usa, (the biggest island in the world), closing borders to our sweet hosers in the north


by estherrosen

art by ivy babson

On an unassuming Monday afternoon in late August (yes, I was in Canada on the first day of classes, let’s move on), I pulled up to the US border at Highgate Springs to return to my home sweet U.S.-of-A. 

Except something was different– I wasn’t cruising through at my usual 30 miles an hour, waving my American passport at the border patrol like some form of international diplomatic immunity. This time I had to wait. Like, a while. What was this? Where was my American exceptionalism? 

After a harrowing interview during which the agent asked me where I went to school (UVM), what I study (English and film, reply: “what are you gonna do with that?”), where my parents live, what they do, and where my grandma stays, I was finally allowed entry into my own nation.

There was a fleeting feeling of victory that the system had worked in my favor, followed by the shocking realization: oh, shit. We’re gonna close this border, too. 

It’s no secret that the current president is isolationist (as an understatement), as he continually shoots barbs at international leaders by tweeting at the president of Iran in the middle of the night, putting 60 billion dollars in trade tariffs on China into place, withdrawing from UN agreements, and straight up insulting whatever leader’s name he happened to learn that day. His admiration for autocrats and dictators like Kim Jong-Un and good old Vlad has somewhat inspired him to try to make the United States the biggest island on the planet. 

There is, however, one problem with that: the United States, to the north and south, is landlocked. 

Now, closing the southern border isn’t really groundbreaking news. It’s always been on the radar as a political issue, and a deep disdain for Mexico and Mexicans was one of the key platforms that got His Orangeness into office in the first place. But ever since we conquered Canada in the War of 1812, it’s been a reliable weekend destination for 18-year-olds in New England so they can go to bars and pretend to be grown-ups. I, like the real adult I am, frequently visit my family just a couple hours away in Montreal.

It seems only natural that the Pee-Pee Man would close both borders. He’s already campaigned vigorously for that stupid fence along the Mexican border, and now he’s turning his attention to our poor, sweet hosers to the north. For one, Canada has matched and exceeded our social progressiveness over the last decade, with the election of former male-Paris Hilton, Justin Trudeau, legalizing same-sex marriage, marijuana, socializing health care, and just generally being better people. Cars turning left stop for pedestrians there. It’s insane. 

Everyone knows the Blob-in-Chief has a major inferiority complex; so his natural reaction to someone outdoing him is to shut it down. And with Canada flourishing just a short border away as American democracy as we know it crumbles, the only way this man can compensate is to do just that: shut Canada down. 

He’s already taken steps to villainize our allies to the north by tweeting about human-marble-sculpture Trudeau and by isolating them by threatening to exclude Canada from the rehaul of NAFTA, the North American Trade Agreement (so it would just be the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement, and I’m fairly certain we already have one of those). These actions would have major repercussions regarding generic drug laws, dairy, and other major players in our little North American economic ecosystem. 

If the United States follows through on these threats, we can kiss our regular jaunts to Montreal for formals and binge weekends goodbye. It might not be a literal wall like down at the Mexican border, but it’s at least an hour wait trying to get back into the country. Is that worse?

Categories: esther rosen, news


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