Blue America and 'Greater Canada'
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Ready for the big constitutional convention? The call for a constitutional convention has been around for awhile, but has been heating up recently. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) supports a convention. So does Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Agencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok Sanders: 'Unfair to simply say everything is bad' in Cuba under Castro MORE (R-Fla.). They signed on just days before the Iowa caucus, to appeal to the rising conservative insurgency, perhaps. The old-school establishment wants to pass an amendment for a balanced budget, one of the oldest chestnuts in conservatism, in hopes that constitutional law in itself can legislate a Protestant ethic in an America on the brink of mayhem.


But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the true leader now and in the future of the large swath of America in the middle which has of late entered a unified political and cultural "insurgency" — pollster Pat Caddell's phrase — has bigger, truly inspired, ideas, such as amending the Constitution to allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override Supreme Court decisions. Is Bush signing on to that one? Is Rubio?

I have supported the idea of a convention since 2010, when Virginia Del. James LeMunyon (R) first proposed it in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. And I have a few amendment ideas myself. I'd like to allow the states to form their own foreign policies. During the invasion of Iraq, I suggested that the three northernmost New England states — including the one I live in — send their own representative to the United Nations if they didn't want to participate. John Kenneth Galbraith, still at his desk at Harvard University, thought the idea "wonderfully to the good."

I'd also like to somehow amend the Commerce Clause to allow states, particularly those on the northern border where I live, to deal freely with Canada well beyond NAFTA and current commerce practices, in practically everything, without approval of the Congess. I would call this "sympathetic legislation" and first proposed it here at The Hill in November 2014:

By tweaking the Constitution, states could informally enter into "sympathetic legislation" with places [near but] outside our American borders, but with common sensibility to our regions. Here in the northern counties of New Hampshire and Vermont, we have more in common with Quebec and Ontario than we do with Texas or Arizona, but are limited by federal law in our relationships.

Because in the current environment, the red states, which are experiencing the "insurgency," are generally in sympathy with one another, and generally in opposition to most everything (gun control, gay marriage, etc.) the blue states favor. The blue states are likewise in harmony one with one another, as well, and in opposition to mostly everything in the red states. But the blue states are also in very close harmony with the 10 provinces of Canada in temperament and any blue-state legislation in America will be rejected by the red states, but much of it would be accepted generally by Canadians.

Also from the November 2014 piece:

When Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was governor of California, he proposed a chain of hydrogen stations to be built from southern California north to British Columbia. The Trans-Canada highway would also be a likely place for a chain of hydrogen stations, forming a link from San Diego through Canada, all the way to Boston. These are all largely sympathetic regions and Canada's provincial premiers could well be interested in a joint venture, as would blue state governors below, while red state governors likely would not be.

In a word, culturally, Canada is more blue than red. I suggested to an email friend, Irvin Studin, a fellow at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance and a trickster, therefore, that the northern border states like mine and Canada, together in psychological disposition, form a kind of "Greater Canada."

"Greater Canada exists, for sure," he said. "Most of the upper third of the U.S, is part of it, except [New York City]. We'll take [Florida] also. There are three countries in North America; "Greater Canada," "Greater Mexico" and core USA (the narrow strand in between)."

Well, wow. Where would we, the narrow centermost strand, be without football holding us together? But this is almost a Tolstoyan version of history awakening, meaning that as Leo Tolstoy suggested in his later writings, countries would form and evolve from their own desires and destinies if left alone by politicians; find their own friends, make their own enemies and build their own arts, religions and worlds direct from nature.

"The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government," Tolstoy wrote in "Christianity and Patriotism." "This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists."

And America is at long last finally catching on to the wilderness paradise just above us. (Just one more thing to thank Republican candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE for)

"In September, the digital analytics firm Luminoso found about 4% of 4.5 million Donald Trump-related tweets contained threats to leave the country if the billionaire became president," The Guardian reports. "Of those, 25,000 identified Canada as their intended destination. Since then, comedian and Obama 'anger translator' Keegan-Michael Key has joined the chorus. Even former US defense secretary Robert Gates joked about emigrating if Trump took office."

Blue America is at a crossroads today. Possibly it is permanently outnumbered by red America and faces permanent and hostile total domination. Or a future like the one Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonAgencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok House Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid Sunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses MORE (R), senator from Arkansas and rising star in the GOP, suggested in his maiden speech in Congress last March, when he called for an America bent on "global military dominance."

One alternative might be to look to the Great White North for more sympathetic friendships.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at