All of this raises an interesting question: whether the greatestrnthreat to the United States is not secessionism but expansionism,rnnot states wanting out, but whole regions wanting in. Norndirect assault on American sovereignty is likely to succeed; ifrnour old Republic is overthrown, it will be death bv submersionrnin a “multicultural” continentalism. Although such a merger orrnseries of mergers would shift the political center of the countryrndccisivelv to the left, the Republicans would not only playrnalong, but would doubtless lead the way. Amid jingoist displays,rnappeals to “national security,” soaring rhetoric about “thernfuture,” and the glories of hi-tech, free trade, and the global society,rnthe American identity would be quietly suffocated andrndiscreeriy buried, without ceremony, beneath the avalanche ofrnfreshly minted American citizens, millions of instant immigrantsrnwho did not have to lift a finger for their new-won entitlements.rnhi his mournful elegy for fractured Canada, Lamont writesrnthat this terrible tragedy should “send the world a message ofrndespair,” for if Canada, long the model “multiethnic society,”rncannot survive, “the obvious question is, who can?” The lessonrnfor the United States, he says, is ominous, for “if Canada, withrnmore than a century of democratic governance, cannot hold, sornthe thinking in Washington goes, it raises questions aboutrnAmerica’s ability to hold its own sprawling union together:rn’What then of Alaska, Hawaii, and other remote American territoriesrnwhere there is potential for independence movenrents?’rna senior diplomat asks.”rnFar from admitting any new states to the union, we mightrnconsider getting rid of a few. Hawaii should never have beenrnadmitted to begin with; aside from the sordid history of America’srnconquest of the I lawaiian kingdom, it is a net drain on thernU.S. Treasury. The same is true for Puerto Rico and all our otherrnfar-flung “dependencies.” As for the Alaskans: if they wantrnout, how will we keep them in? And regarding the Spanishspeakingrnsecessionists in the American Southwest, Ijamontrnscolds the Americans for not having listened when “responsiblernCanadians warned Americans that the United States was notrnimmune to the stresses tearing Canada apart.”rnBut it is not too late, hitcrnationalism is the creed of thernelites, but the people hate it. The cartographers of Cascadia,rnfloating in cyberspace, are free to map out any future they canrnimagine. But the mindset of the policy-wonks in downtownrnSeattle is far removed from that of the ordinary Northwesterner,rna point brought home to mc at a Seattle gym. I had justrnjoined, and it was my first workout. My former gym in SanrnFrancisco had marked the weights in kilograms, instead ofrnpounds. At a loss, I asked the young lady on the next bench arnseemingly innocent question: “Are these weights in kilogramsrnor pounds?” Narrowing her eyes, she looked at me with utterrncontempt, and snarled: “This is America, buddy. Wc don’trnhave any kilograms around herel” As she strode away, I smiledrnto myself, and thought: i stand corrected. <-•rnPoemsrnby Tim MurphyrnBuffalo Commons Nothing Goes to WasternIn Antler, Reeder,rnRyder and Streeter,rnstray dogs bristlernwhen strangers pass.rnhi Brocket, Braddock,rnMaddoek and Wheelockrndry winds whistlernthrough broken glass.rnThe steeples are toppledrnand the land unpeopled,rnreclaimed by thistlernand buffalo grass.rnRearing on spindly legsrna pair of famished stagsrnnibble our apple twigsrnwhile does heavy witli fawnrnfile from the woods at dawnrnand tiptoe across the lawnrnto feast on orchard mastrnscattered in harvest hasternbefore the first hard frost.rnNothing goes to waste.rn26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn