work for the Blue States.

Posted by: tripsarecopsem | Nov 3, 2004 8:13:33 PM

The bigger problem is that Jesusland would reap all of the vacation revenue. Come on, California just isn't that exciting. I'm sure that the Great Lakes hold little appeal. Could you imaging someone coming up from Jesusland to spend a holiday in the USC. How would we take care of our friends in Austin, Atlanta, New Orleans and other reasonable cities? It may be irresponsible, but it's much more fun than working on policy analysis.

Posted by: Brendon Riggs | Nov 3, 2004 8:15:52 PM

Yeah, I'd suggest that, too, but Democrats freak whenever you mention federalism. It's going to take some time for them to get used to the idea that, since they're not going to control the federal government, they might want some local autonomy. They're too used to the situation being the reverse, them on top, and Republicans asking to be left alone.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Nov 3, 2004 8:16:24 PM

Please just stay the fuck away from us Canadians.
We don't want your cancer-ridden electorate to poison our populace. thirty years ago, hoardes of pot-smoking draft dodgers were okay, but this time it's different.
Sorry, you broke it, you fix it.

concerned canadian

Posted by: timbo | Nov 3, 2004 8:25:32 PM

Don't worry timbo, no matter how bad it gets here, I wouldn't want to unite with you guys. You're too milquetoast. Must be tough to base your whole culture on opposing the more dominant culture to the south.

Oh yeah, you gave us Jim Carrey and Michael J. Fox. Thanks dude. You have Can Con laws for a reason. Enjoy Time Horton's and the Beer Store and your third class status.

Posted by: sloth | Nov 3, 2004 8:33:32 PM

You could go to the Apple Store in Montgomery Mall (yeah, I know - no Metro)

Posted by: Steve Jobs | Nov 3, 2004 8:35:17 PM

Even the Southern *colonies* weren't like the rest of the country. I'm beginning to think we should just let them win the Civil War already. Oh, wait--we already have!

As for the frostbacks, first of all, its *they* that resemble *us* (it's not like 90% of *our* population is 50 miles from the border, and while you can buy Budweiser in Vancouver, try going to a McDonald's in Seattle and asking for back bacon on your Egg McMuffin). Secondly, secession from Jesusland would abandon our brothers in Austin, DC, Cleveland, Santa Fe, New Orleans, etc. But the idea does have some merit: as a former hockey playing American, President Kerry could unify a deeply divided United States of Canada like no other candidate.

Posted by: Adam | Nov 3, 2004 8:35:27 PM

What's the difference between a Canadian and a canoe?

Canoes tip.

Posted by: Just Karl | Nov 3, 2004 8:38:53 PM

Come on, Canada. The only alternative is to keep the entire US controlled by Jesusland -- and what if they decide to invade and convert you for your own good?

Another evil thought: just maybe we could arrange to focus the attention of the Islamic Fascists on Jesusland instead of the U.S.C. (notwithstanding all those Jews in New York City) -- thereby arranging to kill two turkeys with one stone.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw | Nov 3, 2004 8:39:38 PM

You're in luck, Bruce, since that's what Bin Laden promised to do anyway: Spare any state that voted for Kerry from his target list.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Nov 3, 2004 8:42:20 PM

Well, personally, Brett, if the world is about to have its first nuclear religious war, I wouldn't at all mind sitting on the sidelines.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw | Nov 3, 2004 8:44:47 PM

MY, it's actually not hard to eliminate the power of the Southern states. Just combine the dozen or so Southern states in to one giant Southern state (call it say the Old Dominion) and then we'll eliminate the South from having any power in the Senate and deflate their power in the electoral college. And all this you can do without a constitutional amendment but with simply a law by Congress!

Posted by: Dan the Man | Nov 3, 2004 8:45:40 PM

I was going to say something about letting the USC keep Vegas, but in the USC we wouldn't need a Vegas. But Jesusland would need an officially designated decadent zone.

Posted by: Justin Slotman | Nov 3, 2004 8:45:51 PM

You're in luck, Bruce, since that's what Bin Laden promised to do anyway: Spare any state that voted for Kerry from his target list.

Somehow I missed that, Brett. Do you have a citation for this claim?

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Nov 3, 2004 8:48:20 PM

Sorry, Matt, it won't work. Where will all the tax dollars go if there are no more red states to accept them? Since we're too liberal to cut taxes, we'd have this giant surplus sucking investment out of our economy.

Posted by: dan | Nov 3, 2004 8:57:26 PM

As a native (if long-gone) Albertan, I think Alberta firmly belongs in the USOC. Its two urban centers are more libertarian conservative than cultural conservative, and someone running against socialized medicine couldn't get elected dogcatcher. It only seems Jeebofascist by Canadian standards...

Posted by: Scott Lemieux | Nov 3, 2004 9:01:52 PM

Lovecraft: see

http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=3898

"'In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaeda. No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state [wilayah] that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security.'"

"MEMRI is claiming that the word used for "state" in this sentence means state as in Rhode Island and New Jersey.

"But while they are right to draw attention to the oddness of the diction, their conclusion is impossible."

For an alternate interpretation, see Mickey Kaus: bin Laden is indeed talkking about US states but *not* about the election (he groups Bush and Kerry together) but about state *secesion*! Kaus quotes

"a 2001 the description of a 1996 interview he gave to, yes, Robert Fisk:

"'Intelligent - and eloquent in Arabic - bin Laden undoubtedly is. But his understanding of foreign affairs is decidedly eccentric. At one point, he even suggested to me that individual US states might secede from the Union because of Washington's support for Israel. [Emphasis added]

"In other words, it may not be that bin Laden's so in touch with American politics that he's reading RealCLearPolitics and counting up electoral votes. He may be so out of touch that he hasn't learned about the Civil War. ... This suggests that while MEMRI's translation may be accurate, the focus of both MEMRI and the NY Post on the current presidential election may be misplaced. Bin Laden may not be offering protection to a state that votes against Bush. He may not be talking about the election at all. He may be looking past the election and attempting to offer protection to states that secede, or follow their own foreign policies. ... P.S.: Note that this interpretation would both fit the translation and explain why bin Laden seemingly lumps Kerry and Bush together. He's not trying to get votes for either man. ..."
http://www.slate.com/id/2108954/

Posted by: David T | Nov 3, 2004 9:04:00 PM

That last video of his.

http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/33124.htm

Dan, you seem to have some interesting notions of what's within Congress's authority. But even assuming that was, (It isn't.) why would a Republican Congress want to do that? They'd be more likely to break Texas up into a half dozen new states. (All but one Republican, of course.)

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Nov 3, 2004 9:04:17 PM


How would the Red states sustain themselves without subsidies from the Blue states? Secession would never work.

List of dollar returns for every dollar sent to DC in federal taxes.
Biggest donees.

1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

These are the ten states that get the least back from Washington.

1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

Posted by: JSB | Nov 3, 2004 9:04:58 PM

You're in luck, Bruce, since that's what Bin Laden promised to do anyway: Spare any state that voted for Kerry from his target list.

Somehow I missed that, Brett. Do you have a citation for this claim?

Brett seems to be referring to the discredited MEMRI translation. For an analysis by someone who actually knows Arabic, try Juan Cole at
http://www.juancole.com/2004_11_01_juancole_archive.html#109938356137329197

Posted by: Max | Nov 3, 2004 9:08:26 PM

Brett, I was just handing out logical possibilities not realistic possibilities. That was so duh obvious.

Posted by: Dan the Man | Nov 3, 2004 9:08:51 PM

Slotman:

The Jesuslanders would have New Orleans. That's what worries me. (Jesuslanders sounds awkwards. Should we call them Christlanders? [shudder] wow, that's a scary-sounding word.)

Posted by: Adam | Nov 3, 2004 9:09:16 PM

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