"I doubt if the average American knows enough about Canada to make a reasoned assessment, what the pros and cons might be," said Waller. "There's really an abysmal level of ignorance about Canada in the United States so I don't know what conclusions you can reach."
From a historical perspective, there hasn't been a real push by Americans for annexation since the 19th century, he added. "
The recommendation of this article is obvious troll bait, but I'll respond anyway.
Most Americans view their country as being better then other countries. Canada in particular is viewed as being silly because, other then being "better then" Canadians, Americans don't really see themselves as being otherwise different, so whats the point?
Thats actually a good question. The fact is that Canada is really two countries: 1. British North America. 2. French North America.
Either identity in and of itself would be a lot more interesting then what Canada has got. Being British means something significant culturally which Americans try very hard not to be. (Ever wonder WHY Americans spell colour wrong?? It was intentional and deliberate.) Being French is even more so obviously not being American.
But, in order to maintain national cohesion, Canada, in the last 40 years, and tried very hard to eliminate these cultural identities. If not for this effort, Canada would not exist, and the economic implications of that would be bad for everyone concerned. The new national identity that replaces the old two is one which is scarcely 30 years old. It simply doesn't have enough history or uniqueness to present a real solid creed that people can identify as being "not American."
Of course, most people OUTSIDE the United States hold the two countries in a very different light. Mostly this is because, again, Americans tend to view themselves as being better then other cultures. Other cultures respond to this with resentment. So, liking Canadians is a way to identify with what you like about American culture without having to sacrifice your resentment.
On the other hand, what this professor is afraid to say is that the 38% of Americans who support "annexing Canada" are simply being bumptious. The fact is that if the U.S. "annexed" Canada the Repubicans would never win another election and the U.S. would loose a powerful associate in international relations, with no real economic benefit for either side as the border is fluid anyway.
In rereading this I should add that this view of Canada is quite Euro-centric. Immigration policies in the last 20 years have had a dramatic impact on the country's cultural makeup, and the Native Americans in Canada are increasingly politically savvy and culturally significant. Canada is, in fact, at the very start of a melting pot phase which could make the traditional french/english dichotomy insignificant. Its also possible that these people are simply using Canada as a generational stepping stone toward moving into the US. It will take several generations for this to play out and it will be interesting to see what differences (if any) emerge between the two countries over that time. I think that the amount of diversity that currently exists in Canada has the potential to produce some very interesting results verses the slowed diversification of the US, where the dominant English culture strongly resists threats. Unfortunately, the results of this are measured in generations and may not be apparent in my life-time.