Item #38 on the Things To Read pile is Stephen Clarkson’s new book Does North America Exist?, a post-9/11 and post-NAFTA look at whether North America can be said to now “exist” in the same way that Europe exists — as a set of political and economic institutions that might provide the foundations for a new North American identity.
Yet without even reading a word I think I can safely say that the answer to Clarkson’s titular question is No. I wrote something on this almost two years ago now for the magazine, lamenting the failure of something approximating a new North American identity to get an traction in this country – predictions of a new Here turned out to be far too premature.
To understand just how premature, consider this story — probably the single biggest non-Obama story to come out of the lower portions of this continent last week, and which has gone almost completely unremarked by the press or by our elected officials. Imagine if, say, a plane carrying Rob Nicholson or Stockwell Day were to crash into Rockliffe Park, killing a dozen or so government officials and more on the ground. And imagine if it happened against the backdrop of the government fighting a major domestic insurgency. That is, what if there was at least some reason to suspect they had been assassinated by criminal gangs. You’d think that this would be newsworthy to our NAFTA partners, no?
UPDATE: Reader Clarence S points out the Current did a show on this. Link here.
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