Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Blast From the Past That Is Not So Past

TC LP Commentary: 1  Published on the Twin Cities Labor Party website in the late 1990s during Clinton time, re-published here with slight modifications.

In the spirit of Jonathan Swift, who suggested that the rich eat poor children so as to reduce the population in sad old industrial England, I make this suggestion -- perhaps with the tongue not quite so far in the cheek.

A Less Modest Proposal:

If you remember about a year ago, the lodge owners of the Lake of the Woods on the Minnesota side of the border were upset that fishing restrictions in Canada had decreed fisherman catching Canadian fish had to stay in Canada one night.  To protest this, and perhaps to circumvent this rule, a small group of inhabitants of the northern triangle poking into Canada decided they wanted to leave the United States and join Canada.

The Secret Country Just North - yeah, its up there...
The press swarmed around to cover this tiny can of worms, so to speak.  Reporters interviewed each disgruntled lodge owner and threw barbed comments at the Canadians for their protectionist fish.  Let us eat fish, as it were, no matter their nationality ... I suggest the Twin Cities Labor Party take a similar tack, though not with quite so short a line or tiny a boat. 

Minnesota -- from the north-flowing Red River to the St. Croix, from the Mississippi to the Minnesota River, from Lake Superior to the cold Boundary Waters, from the invisible line across the southern farms of the state to the invisible line along much of the northern part of the state -- should secede from the United States and join Canada. 

My father was a Canadian and my parents were married there.  Like others in Minnesota, the country up there is no stranger to us here.  We spend their money, pretending it is US money, and sneakily getting the same value for it.  We visit their folk festivals and lakes and shiver from their crumby weather.  Their lumber flows across our borders and builds our homes.  They even sound like us -- most can’t tell the difference between a Winnipeg accent and a Minneapolis one.  Let’s face it, Minnesota is just proto-Canada, lower Canada.

Let’s make it official.  Indeed, they have a better Social Security system than we do -- it is not yet in danger of being privatized.  Their health care system, poorly aped by Minnesota Care, is the best in North America and perhaps all of America.  Their public sector is not quite so starved for funds as ours.  Their public TV and radio has been around far longer than ours and is of higher quality.  Their labor movement is not quite so passive and demoralized.  We in the TC Labor Party want single-payer health insurance and this is the way to get it!  We would be blessed with a smaller military budget, with a life and car insurance system supported by the government and with a ready-made Labor Party, (yes, with all it’s problems) the New Democratic Party (NDP). 

The slaves in the 1860s escaped from the United States to go to Canada, as it was the real terminus of the Underground Railroad.  The draft opponents who moved to Canada in the 60s-70s made it a more civil society.  We should look in the same direction as they did.  Although the progressive impulses of the Civil War and Depression have been long quiet until the ‘60s and early ‘70s, the new wage slaves should escape and go north to the “drinking gourd” as it were, and join the Canadian federation as a new province, the Province of Minnesota.  Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire should be next, then Washington and Oregon and even California, and perhaps North Dakota and Michigan.  We could lead a movement to have most of America secede from the new Confederacy centered in Washington D.C., Arlington & McClean, Virginia; and Texas and the former slave states.  Among other things, send the undemocratic electoral college, the Supreme Court and the Senate packing. 

Our State should vote with its feet -- succession is really a good way to end the tight embrace of corporatism.  Let’s let the U.S. government know we’ve about had it.

December 20, 2016
Red Frog

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