When we read or hear about Brexit, we vaguely know that it’s a contraction of Britain and exit, but for most of us, it means little else. Uncle Curmudgeon will undertake to explain what the big deal is. Why should you care? I can’t think of a single reason, but it does serve as a good example of why national sovereignty matters. If you don’t care about that, you may leave class and get back to your Netflix and chill, whatever the hell that is. Interesting that I just typed this on my iPad, and when I got to whatever the…..it filled in heck, and when I wrote hell, it kept changing it to he’ll. The iPad doesn’t like the word hell, but has no objection to trying to teach me the morality of the programmer.
Now imagine that the United States had the sort of inferiority complex that motivated the members of the European Union to join it–we’re not big enough, rich enough, strong enough, to compete individually with that big bully…..Which big bully, Russia, China? Oh, you mean the United States, the big bully who helped France and Britain to survive Germany’s attempt to subjugate them, who helped free Italy and Germany from the yoke of tyrants, who airlifted supplies to feed Berliners when Russia was trying to starve them….THAT big bully. Okay, let’s put aside our historical, cultural, economic and linguistic differences and form our own big bully.
To begin to understand what an undertaking that was, let’s imagine that Canada, the United States and Mexico agreed to form a Union, the North American common Union. Over time, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, CostaRica, Belize and Panama applied to join. That’s 11 nations. The EU was formed in 1957 with six nations–the original idea being to end the wars that plagued Europe–and over time, another 22 joined, more for economic benefits than anything else. Interestingly, two countries within the geographical boundaries of the EU, Switzerland and Norway (technically, Norway is within since they share a border with member Sweden), have not opted to join, and that might be due to their independent natures or relatively greater prosperity. Between the 28 current member states, there are 24 different languages spoken. Five more nations have applied for membership and are being considered, 22 other “European” nations are not members, and one, The United Kingdom i.e. Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has voted to withdraw–Brexit. Most of the EU nations are called Schengen countries, which operate with no border controls, like states within the United States.
Back to the theoretical NAU. I am going to concentrate solely on border issues, since the economic are already covered by existing agreements and war with either country is laughable. Raise your hands if you would like to see the United States abolish border controls with Canada. Hmm, a lot of hands. Keep ‘um up if you would like to extend that concept to Mexico. Where did almost everyone go, including most Hispanics? What about extending the concept further to all the Central American nations? Now that’s what I call a stampede for the exit. Perhaps we should examine this idea further. I mean, if six European nations with a long history of wars with each other can join together, why can’t we start with three? The United States did have a brief war with Mexico, but compared to European wars, it was short. More Americans died from diseases after invading Mexico (actually the highest mortality rate of any of our wars) than died from war itself. Mexico should have more of a grudge, having lost half their territory, but I am polling Americans here.
I am going to use myself as a proxy for the majority of Americans, even though I am probably very different in most ways, but that’s the peril of writing an individual blog rather than a group consensus blog. I personally love going to Canada, and I like most Canadians I have met, both there and visiting here. But I can say the same for Mexicans. The last time I traveled to Mexico was 1973, and enjoyed my visit immensely. It was the real Mexico of the rural parts of Chihuahua state, and both the ordinary people and the federal police were very hospitable. I have never been to Mexican resorts or touristy areas, so the rural and small town experience is all I have, and on the basis of that I would welcome Mexican and Canadian visitors equally. However, I would not want border controls eliminated with either Mexico or Canada. Why not Mexico? The flow of long term non-citizen residents would be one way, from Mexico to us. Except for a few retirees, who can already establish residence in Mexico, virtually no U.S. citizens would want to stay in Mexico. However, hordes of Mexicans would want to stay here, for reasons that are obvious to all but the most dense of Perfectionist Progressives (i.e. leftists, liberals, Democrats, the national press). As for Canadians, it might be a toss up. Their national leader is more photogenic and, on the surface, more personable than ours. So what? Tax rates are difficult to compare, but would be very similar for people in the middle income brackets. Canada has universal health care, sort of, which could be a draw for those not yet 65 and not covered by their employers. The biggest reason I would not want open borders with Canada is because of the laxity of their own immigration policies. Canada has less people than California even though 20 times more land, so they want more people.
More terrorist suspects have come into The United States from Canada than from Mexico. However, the total number of such crossing either border is small compared with the number who enter directly via ship or plane. I simply believe that open borders with Canada would change that for the worse. That’s the main reason I wouldn’t sign on to a Schengen type Union. I love both Canada and Mexico for the people and the scenery. I dislike Trudeau, the very definition of an “empty suit”, as well as the suppression of freedom of speech and religion in Canada. I don’t like Trump’s behavior and rhetoric, but I like what he’s accomplished. All in all, I will take the good old USA, the good with the bad. At least I don’t have to hear every other sentence end with “eh” and a question mark, nor care about the various poutines. As for Mexico, I think of how many Mexicans would settle here if given a choice, so no. I haven’t even discussed admitting the Central America basket cases (with the exception of Costa Rica, possibly Belize and Panama). Not happening.
This just in after writing this post: Gallup asked the whole population of Latin America. There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Roughly 450 million adults live in the region. Gallup asked them, “Would you like to move to another country permanently if you could?”A whopping 27% said “yes.” So this means roughly 120 million would like to migrate somewhere. The next question Gallup asked was, “Where would you like to move?” Of those who want to leave their Latin American country permanently, 35% said they want to go to the United States. The Gallup analytics estimate is that 42 million want to come to the U.S.Forty-two million seekers of citizenship or asylum are watching to determine exactly when and how is the best time to make the move. This suggests that open borders could potentially attract 42 million Latin Americans. A full 5 million who are planning to move in the next 12 months say they are moving to the U.S.