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Interior Secretary: Let’s Build Trump’s Wall In Mexico

border-warning-notice

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is making the rather surprising suggestion that the United States should build Donald Trump’s border wall on Mexican territory:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday said America can’t give away the Rio Grande to Mexico in the process of building President Trump’s signature border wall, implying the structure could wind up standing partially on Mexican land.

“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” he said during a speech to the Public Land Council in Washington D.C., according to E&E News.

“The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

Zinke reportedly conceded that the administration could instead rely on electronic defenses or could skip building the wall in certain areas where terrain may make crossing improbable.

Thanks to a 1970 treaty negotiated between the United States and Mexico, the middle of the Rio Grande serves as the boundary in some places. That treaty, as well as the natural shifts of the river, served as a stumbling block to previous attempts to build border fencing and could complicate the Trump administration’s push for a wall.

Trump made the construction of a border wall to stem the flow of illegal immigration a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. Once in the Oval Office, Trump almost immediately signed an executive order calling for the wall to be built and the Department of Homeland Security has requested proposals.

However, the plan is likely to face a difficult path. Sen. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who plays a major role on the Appropriations Committee, told reporters that congressional leadership is likely to agree on a government spending bill soon and would rather deal with that funding as a supplemental bill later.

To be honest, this is an issue that I haven’t even considered until now when the subject of the wall has come up in the past. In part, that’s because I continue to believe that we’re not actually going to see a “wall” constructed at all and that all we’ll really see will be something that amounts to enhancing the security of areas where we’ve already built a fence along the border, an expansion in the use of electronic surveillance and other methods to make up for the fact that Border Patrol agents can’t be in two places at once, and an increase in Border Patrol surveillance in others. We’re unlikely to see the ‘big, beautiful’ wall that Trump spoke about throughout his campaign quite simply because the existing border fence in the areas where border crossings have been most prevalent, and the impracticalities of constructing such a structure in many parts of the U.S.-Mexican border. Add into that the fact that Trump’s claim that he’s going to get Mexico to pay for this boondoggle is utter nonsense, and it was quite easy to ignore the entire thing. Zinke’s comments make it seem as though they’re actually going to try do this, so we’re all going to have to think about it at some point.

In any case, as the linked article notes, by the terms of a treaty that is now more than forty years old the border between the United States and Mexico runs in the middle of the Rio Grande. Putting the wall on the southern side of the river means building the wall on Mexican territory, which would essentially amount to an act of war barred by international treaty and international law. If you think the Mexicans reacted badly to the idea of paying for Trump’s Wall, that would be nothing compared to the protests that would likely erupt in Mexican cities over the idea that the United States is going to invade their country and steal their territory. And they would be absolutely right to be upset about it.

If nothing else, this proves just how impractical and idiotic Trump’s Wall is. Not only won’t it actually stop people from coming here illegally, but it would ruin our relationship with one of our closest trading partners, perhaps irreparably. If Congress is smart, which is admittedly a big ‘if,’ they’ll tell Trump to forget about this silly, even dangerous, idea and move on to real immigration reform. Don’t count on it, though.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    You really can’t make up how stupid Republicans have become.
    Is it something in the water?
    Does years of rank hypocrisy cause it?
    Did years of ignoring facts, stick?
    Hard to figure…but the level of abject stupidity is amazing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  2. wr says:

    If Americans attempted to construct the wall on Mexican soil, couldn’t the Mexican government arrest them? And if they actually managed to erect anything, couldn’t the Mexican government just tear it down and dump the pieces on the American side?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  3. @wr:

    As a legal matter, I’d say the answer to both your questions is “yes.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  4. milprof says:

    To be charitable to ZInke, isn’t a plausible read that he is acknowledging exactly this problem rather than seriously proposing we build on Mexican soil? I.e., he says, “not on our riverbank, not in the middle…” then concedes maybe where terrain precludes, “wall” would mean sensors, not a physical barrier.

    I hate to be charitable to this admin and I think the wall is a dumb idea, but none of the reports I’ve seen quote Zinke as actually saying, “so we’ll make the Mexicans take it on *their* side of the river”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  5. Franklin says:

    @wr:

    If Americans attempted to construct the wall on Mexican soil, couldn’t the Mexican government arrest them?

    Ha! You’re under the impression that our protectionist President who lambasts any company that moves jobs overseas will actually employ Americans to build the wall!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @milprof: Yeah, I think this may actually be Zinke trying to get through to Trump that this wall idea is a damn silly idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. legion says:

    If nothing else, this proves just how impractical and idiotic Trump’s Wall is.

    No, what this proves is how amazingly unqualified for their positions Trump’s choices for high office are, and how much of a laughing stock they’ve made us. If other nations actually took the US seriously any more, this would tantamount to a threat of invasion & war – voiced by the Secretary of the Interior, no less! But we’re such a joke now that Mexico knows anything said by our government is to be ignored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. Alex says:

    Note that if you do build the wall on US soil, you have the additional problem that most of that American soil is privately owned. You’re going to have to expropriate a lot of that property, which is expensive and likely to result in court battles that drag on for years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  9. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:
  10. Jen says:

    I asked precisely this question during the campaign to anyone who yammered on about this wall being a good idea–where will it be built?

    The issue with the Rio Grande has been in the news for years. Ranchers truly hate how the border issue impedes on their ability to access the river as it is now, and there are still lawsuits going on from when Bush tried to increase border security with the secure fence act in 2006 because, amusingly enough, the government had to use eminent domain to take property in some stretches.

    “How much more ridiculous can we get?” seems to be the way in which these people are governing. Or attempting to govern, as it were.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. Moosebreath says:

    How long until the Trump Administration realizes that they cannot take Mexican real estate by eminent domain?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  12. Jen says:

    @Alex: Yes–and see the link in my comment above–there are still lawsuits in the courts from the last time this was somewhat tried.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. Gavrilo says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Zinke reportedly conceded that the administration could instead rely on electronic defenses or could skip building the wall in certain areas where terrain may make crossing improbable.

    Nowhere in the excerpted paragraphs or in the actual article does Zinke ever suggest building the wall in Mexico. You are pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  14. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Alex:

    You’re going to have to expropriate a lot of that property

    Yeah…but he just gave away a bunch of US citizens property to the Keystone pipeline…so clearly he doesn’t have a problem with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  15. Scott says:

    @Alex: Eminent domain proceedings have begun in Texas and they are not popular. People have owned this land along the Rio Grande for generations, even before Texas joined the union. Unfortunately, these are not wealthy landowners. In addition, there are ecological issues involving migratory species (they somehow can’t read the border signs).

    I think Texas, in general, is going to have more issues with Trump as time goes on. Border wall, border taxes and trade, focus on coal vs oil and gas, etc. Right now, Trump is on the wrong side of Texas interests and only ideology is keeping that papered over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  16. Jen says:

    @Gavrilo: The headline on the Hill piece says “hints” and the article says that he “implied” that’s what would happen. So let’s look at this–

    Zinke said:

    “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

    There are only two conclusions that you can reach from this statement. One, he is implying that it will be built in Mexico (if not A, and not B, then C).

    Or, two, he is implying that it won’t be built at all anywhere near the Rio Grande (not A, not B. I’m ignoring the “probably” because building a wall through the middle of a river would not only be very expensive, it would be mired in lawsuits for forever.)

    I’m guessing you feel it’s option 2. People in the room apparently thought he meant option 1.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Gavrilo:
    You voted for Trump, and you are calling anyone pathetic?

    “I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me –and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

    They [Mexico] don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall. On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall.

    “I love the poorly educated.”

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  18. CSK says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    And didn’t Trump also say he’d repeal and replace Obamacare on his first day in office?

    You know exactly how this is going to play out. There isn’t going to be any border wall. Ever.

    What will be interesting to see is who Trump and the Trumpkins blame for this. It certainly won’t be Trump’s fault, because nothing ever is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. Gavrilo says:

    @Jen:

    The Hill wasn’t in the room. They were quoting a website called E&E News. This is what they reported:

    At the same time, Zinke suggested the wall would not be as big or impassible as the president believes is necessary to stop illegal immigrants.

    “The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” he said. “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

    Electronic defenses may be more appropriate in some areas, Zinke said. Others with imposing physical features may not require additional reinforcements.

    The clear implication is that a physical wall will not be built in some areas. They will either rely on electronic devices or the natural terrain. Again, nowhere does Zinke suggest building a wall in Mexican territory. This is a hack job by The Hill and Doug fell for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  20. Mr. Bluster says:

    Gavrilo says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 14:40
    Gary Johnson doesn’t know what “Aleppo” is.
    Jill Stein doesn’t know the difference between Cincinnati and Columbus
    Hillary Clinton doesn’t know that emails marked with a “(C)” means Confidential.
    Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about anything.
    We’re fwcked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. Jen says:

    @Gavrilo: Yes, I read the E&E piece, whenever possible I go to the originating source.

    The physical wall never had a chance of being built in some areas, particularly the Rio Grande. Anyone with a lick of common sense knows this. Which means that the area around the Rio Grande will remain just as porous as it is right now–there is literally nothing the government can do about it, short of shutting ranchers off from the river completely by building a physical wall within US borders. A river is not an “imposing physical feature,” it can be traversed, and frequently is.

    The Hill’s piece isn’t so much a hack job as it is mildly sarcastic commentary on why anyone believed that a contiguous physical wall could or would be built.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  22. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Gavrilo:

    This is a hack job by The Hill and Doug fell for it.

    Spoken by someone who is realizing he voted for a failure…buyers remorse is setting in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. michael reynolds says:

    Slowly it dawns on Republicans that a wall must necessarily cede the Rio Grande to Mexico.

    Here’s my helpful suggestion: let’s sell the river to Mexico. Then Trump can use the money to build his wall and thus will have made Mexico ‘pay’ for it. We get smaller, Mexico gets bigger, they get water, and we get an excellent canvas for graffiti.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    You really can’t make up how stupid Republicans have become.

    One assumes politicians lie because they need to to get elected but that they know and will act on reality. As you say, that does not appear to be true for Republicans. As I’ve commented before – conservatives believe their own bullshit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    Gallup is out with their latest 3-day tracking poll, which shows Comb-over Donnie at 35% approval and 59% disapproval…a delta of 24%.
    His RCP average is at 41.8% and dropping.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html
    The trend does not look good for fan-boys like Gravilo.
    Look for the Cheeto-Jebus to start a war any day now, to cover for the abject failure of his first 70 days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  26. Gavrilo says:

    @Jen:

    I don’t disagree with you. There are certainly places along the southern border where building a wall is impossible/impractical. And, if this article was about how Zinke was contradicting Trump’s campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” I would be fine with that. But, it’s not. The Hill reporter who wrote this article is supposedly a straight news reporter and The Hill is not known for “mildly sarcastic commentary.” This is a hit piece that falsely claims the Secretary of the Interior said something he never said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  27. James Pearce says:

    @Gavrilo:

    They will either rely on electronic devices or the natural terrain. Again, nowhere does Zinke suggest building a wall in Mexican territory.

    How long do you expect the rest of us to call these “electronic devices” and “natural terrain” a “wall?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  28. gVOR08 says:

    I continue to believe that we’re not actually going to see a “wall” constructed at all and that all we’ll really see will be something that amounts to enhancing the security of areas where we’ve already built a fence…

    Oh, I don’t know. I expect to see a few hundred yards of big, beautiful wall for photo ops.

    If Mexico is going to pay for the wall, shouldn’t they own it, and have possession of it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Franklin says:

    @Jen:

    I’m guessing you feel it’s option 2. People in the room apparently thought he meant option 1.

    Now that I’ve read the statement in quote, I would also vote option 2, and I think this is Zinke quietly trying to roll back the fake promises his boss got elected on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  30. Franklin says:

    @Jen:

    I’m guessing you feel it’s option 2. People in the room apparently thought he meant option 1.

    Now that I’ve read the statement in context, I would also vote option 2, and I think this is Zinke quietly trying to roll back the fake promises his boss got elected on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. michael reynolds says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    We should pity the Trump voters.

    1) They aren’t getting rid of Obamacare.
    2) They aren’t getting their wall.
    3) No, Trump does not have a plan to wipe out ISIS in 30 days.
    4) Coal mining jobs are not coming back.
    5) No we are not ‘restoring’ American prestige, we’re annihilating it.
    6) The big infrastructure bill is nowhere to be seen.

    They went to rallies and howled at the moon for all those things, and they’re getting nothing except some extra nastiness to undocumented people. Breaking up Latino families? Yes. Anything else? Nope.

    On the other hand, it still looks like I may get a nice tax cut. And I know big tax cuts for Hillary supporters was a major priority. Right?

    Trump started out so big in these people’s imaginations, but we know now he’s the incredible shriveling president. He spends his time watching Fox and Friends, playing golf and conducting an inept cover-up of his own corruption with Russian money-launderers.

    Sad. Low energy. Losers.

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  32. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: Similar with England’s fit of pique and Brexit.

    I don’t think that the Brexiteers are going to get the results they wanted……but by the time they discover they’ve left the EU and STILL are dealing with the same old problems, it will be too late.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  33. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We should pity the Trump voters.

    Naw…they were warned that they were being stupid…that they didn’t have a replacement of O-Care, that they couldn’t build the wall, that they weren’t going to wipe out ISIS, that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. But, in true Dunning-Kruger fashion, they knew better. They knew that the Mango-Mussolini was going to be the answer to all of their problems.
    So no…I don’t pity them. They will get what they deserve. I pity all the people who are getting shafted by the Comb-over Clown and his administration of jesters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. george says:

    The article I read on it, in group supporting the national park system, seemed to think he was saying the wall wouldn’t be built in some areas (they were hoping that included the huge national park along the Rio Grande) – and apparently they have support of the (Republican) governor and local congress critter. The option of building in Mexico was included as the impossible other option, to make it clear that no wall was wanted or needed in that part.

    Though apparently most local Republicans are against the wall anyway, since it means the gov’t taking away private citizen’s land, and they don’t seem to like that from Republican or Democratic gov’ts … it seems personal property outranks political allegiance.

    As much as its fun (and typically right on the mark) to laugh at Trump and most of his people, in this case that would seem to be the most likely read – just another of Trump’s admin having to slowly walk back one of his statements. I’d say they’re getting better at it too – practice makes perfect I suspect – since they’ve now switched the attention to a non-issue (building the wall on the Mexican side) instead of concentrating on how they’re having to back track (yet again) on Trump’s promises.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. grumpy realist says:

    Ooooh, this is cute. Spicy is claiming that Trump was a “leader” in getting Brexit realized.

    Considering how the tabloids feel about Trump, I expect that this will tick off even more Brits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. CSK says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    You know, it’s possible that they never really wanted the wall, the repeal of Ocare, and all the stuff he promised them. What they really wanted was a buffoon/ignoramus/oaf/charlatan who’d annoy the “elites.”

    Well, that they got. In multiples.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. SenyorDave says:

    I’ve been thinking about the Russian connections and how the GOP is going all in on blocking investigations. As bad as the Republicans have been in my lifetime (I’m 58), it has taken the election of Trump for the GOP to reach a new level: a party where some senior elements seem to be traitors. I guess there is the remotest chance that the Russian connections of Trump and virtually all of his inner circle are coincidences, but without a thorough investigation we will never know. IMO, Nunes, Ryan and the rest of the shitbags who are now actively working to block investigations are traitors to this country. As far as I am concerned if it turns out the Russian connections point to direct interference in the election on behalf of Trump, he and his people are no better than Aldrich Ames or Jonathon Pollard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. Terrye Cravens says:

    Daily Kos had a post about this and apparently the man is saying there will be no wall on the river. You just have to read the whole statement. He is pretty much saying Trump is not going to get the wall he promised because there is no way to make it happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You forget to add the part about how he gets out of bed (or wherever) at three a.m. to start posting loony diktats on Twitter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Mr. Bluster says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:..So no…I don’t pity them. They will get what they deserve.

    For what it’s worth…
    Who knows what havoc the exercise of their franchise will wreak on the sane citizens of this country in the meantime? I can’t predict the future and I’m not taking any chances.
    What’s to stop President Pud from turning that prick Sessions loose so he can send the Republican Storm Troopers to raid pot dispensaries?
    Paranoia strikes deep
    I made an unplanned Colorado Candy run over the weekend.
    Sunday on a westbound I-70 overpass in the vicinity of KC MO there they were. A dozen or so of America’s Trump Chumps with balloons and “We Support Trump” signs yelling and screaming at the cars below as they sped by.
    Into your life it will creep
    My drug addled brain immediately summoned up the “Blues Brothers” scene where Jake and Elwood run Illinois Nazis off a bridge with the Bluesmobile.
    Stop children what’s that sound?
    everybody look what’s goin’ down!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. Gustopher says:

    Let’s make the wall something interesting and awesome — how about getting a well known Chinese dissident artist who is already doing stuff about borders and fences in NYC to go bigger?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/26/arts/design/ai-weiweis-latest-artwork-building-fences-throughout-new-york-city.html

    Now imagine what he could do with a budget of $20B-$40B and license to create a project across the entire southern border?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No we are not ‘restoring’ American prestige, we’re annihilating it.

    No kidding.

    I wouldn’t expect most Americans, especially the exceedingly insular and parochial Trump voters, to get this, since they rarely if ever have any contact with non-Americans.

    But those of us who have close family in foreign nations, and/or visit foreign nations frequently, have seen it: America is a literal international laughingstock. Never mind prestige–basic respect is down the crapper, thanks to Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. george says:

    @Mikey:

    Though in fairness, in my experience its been that way for decades – since the Vietnam War in fact. I traveled through Europe in the 70’s and 80’s, and American politics was considered laughable even then … first the Vietnam War, then Watergate, then Carter, then Reagan. I’m not sure what it was like in the nineties, but prestige went down further during Iraq War 2.0, from which it never recovered.

    Trump is just a variation of a long theme, rather than the cause of loss of American prestige (which peaked at the end of WW2 and has been sliding pretty steadily since). Some of that is probably inevitable, automatically coming with being a super power; I don’t think much of the world cared for the British Empire, or the Soviets either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. DrDaveT says:

    @george:

    Though in fairness, in my experience its been that way for decades

    No, not like this. There’s a huge difference between the vague sorts of critical comments I’ve heard over the decades, vs. the active disbelieving contempt that Trump evokes.

    Remember how we smug Americans felt about the Berlusconi administration in Italy? Trump makes Berlusconi look like Churchill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  45. teve tory says:

    slate

    Kurt Bardella, a former spokesman for Breitbart who quit last May over the website’s slavish fealty to Trump, says the Republicans he knows are paralyzed. “I’ve not talked to anyone who doesn’t malign the situation that they and the Republican Party overall is in,” says Bardella, who previously worked as an aide to Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. Many Republicans, Bardella says, “recognize that as this goes on, and they further alienate themselves from everybody who has a brain, that there are some very long-term challenges for the Republican Party. But none of them know how to stop this or how to fight back.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Mikey says:

    @george: I’m with @DrDaveT here. Sure, there’s always been the general “ugly American” stuff, and some level of protest at times (like back in 1990 ahead of the first Gulf War the people in the apartment across the street from me in Nuremberg hung a “Kein Blut für Öl” banner out the window).

    But now, it’s a whole new level of contempt. America’s standing in the world is at a low ebb indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Jen says:

    @DrDaveT: @Mikey:

    My husband and I were in the UK not too long ago. People are polite about it–but almost every single person who learned we are Americans* had some version of the same question: what on earth is going on over there? It’s somewhere between laughing and a bit of panic, because the US clearly doesn’t seem to be taking the role of global leadership seriously anymore.

    *People in the UK mistake us for Canadians rather frequently, I’m not quite certain why. It’s either how we dress or our accents or how we act, or a combination of all three. It’s rather comforting in the current climate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    If you’re from the northeast and you’re educated and well-spoken, you’re likely to be taken for a Canadian. At least that was my experience living there.

    And with some, if you don’t sound as if you’re from Texas, Brooklyn, or Georgia, you don’t sound American.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. KM says:

    @CSK @Jen:
    Ditto. I am often mistaken for Canadian for those reasons and take brutal advantage of that in unfriendly situations. My sister got to backpack across Europe in her college years (Bush II) and made a point of sewing a Canadian flag on her pack “just in case”. If any who knew she was American asked why, she told them and got a laugh out of how effective it was. The whole of the Northeast (Great Lakes in particular) actually sound Canadian in their diction and vowel usage; if interested, I recommend looking into the relevant linguistic issues like Canada raising. Interesting stuff and may save a business deal or two if your client’s not feeling the Trump love….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. Pch101 says:

    It’s safer for the Brit or whomever to presume that you’re a Canadian. An American won’t take offense for being mistaken as being Canadian, but the opposite is often not the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Also true, in my experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @george:
    I just came from doing a school tour in the UK. 12 year-old kids were laughing at the US. Adults – who had to be kind to me since I was the VIP – were pitying. We are an international laughingstock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  53. Jen says:

    @CSK: @KM: @Pch101:

    All interesting points. I do live in the Northeast (now) but grew up overseas, as such I don’t have much at all of any regional accent. Agree that it’s commonly safer to assume Canadian.

    Also, my husband and I both use the “European” way of holding and using a knife and fork when eating, which seems like such a small thing but apparently it is noted.

    @michael reynolds: I hope at least that the school tour was enjoyable. I do love the UK.

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  54. george says:

    @DrDaveT:

    That could be, I haven’t been to Europe since Trump’s election. He might well have taken it to eleven.

    But considering it was pretty bad in the 70’s, 80’s, and early 2010’s (my last visit there), I hate to think what its like now if that’s true.

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  55. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That seems to be the consensus here; I haven’t been in Europe since 2012, and it was pretty bad then (worse even than in the 70’s, hard as that might be to believe given Vietnam and all); I can’t imagine what its like now.

    The French and Germans especially had contempt for America back then (luckily I’m dual citizen and traveled as a Canadian), its hard to picture it being worse now.

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