No, this was not the opening on The Today Show or announced on Fox or CNN recently. Rather this is the subject of a new book published by Harper Collins by a dual Canadian-American citizen, a Ms. Francis.

Normally, or never, have I done a book review on this blog. We will not start now but we will make several observations about the book and its main premise.

Ms. Francis’ main points involve the economic logic of the two geographic neighbors becoming more of a “more perfect North American union” to compete in the world’s economy. The two countries would have an economy larger than the European Union and a wealth of nature resources, energy, water and technology.  Each country would gain something to compete better in the global economy. And the two countries (and Mexico) already cooperate on a number of fronts.  All of that actually makes sense.

But, as with many grand ideas, this starts to fall apart in the detail and especially in what I will call the “softer” issues.

First and foremost is that U.S. citizens call our selves, Americans. We believe that we are the one and only Americans. Technically, of course, we have other neighbors like Canada that could say that but only we do. Why is that? Because we believe we are, to quote Ali, The Greatest! We really never think about Canada. If U.S. citizens are asked to name some famous Canadians, we might stumble on a sports figure like Wayne Gretzky or the younger kids might say Justin Beiber but we struggle to name anyone from up there. And do not ask us who the current Prime Minister is yet alone his party. We really do not think much about Canada or Canadians. Sorry about that.

Second, and Ms. Francis does mention this, is that both countries have strong regional issues. In Canada and in Quebec province we have the French. An equal language with English. U.S. citizens do not get that one at all. Of course, we have a third of our population whose primary language is Spanish, which the Canadians might find confusing. And as different as the U.S. is with its south and west, let alone its Texas and California, Canada has very unique cultural differences between the Maritimes in the east to the their own cowboys in Calgary.

But lastly and maybe the most importantly is a small Canadian secret. Ms. Francis talks about our two countries as best friends. As noted above, one of the friends knows or cares nothing about the other. But worst than that is something my old boss Don Brown taught me. Mr. Brown was born in Canada but spent most of his life and built his business in the States. One day, on one of our private lunches or helicopter flights together he asks me a question. Brad, you have traveled all around the world for my company and met a lot of people. Which country do you believe dislikes the U.S. the most? I assumed he meant France, since the French seem to dislike everyone so that was my answer. He smiled and said, No, it was his birthplace and our neighbor, Canada. The Canadians, he explained, are so close to the U.S. and all it offers but are not here. So they are jealous and secretly dislike the U.S. Over the years, I have asked a number of Canadian friends and they all privately agree.

So, no merger of the U.S. and Canada anytime soon!