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Yuji Happy Birthday!

Dane My birthday isn’t for a month yet.  I’m growing old fast enough as it is, you don’t have to hurry it any.

Yuji No.  I mean Happy Birthday America.  Today is Independence Day.

Dane Oh that?  I had been ignoring it for so many years, I had forgotten about it.

Yuji Ignoring your nation’s birthday?  Why would you want to do that?

Dane In a word?  Bush!

Yuji Oh yeah. But you should be happy now. No more Bush. And… you’ve got Obama!

Dane Yeah, mister “Hope and Change”. So far, there hasn’t been enough change and I’m starting to run low on hope.

Yuji Well, what do you think it would be like if McCain had won?

Dane Worse, I suppose. He might have started another war, this time in Iran.

Yuji Well McCain didn’t win, so you should relax and enjoy the Fourth of July.

Dane It’s hard to do the fireworks and flag waving when we’re still mixed up in two hopeless wars.

Yuji What has Independence Day got to do with war? I thought it was all about Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

Dane Exactly! And that document, as noble as it is, was actually a declaration of war.

Yuji What are you saying? You think the Revolutionary War was a mistake?

Dane It might have been.

Yuji You’ve got to be kidding! Americans had to fight for their freedom.

Dane We didn’t really have to.

Yuji What are you talking about?Have you ever thought what it would be like now if they hadn’t fought?

Dane Yes, I have, actually. And I figure it would be just like Canada.

Yuji No! It would BE Canada!

Dane Right. And that wouldn’t be so bad. I don’t hear the Canadians complaining.

Yuji But America wouldn’t have been the birthplace of democracy.

Dane No, but it would still be a democracy, like England, Canada and so many other countries are today.

Yuji Maybe. But I’m sure American history would have been a lot different.

Dane It sure would have!We probably wouldn’t have had a civil war.

Yuji Does that mean you’d still have slavery?

Dane No, in fact the Brits outlawed slavery in 1833. So British America would have freed the slaves 30 years earlier than the USA did.

Yuji What about the west? British America might not have gotten all that land from France and Mexico.

Dane They probably would have taken most of it from France in the Napoleonic Wars. And that feisty old Victoria might very well have swallowed up everything as far south as Panama.

Yuji Then who’d you get to produce all your stuff at slave wages?

Dane The Venezuelans?

Yuji Anyway, Victoria would have sent all you Americans – and Mexicans – off to fight in her endless wars across the British Empire.

Dane Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought about that! But you’re right, we would have been drafted to fight in India and God knows where.

Yuji So if you had not fought the Revolutionary War you would have had to fight in a whole lot more wars around the world.

Dane If you look at it that way, I guess the Revolution was worth it after all.

Yuji So now you should feel better about celebrating Independence Day.

Dane Yeah, I guess so. But there is one other thing.

Yuji What’s that?

Dane If we were a Commonwealth nation we wouldn’t have to listen to all those corny patriotic songs!

Yuji Forget about it! You’re absolutely hopeless!