Originally published in my high school's newspaper The Sentinel in 2008, this piece is still relevant when considering America's motives for war and our involvement in foreign affairs.
Our country was founded by dreamers.
Bright eyed, powder faced men risked their lives to journey to this forsaken land in hopes of attaining life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A new beginning sewn in stars and stripes; freedom with rhythm so deep it resonates from sea to shining sea. Baseball, apple pie, MTV & SUVs.
Who wouldn't want in?
Mexico is just one of the many countries who want a piece of us. (And our pie. Mmm.) Unfortunately, it doesn't have the confidence to be upfront about its feelings—you know, establish trade negotiations, flaunt some nationalism, shake hands with foreign ministers; just the basics of political flirting. Other countries make this look easy, but the truth is that Mexico is a little bit self-conscious.
On the playground of the world, Mexico is the gangly tetherball kid who totally wants to get with that one pretty, popular chick mature enough to wear make-up—we'll call her America—but Mexico doesn't know how to spit game, so instead he spits gum in her hair and dunks her head in the water fountain.
You know, he invades her borders.
Chaos ensues as it inevitably does in these situations—no one, and I mean no one messes with girls like America, who have more important people's business in which to meddle. She doesn't want to deal with losers like Mexico, so she builds a fence.
This fence, of course, just teases Mexico and makes him even more desperate to get into her territory; he'll do anything he can to reach her…be it through a 1,200 yard underground tunnel or a ring-around-the-fence desert adventure. He would rather risk his life than remain in the tetherball courts, where the rules are corrupt (no bubbling?!) and the fifth graders cut in line, leaving him job—er, gameless.
America the beautiful, in all her gushing glory, aimlessly roams the playground with a sense of entitlement. The swings, the slide, the basketball courts that she doesn't need but still wants; all hers. If something doesn't go her way, she'll throw a hissy fit and maybe declare war…or perhaps even have a war, without declaring one.
She is peanut butter and jelly on white, no crusts, and she is safely wrapped—sheltered—in a bubble of cellophane.
Who knew ignorance and sandwiches went so well together?
Let's face the facts: even with millions of dollars worth of government funds and taxpayer money invested in the completion of the 700 mile US-Mexico border fence, as well as the salary, weapons, and armor required for a full-time militia, illegal immigration will never completely cease. Just ask Mexico.
Yet I have a solution; a panacea developed from the values instilled in me by television. I propose an idea so American that, upon reading it, your eye sockets will burn red, white, and blue and yes, you will see stars.
¡Mexico needs a makeover!
If my culture has taught me anything, it's that all you need to be happy is a new you…or anything new, really. Nobody earns power or respect anymore; they earn the money to buy power and respect. Why else would little girls look up to Paris Hilton? Why else would one need millions of dollars to effectively run for a political office?
Since Mexico isn't in the position to transform itself, we must take initiative. With arms open wide (and pockets even wider), we will embrace Mexico as we come together to form one nation: harder, better, faster, stronger.
For its own good, we must invade and conquer Mexico, granting all Mexicans instant American citizenship.
This solves every problem associated with illegal immigration, since there will no longer be a border to patrol. These new citizens will have the same rights as Americans, which means they can legally buy those PROUD TO BE AMERICAN bumper stickers to show off that they're eating lunch with the cool kids now. Mexico's corrupt government will be replaced with a fair and virtuous ruler like George Bush, who will attempt to establish a functioning democracy for this nation in peril.
After all, if America is fighting to save a country thousands of miles away, the least we can do is help our neighbors. The fact that Mexico doesn't have one of the largest proven oil reserves…that doesn't make a difference, right?
In our country, war terminology affectionately refers to missiles as "peacekeepers," the dead are "casualties," and murder becomes "liquidation"; in our country, we call raids "Operation Planet X" and "Operation Scorpion Sting," and to continue to uphold the notion of morality in our country, we shall call our invasion of Mexico "Operation Zesty Taco."
As patriotic citizens, it is our duty to spread the American Dream, or what will now be known as el Sueño Americano. This is the vision of our founding fathers; this is all very explicitly stated in the very ambiguous Constitution. Since 71% of Iraqis want U.S. forces to withdraw within a year, now is the time to spread our love elsewhere, a little closer to home.
Never mind those impoverished African countries; we'd never consider spending 400 billion dollars and 3,900 lives on people in that dire of circumstances. Who cares about the AIDS epidemic when there are imaginary weapons of mass destruction to find? Who even cares about our own country's poverty, flawed justice system, and lowly educational ranking? But hey, now that we have Mexico, maybe Canada needs our "services"…
On the playground of the world, we are America: the pretty, popular girl who wears a lot of makeup to cover up what she really looks like.