NAFTA Superhighway to Hell


Chris Hayes investigates the magical, mythical NAFTA superhighway:

When completed, the highway will run from Mexico City to Toronto, slicing through the heartland like a dagger sunk into a heifer at the loins and pulled clean to the throat. It will be four football fields wide, an expansive gully of concrete, noise and exhaust, swelled with cars, trucks, trains and pipelines carrying water, wires and God knows what else. Through towns large and small it will run, plowing under family farms, subdevelopments, acres of wilderness…

Indeed, the image of the highway, with its Chinese goods whizzing across the border borne by Mexican truckers on a privatized, foreign-operated road, is almost mundane in its plausibility. If there was a NAFTA highway, you could bet that Tom Friedman would be for it–what could be more flattening than miles of concrete paved across the continent?–and Lou Dobbs would be zealously opposed. In fact, Dobbs has devoted a segment of his show to the highway, its nonexistence notwithstanding.

It's all marvelously elaborate wish fulfillment for a certain kind of conservative. The racial composition of the country is changing, and how much more fun to blame coordinated, nefarious back door dealing than to acknowledge the millions of individual decisions that feed into demographic change. (We didn't sanction Mexican nannies at Deliberation Day!) Never mind that the opposite–maintaining demographic stasis–would actually require a coordinated, expensive, and abusive campaign.