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What's with all this "become part of Canada" stuff? Sheesh, people.… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
What's with all this "become part of Canada" stuff?

Sheesh, people. No freaking way are nine of the original thirteen colonies going anywhere. Count 'em--Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland. Nine-thirteenths. That's almost 75% of the founding territory (only Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia disagreed), the historical birthplace of the nation, and you all are sitting around talking about being anything OTHER than American? Where's your sense of history? That would be like London seceding from England, or Paris from France. Hell, it would be like saltwater seceding from the ocean, or nitrogen from the atmosphere, or hemoglobin from the blood. If we ever tried something iditoic like seceding, I hope the Republic would come in and kick our sorry asses back to kingdom come, because we'd deserve it.

I know most people mean it as a joke, but it lost its marginal funniness by approximately four o'clock Wednesday morning. The most lives we've ever lost in a war as a country were in the desperate fight to preserve the union against secessionists. You want to change things? Help the farms, stop insulting so-called "flyover states" by assuming that they only think the way they do because they're stupid and ignorant rather than because they see the world from a different angle than you do. Right now, I'm expressing the angle I see the world from, because the very concept of Boston leaving America is so horribly offensive to me and I think a lot of people aren't bothering to even try to see it that way, but you know what? I've lived in other places, and I know what it looks like from there, too. I don't agree and will try to convince them to agree with me instead, but if I haven't succeeded in doing so, that doesn't mean that they or I end up less American because of it. Dialogue, not monologue, as Mr. Card said.

Grrr. American history lover in an extreme state of irritation here.

I feel a bit...: annoyed annoyed and offended

31 comments or Leave a comment
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: November 6th, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
No one secedes; the talk is not amusing. The point of bringing up the colonies is that they are the root of the country, and it's especially infuriating to hear them talk that way, but the Union is the Union. Being peevish about people in other states disagreeing with us is normal; threatening to destroy the Union is not.
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, please. No one is being denied a voice in legislation, no one is having soldiers quartered in their home, no one is being taxed without representation.

We voted.

The president isn't who you chose.

So the hell what? That's life in a democracy. If they start taxing California while kicking Californian senators and representatives out of Congress, then you can make your case again. This is nowhere near the point in the course of human events where it makes even the slightest itty-bitty bit of sense to talk about the Declaration of Independence.

The government has the consent by majority of the governed. If you want to change the view of the majority, then work to change it--that's how democracy works. If the government tries to stop you from spreading what you believe to be true (about Iraq, economics, whatever issue you happen to be trying to persuade people about), then there's a Constitutional case to be made, and even a moral one, though my personal, peevish inclination would be to declare the other guys in secession rather than ourselves. California is not a colony of Washington, breaking its ties because it's not receiving equal treatment under the law. It's just a state whose electoral votes did not happen to decide the winner of the presidential election.
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I took fair trial out in an edit because I question it in the Patriot Act, though detaining citizens without trial isn't the same as an unfair trial. It's still wrong. So you work against it.

As to the rest, there've always been glitches in voting. We probably do better now than we ever have in the past; it's just that we have better technology to see where the problems are. That's quite different from literally not having a colonial official with a voice in Parliament while being taxed. I knew before this election that whichever side one, the other side would be going on about corrupt voting. It would be the same nonsense from either side. It's never been perfect, it never will be perfect. But it's certainly better than anything else we've tried.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: November 6th, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you. I can understand people saying "I'm moving to Canada!" or talk about secession in the emotional aftermath of the elections - there was a lot said at that time that I suspect many people didn't mean, sort of like drunken speech without the alcohol - but now it's tiresome, not funny.

The Civil War was, after all, fought to prevent secession - and this was a real war, not a "culture war." And the thought of New England seceding is laughable. Though Virginians might have a bone to pick regarding birthplace of the nation, as might Pennsylvanians - think of Jamestown and Philadelphia, respectively. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Pennsylvania's in the part talking about seceding! It was a blue state. The colonies always wrangled, and managed, ultimately, to come up with a system anyway. It required a moral compromise and that ended up causing meltdown eighty years later, but that's because people decided to secede rather than listening to reason.
ashtur From: ashtur Date: November 6th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Minor historical trivia... the first serious secession movement was founded in New England, during the War of 1812. (Of course it went nowhere fast)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup. Exactly. Nowhere fast, just like this. And there have definitely always been loopy people here. Sometimes towns want to secede from states, too. :)
sreya From: sreya Date: November 6th, 2004 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a town out in California that has a sign declaring it the "Republic of Rough & Ready" (not kidding). About a hundred years ago, the townspeople decided they didn't want to pay taxes, so they took down the American flag and "seceded". The army blockaded the town, stalemate until Fourth of July, when they decided the heck with it, they wanted to party, so back up went the flag.

At least, that's the local folklore. :~D
limegreen_sloth From: limegreen_sloth Date: November 6th, 2004 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
In Australia we have a guy who did a similar thing... and stuck with it. 33 years and still going strong.

"Hutt River Province represents a diverting episode in Australian eccentricity: On 21st April, 1970, Leonard George Casley renamed his wheat farm the Hutt River Province, declared himself a prince and his wife Shirley a princess, seceded from Australia and Western Australia and, as a nice little earner, started printing his own stamps and currency. Of course none of his grandiose ambitions had any validity, but he did attract an inordinate amount of publicity and simultaneously created a major tourist attraction."

Apparently you can also pay to be knighted.

ashtur From: ashtur Date: November 6th, 2004 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Living where I do, I run into more "Confederate loyalists" than you would think still existed, people who still insist that the CSA had every right and reason to boogie.

My feelings about them as well as this, is simple.

Part of living in a democracy is that there will be times you don't like who wins, or what is enacted. Part of the duty of a citizen is that you accede to the will of the people expressed in the election.

If you disagree with that, you have many legitimate options. You can protest, work for the next election, perhaps even run for office yourself. All of those are aimed at convicing the people to change their minds.

All of that is well and good. What's not well and good is to do the proverbial "I'll take my ball and go home."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Living where I do, I run into more "Confederate loyalists" than you would think still existed, people who still insist that the CSA had every right and reason to boogie.

Oh, there's a case to be made for it, honestly and it was a perfectly logical position to derive (douglain uses the Confederate argument above). There is a philosophical question about the issue of keeping the union together, and when heads are cooler, it's an interesting one to debate, in an academic sense. That doesn't make the idea any less stupid in practice. The Confederacy and the Union were two halves of the same country arguing about a point of law, the question of a state's right to determine who a human being was, etc. In other words, the same arguments we're having now, just with different touchstone points.

And in point of fact, the institution of slavery probably would have cracked under its own weight in a few years, and that was the only states right that the Republic cared about at that time, though of course as emotions escalated, a billion other things got rolled in. Now, as then, I think some patience with both sides would probably do the trick. Take a deep breath, spend the next four years trying to come to some national consensus about things, and then give it another shot in 2008. Why the apocalyptic nonsense???
From: hobviously Date: November 6th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sense of history, eh?

I see your Sheesh and raise you a Come On.

Nations are not stable. Society changes and, as it does, requires different groupings and governments. Even great Rome only stood for 400-odd years. Unless the American people are closet Egyptians (a good 3000 years with basically the same social/government structure), we're nearing the end of our comfort zone with the status quo. I'm not saying revolution or secession is right around the corner, but you seem to to be saying it will never, or should never, happen. I happen to disagree on both counts, but that's not the point exactly.

If people are threatening secession, and honestly I don't think *anybody's* been even half serious about it, it means they want change. Don't be so quick to assume we have no idea what it looks like on the other side - if we didn't, we probably wouldn't care so much.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sense of history, eh?

Great Rome stood as an Empire for only 400 odd years. We've only stodd as a superpower for about 50, and a hyperpower for about 10. This is birth pangs, not death throes.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sense of history, eh?

(Er, that would be "stood.")
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: November 6th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I completely agree with you. I remember a couple of years Vermont was tossing the idea around (I don't know how seriously) and I was irritated. All 50 states have a contract together, for lack of a better word, and there's no way I'd be ok with any state of this union breaking that contract. Not after we had a Civil War over the issue. The notion staggers me.

I'm also annoyed by the secessionists' presumption that Canadians would welcome us all with open arms. Why should they? Isn't Canada fine the way it is? Besides, the blue states are very populous, very wealthy, and extremely vocal, and I doubt we'd quietly get to know Canadian ways before trying to change things.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, there is that issue, as I'm sure the Canadians would point out!

I remember the Vermont issue--the college newspaper ran an article headlined, "Ben and Jerry's to become an import?"

In a way, I'd mind it less if they were just talking about seceding. But joining Canada because they perceive it as being more amenable to Europe (again, I'm sure the Canadians would call for a point of order on that) is just... weird.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: November 6th, 2004 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd mind it less if they were just talking about seceding. But joining Canada because they perceive it as being more amenable to Europe (again, I'm sure the Canadians would call for a point of order on that) is just... weird.

I know what you mean. Are these secessionists serious about giving up the US Constitution for the Canadian one? I'm not running down Canada here; I'm just genuinely mystified. It's a really huge thing to join another nation. Personally, I know very little about Canadian government and history, and I can't help wondering whether they know much more than I do.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Canada's a cool country. I grew up on the border and I've got no beef with the Canadians. But I don't think there's anything in their government but not ours that leaves me saying, "I gotta get me some of that!"
hughroe From: hughroe Date: November 6th, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sweet Lord,

All right all of you successionists, you're close, go out to the fields there in Pennsylvania, at gettysburg. See what the cost was the LAST TIME a section of the United States got mad at the results of a election, when an "elite" didn't get their way.

I am beyond draft age, and have served in more than one war, but I'll grab up the rifle again to re-teach the lesson.

But I must agree about the historical blindness, read one answer to a statement that the Revolution didn't start until 1778, and that "Black Jack" Pershing didn't trust the fighting abilities of black troops in the First World War! "Black Jack" is how the papers cleaned up his nickname.
uglywannabe From: uglywannabe Date: November 8th, 2004 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)


you don't know me from Eve, but I just wanted to thank you for serving our country in war. I wouldn't normally post such a thing, but I wanted to let you know that there are people who *are* grateful for such service. Thank you.
gentlespirit From: gentlespirit Date: November 6th, 2004 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel like there is a lot of blurriness right now, and I hate that. How can I condemn the people that wish to move when I moved? (No, I didn't leave the country because of this election.) I spent time in high school (in Ohio, ironically) spending time making plans to move to NYC. A large part of it was that I've loved it here ever since I first came, I have such a love affair with live theatre, and so many other things. However, it would be a lie if I didn't say that yet another motivating factor was my desire to live somewhere where there were more people who have similar beleifs as me. I grew up in a conservative family, and even once my father retired from the military, he retained a lot of that sort of attitude. When I stopped eating meat I was told to "learn how to think" and when I spent my time in a seperate room with books over holidays rather than listen to the racist rants of my extended 'family' I was criticised for my stupidity.

So not only did I want to be on my own in a city that I loved, but I wanted to be in a enviroment that supported me, rather than trying to make me one of them.

And last night my roommate basically said that that was giving up, that I might as well be one of the people heading for Canada. I am and still have been politically active, and yet I can't find a way to properly defend myself. Isn't it natural to want to belong somewhere?

I am sorry about all of this. I guess I really needed to get it out. I don't know the answers and I don't expect anyone else to. But thank you for raising some excellent points.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, definitely. I left my small town in order to come to the city, after all. Moving as an individual is one thing, but suggesting that we initiate another civil war over a tight election is something else altogether.

On the issue of moving, it does get tricky, in that the states whose electoral votes you want to get are the ones where you should be voting and trying to get a critical number of people to agree with you. On the other hand, why be miserable? I got stuck on a story once that involved a Boston that had just gone completely down the tubes, and a girl who had a choice of either staying and working to change it or going off to a colony in space. And I got frozen because I couldn't decide what the right answer was.
gentlespirit From: gentlespirit Date: November 8th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I would have been stuck then, too.

Now people are running around spouting "love it, or leave it" again, and I rally hate that. NYU has an underground paper that uses a logo saying "love it, or change it." I wish more people had that attitude, but it's hard to have. Especailly where there are all of things like leaving a childhood home to make your own somewhere else.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
But the question is more complicated than that in the end, because people who don't want to be changed... can they be forced to? In my story, Brigid is one of a very small group of people who's unhappy with the status quo. Is it really hurting anyone that life has lost all of its grace notes? Does she have the right to try and do something like shut down a perfectly legal practice that happens to annoy her? (In this case, she's pushed over the edge because of "pissdips"--open air latrines that people use because they don't feel like going inside. They're made to be perfectly sanitary, and not that many people are apparently bothered by people voiding themselves in public... but it's driving Brigid round the bend. Should she fight to restrict this practice that doesn't bother anyone else because it's destroying a city she loves, or should she just say, "Bugger all" and get on a space ship?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 6th, 2004 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, the nasty truth is that the people talking about moving en masse to Canada could do more toward accomplishing their goals by moving en masse to Ohio and Florida. But that probably wouldn't make anyone happy.
michelle_ravel From: michelle_ravel Date: November 6th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, has anyone considered that we don't want you?
sreya From: sreya Date: November 6th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just had an interesting thought. Most of the people upset enough about the election to be talking about leaving or seceding have a huge beef with the current foreign policy, right?

So, wouldn't leaving the country en masse only ensure that in the NEXT election, their pick STILL won't be elected, and the USA could end up with the same foreign policy continuing, which could STILL affect them even if they lived in another country?

Clearly, this sort of talk has not been thought through to the logical conclusion. < / Spock>
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2004 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. I'm not on their side, but it does occur to me that if they wanted to do something practical, they would arrange, instead of moving en masse to Canada, to move en masse to Ohio and Florida. Make a big liberal cause--get citizenship in the red states before the next census, and outnumber native voters in 2008. (I mean, honestly, you could move half the liberals out of Massachusetts and it would still go Democratic.)

Once that's accomplished, all people running businesses in red states who have blue state politics should pick up stakes and get back to the blue states in time for the 2010 census, bringing the jobs (and population) with them, and thereby giving more electoral votes to the blue states.

I know it's a lot of moving around, but clearly, these aren't folks who have much sentimental attachment to home. May as well be Ohio as Ontario, right?
arclevel From: arclevel Date: November 8th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
*smiles innocently* Really, we'd accomplish a lot more if we just kicked Texas out. They wanted to be their own country in the first place, right?

*ducks rotten fruit*
*tweaks Fern's nose and runs away*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 8th, 2004 07:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Heck, they have their own government because they think Bush is way too liberal. The Republic of Texas. I'm sure it would be lots of fun to have another fanatic oil-producing nation to be at war with...
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