Last week, Great Britain’s revocation of our independence made the Internet rounds. (We were being re-annexed in light of ‘[our] failure to elect a President of the USA and thus to govern [ourselves].’)
Our very own John Bakke, faithful reader, has a counter-proposal (edited slightly, to avoid an international incident).
Counter-proposal to subjects of the English monarchy
We, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more amusing union, hereby extend an offer to the people of that quaint little island known as England (or Great Britain, or whatever) to become our 51st state. Given your reluctance to embrace full European unity, along with the challenges of competing economically on your own, this would seem to be an ideal step forward for you. There are numerous benefits.
1. Your government may remain mostly intact. Each of our states has its own administration, and if you want to continue under a Parliamentary system and call your governor a ‘Prime Minister’ . . . well, we think that would be very cute and would encourage you to do so. Your laws would need to jibe with our Constitution, but we expect that you would enjoy having actual rights under the law, for a change.
2. You can keep the royals. Of course, the Windsor family would have no actual legal standing, but let’s face it, they don’t count for all that much now. Their value as a tourist attraction is unquestioned, though, and we expect Disney will greatly enhance their appeal once it assumes administration of the various palaces and castles. You should feel free to bow or curtsey or do headstands or turn cartwheels or whatever nonsense you think they’ll find amusing when you meet, but as citizens and not subjects you need no longer feel obliged.
3. A clean break from Europe. Admit it: you’re dying for this. Yes, it’s a shame you can’t manage it on your own, but get over it. However, as America’s trading gateway to the continent, your economy would soon be booming.
4. Minimal cultural impact. For those of you worried that your streets will be filled with American fast-food franchises, your cinemas filled with mindless American movies, we would suggest that you take a look around. It’s already happened, and it ain’t going away. As for language, you should preserve your charming accents and even spell or pronounce words however you like. We’re not sticklers for that sort of thing.
5. Superpower status. The Empire isn’t coming back, so this might be the next best thing. Over here, we’d be happy to see you take over the American involvement in NATO. Over there, you would probably enjoy having the French and Germans bluster and whine about your clumsy leadership in the alliance, but falling into line like little puppies when you finally get around to deciding what should be done. It’s really good fun, once you get the hang of it.
6. Your own stamp! Sadly, the pound must go. You can migrate to the dollar gradually, but look on the bright side: at least it isn’t the Euro, whose paper notes feature drawings of imaginary places because there would never be agreement about which country’s cities or leaders should be on which denominations. We’ll even put an English historical figure on a new note or coin (Churchill is the only one we know, but you can take your pick). We can’t allow any royalty on our currency, alas, but there’s no reason we can’t put the Queen and family onto postage stamps.
If you’re reluctant to go for full statehood, we might be able to work out something like the deal we give other island dependencies, such as Puerto Rico or Samoa. But we think you’ll enjoy having your own representatives in Congress, fighting to have useless Federal projects established in the State of England to boost your local economy. And we know you’ll love participating every four years in the world’s most important election. You don’t even need any particular voting equipment — any outdated system you already have will suffice. Just fax in your vote totals whenever you can agree on them.
Quote of the Day
A veteran Massachusetts politician not so long ago was horrified at the conduct of a less savvy colleague who was indicted for bribery: 'Imagine taking money from a stranger.'~Wall Street Journal, 10/14/93
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