Term-limited Mexican President Vicente Fox was visiting Utah yesterday, purportedly on a "trade mission." I have my doubts. Is it merely a coincidence that Vicente Fox has rumoredly programmed on his iPod songs like: "Don't Fence Me In," "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land," "Home on the Range" and "America the Beautiful"?
I suppose if he was asked, he would say that someone has to sing those songs, and obviously Americans refuse to sing them anymore. There was a time when young Americans would climb up on their horses and sing "Don't Fence Me In." But now they just slouch into their overstuffed chairs and watch "American Idol."
Consider, when American politicians are thinking of running for president, they go up to New Hampshire to test the waters, but purportedly to talk to the three or four college students or maple sap collectors up there. Now Vicente is up in Utah on a "trade mission." I think Vicente may be thinking of trading in the presidency of Mexico for the presidency of the United States.
And it's not a bad idea. After all, he has proven to be very effective at sealing his southern border from unwanted illegal immigrants. But more importantly, he has proven to be a genius at moving his population northward. I think it is a time for him to provide the same leadership for us.
Americans have always needed new frontiers to explore and develop. Ever since we made it to the Pacific there has been a sense of completion to our story. As Frederick Jackson Turner argued: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."
But why only westward? Why not Northward? Perhaps it is time to unleash our restless frontier spirit. Where better than to Canada? And who better to lead us than Vicente Fox?
After all, Canada is virtually empty. There are less than 30 million Canadians in over 3.9 million square miles. It's bigger than the United States and largely undeveloped. Plus, bin Laden doesn't seem to care about Canada. We will no longer be in the bull's eye. Let the Mexican/New Americans deal with him.
We Americans could build the malls, golf courses and high-tech corridors that Canadians refuse to build. No civilized people care about technical borders anymore. It's so possessive and stingy. Only fussy Canadian nativists and xenophobes will complain that Canada is theirs. Yeah? You and what National Guard? There are 300 million of us and only 30 million of you. Get used to it. Plus, we already speak your language. Or, technically, we both already speak England's language.
It's true there are some pesky French up there. But Americans know how to deal with bothersome local tribes who don't know their place. We'll put the French on reservations and let them run gambling casinos. After all, didn't the French invent the croupier? Think of policeman Louis Renault in "Casablanca" only pretending to be shocked at the fact of gambling going on at Rick's Place.
We should think of these great migrations as a hemispheric tummy tuck and breast lift. The new World has been sagging toward its southern pouch. By moving Mexicans to the United States and Americans to Canada, the hemisphere will have a more athletic-looking distribution of pulchritude.
Anyway, we have largely finished our work in the lower 48 states. Consider Detroit, Cleveland and Trenton, N.J. -- what more can we do down here?
Now, some may argue that it's awfully cold in Canada. But that is where global warming comes in. Al Gore could run as vice president with Vicente Fox. Gore knows how to be vice president -- and he knows all about global warming.
He can help us lay out the new United States of Canada. With global warming hitting hard in about eight years, according to Al Gore, Nova Scotia and New Foundland will be our new Florida -- thousands of miles of semi-tropical coastland.
Admittedly we will have to change the second stanza of Newfoundland's "national" anthem:
"When spreads thy cloak of shimm'ring white, At winter's stern command, Thro' shortened day and starlit night, We love thee frozen land, We love thee, we love thee, We love thee frozen land."
But if the Mexican/New Americans can change our anthem to "Jose can you see," we Amer/New Canadians can change a few verses in our new land, too.
Meanwhile, with global warming, Hudson's Bay will become our new Chesapeake Bay -- except immensely larger. We will set up 500 miles of oyster beds and corner the world crab market. The Canadians have just really done nothing with the world's largest bay. (You know, it's almost as big as the Gulf of Mexico.)
We could build our naval academy up in Coral Harbour (we will have to drop the "U" in harbour), which leads conveniently out to the Labrador Sea, and thence to the Atlantic.
For surfing we will have British Columbia, which will become our New California once global warming has done its providential work. Simon Fraser University will be like UCLA in the 1950s. Apple-cheeked, athletic, young students will be able to drive 20 minutes to the beach to take in some good surfing before finishing up their engineering studies.
The Neocons will be happy, too. Perhaps it's America's destiny to move every couple hundred years and spread liberty-loving, highly creative capitalist civilization around the world. We can't do empires as long as the State Department and the Pentagon are running things -- they are too bureaucratic to spread the spirit of Americanism.
But after a 21st Century American Canada, we will continue on across the Bering Strait into another largely empty, globally warmed land of opportunity -- Siberia. After that, the 23rd Century could find us bringing civilization past Nordic and into Finland, Sweden and the semi-tropic Nordic States, which are also stuck in a pre-Enlightenment dullness.
If only mankind had got rid of borders centuries ago, the world would long ago have been a better, safer place. You think?