You ever see a chicken with its head cut off, still running around because its body hasn't figured out yet that it lost it's brain, and it's dying? That's what we were like for more years than I can remember. The country kind of staggered along for some years after the shutdown. Congress kept coming up with short-term fix after short-term fix, each time buying a few weeks or months, but it wasn't enough. Even after the United States defaulted on its debts, things somehow kept going for a while. But, eventually, things started coming to a stop, and naturally the Tea Party people wanted the military to just pick up all the tasks the rest of the government used to do.
But, after a while, the military just kind of fell apart, too. I suppose the Tea Party people forgot that the military isn't something completely separate from the whole rest of society: All those soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines had mothers and siblings and children and spouses. They couldn't -- wouldn't -- keep on just as if nothing had changed when their kids' schools closed down and their parents lost their life savings in the crash of 2015 or the crash of 2021 or the crash of 2029. A lot of servicemembers left to try to take care of their families.
Also, crime was terribly high. People with military skills were in demand everywhere. For a long time, the wealthy were trying to lure them to provide private security, and a lot of servicemembers figured that was a better way to keep their families afloat than staying in the service. And then, after a while, the military couldn't find any decent new recruits, what with the schools failing and the gangs and the resurgence of polio and drug-resistant tuberculosis in the 2030s. So that reduced the military's strength, too.
Anyway, even though soldiers could still get paychecks, the money for training them and maintaining their equipment was mostly gone. Fighter planes were rusting in hangers, and companies stopped developing expensive new high-tech weapons systems, because their buyer was gone. So, to answer your question, by the time the Canadians closed the border we weren't in much position to do anything about it. Wars take money, you know, and we didn't have any left.
Somewhere out there I guess we still have nuclear weapons. But I don't know if anyone really knows where, or if they're still even usable. I remember back in 2035 or thereabouts there was some worry that gangs or terrorists or what have you would get hold of them.
Truth is, if it weren't for the Chinese, I don't know where we'd be today. When the Chinese sent troops in to safeguard the nuclear weapons in 2039, I honestly think everyone was pretty relieved. By then things were already pretty bad, and what was left of our military was happy to cooperate with anyone they could rely on not to do anything crazy.
And never forget that it was the Chinese who tried to bail us out back in the teens, when we first defaulted on our debts after a series of stop-gap temporary deals fell apart. Oh, I know it wasn't exactly charity: They had bought up so many U.S. government bonds that they couldn't afford to let us go belly up too fast.
I still remember how shocked my parents were when they saw the editorial published by China's state news agency back in October 2013: It accused the United States of having introduced "chaos into the world" and said, "Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place."
Well, that's what they did in the end.
Still, I'm certain we'd have fallen even harder and faster without the Chinese. And bad as things are today, think how much worse they'd be without the Chinese troops garrisoned in most major cities. They keep the gangs from getting completely out of control, and thousands of Americans have been able to find honest work cooking and cleaning on the Chinese bases. Even more important, having all those Chinese soldiers here makes the Russians and the Iranians keep a respectful distance.
It's pretty ironic when you think about it. In 1773, the Tea Party protesters were trying to free America from what they saw as rule by unelected foreigners. In 2013, the new Tea Party wanted to put a stop to a government run by their own fellow citizens. Well, they got what they wanted: Now it's the Chinese who make the rules for Americans.
Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?