How about an American realignment?
After every presidential election these days, the losing side always wants to talk about secession. Even our old buddy Rush Limbaugh mentioned that his friends had broached the topic. Given the outrageous and illegal way Mr. Trump and much of the rest of the country has been treated these last four years, a lot of this is understandable. Nothing ever comes of it, though, just like all those Hollywood phonies who promise to leave the country every time a Republican is elected but never follow through. I think Barbra Streisand was making this same promise back in grade school when Ike won the White House.
But if there's no real hope for secession, which has too much Scarlett O'Hara impracticality associated with it, there is a much better idea: realignment.
If you are a baseball fan, you know that one of the very few things the MLB did right in the last 50 years was realigning the league memberships. Milwaukee fans, being Milwaukee fans, always felt more as though they belonged in the N.L., going back to the days when they had all those great Braves teams with Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, and the gang. Then there was Houston, which never really fit in with old school N.L. franchises, but thrived in the A.L., even before the cheating scandal, mixed in with the other new sun belt teams like the Angels and Rangers.
The NFL, with the AFL merger, also made excellent decisions to even out the number of teams in each conference, moving the relatively new Browns and Colts franchises to the AFC along with the Steelers, who never had a strong NFL identity.
Everybody has been happy with this for decades now. So why not try it with North America?
Let's take the blue parts of America along the East and West Coast and put them in Canada. I mean, it's so obvious, so simple — Canada already is what American liberals have always wanted. Complete government-run health care; gun control; a make-believe military; high taxes; and impossibly snooty, elitist politicians. Even Barack Obama, when he sees the effortless way Justin Trudeau can lift an eyebrow, or stick his nose in the air, just melts with envy. We'll call this new country Canada-America to start with, Can-America for short.
Then, for red America, we will add the Prairie Provinces of Canada, the Yukon, and all of British Columbia except the southwest corner. This is the part of Canada that talks like Sarah Palin; owns all the guns, such as there are; and has no problem with great big machines strip-mining the earth to get all the good stuff, like the Alberta Tar Sands or Tony Beets's gold-mining dredge. We'll call this amalgamation Big America.
Now, to be sure, some areas will fit the plan better than others. Hawaii and Puerto Rico can go to Can-America, easy enough. Big America will have to reserve places like Pearl Harbor and parts of Puget Sound for the military, because let's face it: no way Can-America is going to lift a finger for mutual defense. Big America will have to do this.
Blue places like Detroit and New England — i.e., everything east of the Hudson, can shift easily. But some blue places won't and can't be realigned, like the big cities of the Midwest, South Florida, etc. So there will have to be a reciprocal program to help move residents who want to go onto each other's side. This may not be so difficult.
Republicans in New Hampshire, for example, could move to Richmond, Virginia and bring all the Minuteman statues Can-America won't want and put them up on the now empty Monument Avenue.
And a lot of residents in north St. Louis and the southside of Chicago, I am sure, will be giddy with excitement about moving to towns like Boston or Cambridge to enjoy all the wonderful arts and cultural opportunities there for the taking.
Some moves may not even have to be very far. The dividing line in Los Angeles could be somewhere around Knotts Berry Farm, and many Republicans in places like Holmby Hills already have a beach house or yacht slip down in Laguna, so there you go.
Finally, it's important to remember, Big America will be just that, because it only makes sense. A lot of Can-America, south of the old border, is only going to be a strip of land about ten miles wide to connect it all. After all, Big America is going to have to take on all the responsibilities for the Western world, while Can-America mooches off us, like another Germany.
Big America also gets to keep historic places like Washington, D.C. But who cares? What does blue America want with a whole city of memorials to people they hate, like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln? We would also keep California north of the Bay area, as it's already mostly red, and for some reason, the lefties insist that forest fires should burn it all down. Under realignment, they will just have to content themselves with burning down Portland, Oregon.
But there are huge advantages on the other side as well, especially for blue celebrities. As Canadians, they would qualify for all those royal show biz honors and titles the Brits love to hand out. Much better than some little Oscar statuette. You could have a Grand Dame Whoopi Goldberg Commander of the British Empire or a Sir Harvey Weinstein, Knight of the Garter — once he gets out of prison, of course.
Perhaps the real beauty of this realignment plan is that it doesn't take any constitutional changes. Congress has done minor boundary changes with Mexico over the years with little fuss. Merely ceding some land to another country with state permission or admitting a new state, for that matter, can be done with a simple congressional majority.
Realignment might just be the amicable divorce everyone in North America can get behind. At the very least, it's sure a lot more fun to talk about than another seminar on Mark Levin's Article V convention.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.
Image: Chris Dodds via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.