The rest of the world constantly accuses the United States of the worst kind of insensitivity. The consensus is that Americans are rude, insulting and lacking in the most basic of manners. It’s said that the most basic of cultural icons, mores that are vital to a people’s identity, are routinely trampled by the louts from the US.
This does happen sometimes, mainly because some people from the US are too quick to dismiss people from other cultures as naïve. But considering that American culture spans the world it’s to be expected that we can’t keep everything straight all of the time. All of those different ways of dealing with your fellow man, all of those social conventions that we come in contact with, and it’s rather surprising that we do such a good job. I’d like to offer this short post on my personal blog as an example of the conditions that many Americans are exposed to every single day. (Keep in mind that I live in a dull, ordinary Midwest city. It’s so boring here that we refer to it as “Cowtown”, yet I still hear all of these different languages swirling around me every day.)
But the reverse doesn’t seem to be true. Most of the other countries of the world have people who only experience American culture through our media. TV shows and movies, popular music and pr0n. At best this is a gross distortion of America, most often it’s an outright fabrication. Yet people from other cultures are all too ready to accept this packaged fantasy as reality even though it’s thunderously obvious to someone from the US that this is pure entertainment and nothing more.
Remember when I said that some Americans tend to think of people from other countries as being naïve?
This lack of understanding seems to be prevalent the world over, even among the people that share a common language and common values. In this post I discussed the possible outcomes of Canada’s recent election. A great many people, some from Canada, were kind enough to leave comments. Some of them even suggested that, should the elections not go as they hoped, growing discontent might cause Alberta to secede from Canada and become America’s 51st state.
I was inclined to treat this as a joke at first, but the comments made it plain that this was considered a done deal. Put the matter on the ballet in Alberta, vote themselves out of Canada and the next day there’s a new star on Ol’ Glory.
Not gonna happen, guys. No way, no how.
Comments from European intellectuals aside, this isn’t the days of Manifest Destiny when the US was greedily grabbing up as much territory as it could. If it was then we’d simply take what we wanted since the rest of the worlds militaries are in such shabby shape. (Lucky for the rest of you that we got over that little phase, huh?)
So let’s say that Alberta does decide to go it alone. Cut themselves off from the rest of Canada. Then what?
Oil and big rodeos aside, there’s simply no reason why the US would accept a new state. We’d have to be plenty desperate to even consider it. Desperate as in “the only alternative to complete destruction”. And I think that we’re doing pretty well right about now. Instead the best that Alberta could hope for would be to petition the US for protectorate status, like Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.
It’s extremely unlikely that the US would actually accept Alberta as a protectorate state. Everybody would claim that the US had engineered Alberta’s secession as part of a Byzantine plot for total continental domination, so we’d hardly be interested in turning what remains of Canada into our bitter enemies by giving them any proof. But, just for the sake of discussion, let’s say that the US makes this incredibly stupid move. What happens then?
Well, at this point the people and government of Alberta have to prove that they’re worthy of joining the US.
It wouldn’t be a quick process. Think a few decades at the very least. If you’re over 40 when Alberta is accepted as a protectorate then there’s a fair chance that you’d be dead before it would happen.
So that’s what Alberta, or any other province, has in store for it if they decide to go it alone. I doubt that any of this would be news to any politician in Canada, which means that there’s very little chance for any province to take leap off of the edge and actually tell the rest of Canada to stuff it.
Except for those separatists in Quebec. Those guys have never let reality get in the way of their grand vision.