Join 3,519 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I'm changing my name to No Taxes A1 for 2014
August 3, 2012 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Despite not raising any money or updating his campaign website (cache) since 2009, 35 year-old flooring installer Mark Clayton has won the Democratic Party primary in Tennessee and will be running for US Senate against Republican incumbent Bob Corker. Clayton's policy positions are unusual for a Democratic candidate.

Clayton's victory is generally being attributed to his name being at the top of the ballot and the lack of a well-known alternative, or possibly another Alvin Greene-like incident (previously).

Clayton is associated with Public Advocate of the United States, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Tennessee Democratic Part is disavowing Clayton and encouraging voters to write in a candidate of their choice in the general election.
posted by ghharr (100 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.

Well that just ....says it all now doesn't it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:26 PM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


He says he's against national ID cards, the North American Union, and the "NAFTA superhighway," a nonexistent proposal that's become a rallying cry in the far-right fever swamps. Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching "godless new world order" and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in "a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA's prison camps."

Photo of the candidate
posted by theodolite at 12:27 PM on August 3, 2012 [26 favorites]


Er – who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?
posted by koeselitz at 12:27 PM on August 3, 2012 [53 favorites]


Time to change my name to "Aaaaaron A. Aaaaaaaaaaaardvark" and move to Tennessee! US Senate, here I come!
posted by the dief at 12:27 PM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Democratic Party organizations are a shambles in most of the Southeast now. It's sad and pathetic. That's your explanation.
posted by raysmj at 12:28 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.

So he thinks the US will build something on the scale used by a Mechanicus forge world? Christ...
posted by Slackermagee at 12:29 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck me. How depressing for serious candidates.
posted by jaduncan at 12:29 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto

260 yards wide or 213.33 yards wide? A little precision would be nice.
posted by maudlin at 12:29 PM on August 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching "godless new world order" and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in "a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA's prison camps."

There is a type of rightist who wants desperately to be persecuted and either triumph or be a glorious martyr. This is extremely visible in most Mel Gibson movies, but also here.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:30 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Holy shit that Mother Jones file photo of him looks like Lee Harvey Oswald.
posted by griphus at 12:32 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(THE PLOT THICKENS.)
posted by griphus at 12:32 PM on August 3, 2012


Man I wish the US Govt was half-way as well organized as conspiracy nuts seem to think it is.
posted by The Whelk at 12:33 PM on August 3, 2012 [42 favorites]


I wasted my life working hard in school and getting good grades when I could have just become a crazy asshole idiot like this guy (or these guys).
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:34 PM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is a type of rightist who wants desperately to be persecuted and either triumph or be a glorious martyr. This is extremely visible in most Mel Gibson movies, but also here.

Certainly for the more discriminatory side of social conservatism, I think it's an underlying knowledge that one is on the wrong side of history. The most that's being offered is more of a Rommel-style glorious and slow retreat. Barbarians at the gates, I guess.
posted by jaduncan at 12:35 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:35 PM on August 3, 2012


Stuff like that will happen when a party can't find a reasonably real candidate willing to be the sacrificial lamb.

At least it's better than when an actual Nazi eugenicist "won" a Republican House primary because there were no other candidates.

If you are ever active in a local/state party, remember: you always want at least one not-too-crazy, non-Nazi, non-skinhead person in your primary. Because if you don't, your nomination might be hijacked by a Nazi, and hoo-boy would that get embarrassing if the unbeatable incumbent nobody wanted to challenge dropped dead or was caught in the act of child-rape three days before the election.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eh, couldn't be worse than Harold Ford, jr.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has there been any instance of the Republican Party disavowing their candidates? 'Cause this seems to only when Democrats get stuck with a lemon candidate.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2012


s/b seems to only *happen* when
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:38 PM on August 3, 2012


Man I wish the US Govt was half-way as well organized as conspiracy nuts seem to think it is.

Yeah, I read a lot of conspiracy theory stuff and I don't know whether I'm relieved or frightened that the US will never establish a moon base we can't get to for the mind control laser we don't have the funding to build.
posted by griphus at 12:38 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here in sleepy little Skagit County, Washington, as my husband and I were filling out our primary ballots, we were both just shocked at the range of truly bizarre and crazy candidates. There are always one or two loonies on the ticket, but this year it's like 80% crazies. In Washington, you could usually safely vote D right on down the party line and be at least reasonably assured of some degree of sanity, but not this year. What gives?
posted by xedrik at 12:39 PM on August 3, 2012


> Er – who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?

Rob Ford.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:39 PM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


No offense, but unless I'm missing something, this seems like more of an indictment of the current state of the Democratic Party in Tennessee than anything else.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


> What gives?

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait, guys. He's making some good points. Let's hear him out.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:44 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Holy shit that Mother Jones file photo of him looks like Lee Harvey Oswald.

The dog's eyes are definitely saying, "help me."
posted by uncleozzy at 12:46 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


♪♪ Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right ... ♪♪
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:48 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


believes the Boy Scouts are under assault from the gay agenda
Well... putting aside the framing inherent in that particular way of saying it, the Boy Scouts are under assault from the gay agenda. As they should be.
posted by Flunkie at 12:49 PM on August 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "Wait, wait, guys. He's making some good points. Let's hear him out."

No: Making the run from Michoacan to Winnipeg is a pain in the butt: we need that highway, man.
posted by boo_radley at 12:49 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has there been any instance of the Republican Party disavowing their candidates?

Yeah, sure. When James Hart -- the Nazi eugenicist I mentioned -- "won" his primary, the local party was all "Oh please don't vote for this jackass. Here's a name to write in."

Likewise, the Republicans -- the national ones, anyway -- said not to vote for David Duke at least once, even though he had an R next to his name. But Louisiana's jungle primaries are weird and mean that there aren't really party nominees like there are in most states.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:50 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, Democratic Party, is there no humiliation your lack of organization and energy cannot endure?

What really is absurd about this is that there were 1,093,213 votes for Barack Obama in 2008 in Tennessee. Not exactly too few people for a viable party organization.
posted by bearwife at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2012


you always want at least one not-too-crazy, non-Nazi, non-skinhead person in your primary.

And there was one, Park Overall, who I would've thought would have had enough name recognition to get more than 15% of the vote.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:53 PM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


No offense, but unless I'm missing something, this seems like more of an indictment of the current state of the Democratic Party in Tennessee than anything else.

Well, democratic voters in Tennessee. The official party's at least taking a stand against him.
posted by inigo2 at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2012


As long as we keep electing people like him we'll never have an Illuminist in the White House. What other party promises the celestial coronation of all mankind united by the divine and eternal crown of cosmic transcendence, under which we ascend, becoming each and all light beings of pure radiance? What other party believes in an America in harmonious communion with the galactic godhead? Only the Illuminati party!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:55 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, heavens! I'm glad Park is still around and gladder still she's got a liberal point of view (from what I can tell). Good for her.
posted by eoden at 12:55 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the Democratic party should suck it up and support Corker outright. Don't give that batshitinsane Clayton a chance.
posted by Mojojojo at 12:58 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Er – who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?

Rob Ford.


WHAT THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW IS THAT ROB FORD IS CLONE CHRIS FARLEY COME BACK
posted by KokuRyu at 1:00 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I ended up voting for Overall after checking out the other candidates and finding them...disappointing.
posted by ghharr at 1:02 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.

driveover country
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2012


So he thinks the US will build something on the scale used by a Mechanicus forge world?

He's not crazy about the North America-spanning NAFTA bulk lasgun production facility or the continent-scale NAFTA Leman Russ replacement tread factory either.
posted by emmtee at 1:06 PM on August 3, 2012


who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?

Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. He gets shit DONE.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:06 PM on August 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


> Er – who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?

This guy?
posted by resurrexit at 1:06 PM on August 3, 2012


Democratic Party organizations are a shambles in most of the Southeast now.

They opened a permanent office in my NE town a few years ago...and then closed it.
posted by DU at 1:07 PM on August 3, 2012


Republican Congressional Candidates: I’m More Islamophobic Than You Are!
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's also likely that Democratic primary voters in TN figured that it wouldn't matter who was elected because Corker is unlikely to be defeated by any Democrat in this state. But it is so sad that people couldn't even be bothered to look up the candidates before casting their votes.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2012


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it.

OMG that's a joke straight out of Fisky Dingo.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frisky Dingo, even.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


*sigh* Southeastern US states I have lived in (for the record, that is all of them but North Carolina)... You better shape up and fly right, or I'm a gonna whomp on your sorry asses with a hammer maul. *dirty-eyed stare*

This Southerner and Tennessee native apologizes.

Again.

*Kiff sigh*

Please, for the love of all that is holy, can we never mention Alvin Greene again, I mean, really folks, how'd you like it if I came to your family reunion and picked on your learning-disabled cousin with a criminal record, and and action figure and oh, never mind....
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:11 PM on August 3, 2012


ROU_Xenophobe: " Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. He gets shit DONE."

Of course, there are a few cities that might get paved over in the process. Lubbock, Amarillo, Denver...
posted by zarq at 1:11 PM on August 3, 2012


The arguments for the existence of the NAFTA Superhighway are pretty compelling. It will finally unite the CISCOR, the Canadian Intelligent Super Corridor, with the burgeoning markets of the Lower 48 and Mexico.
posted by Flashman at 1:12 PM on August 3, 2012


I saw this clown on my ballot the other day. Sorry about this, everyone.
posted by workerant at 1:14 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was so totally in favor of the NAFTA Superhighway for the last few minutes when I mistakenly believed it was supposed to be a tunnel.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:16 PM on August 3, 2012


if it's 4 football fields wide and goes from the northern border to the southern border, wouldn't we know about it?


unless they didn't want us to.....
posted by sio42 at 1:17 PM on August 3, 2012


Democratic Party organizations are a shambles in most of the Southeast now. It's sad and pathetic. That's your explanation.

Or, y'know, they more closely reflect the future of the nation than we dare admit.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:19 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is Clayton giving a stump speech with some cowboys.
posted by ghharr at 1:20 PM on August 3, 2012


The arguments for the existence of the NAFTA Superhighway are pretty compelling.

Unless you use actual facts, of course.
posted by eoden at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2012


"Mark Clayton: Ironically Profiting From An Alphabet He Can't Recite From Memory."

"Bob Corker claims to know Tennessee, but he's never ven once defended his meth lab from ATF agents."

"Lamar Alexander doesn't even acknowledge that he's running a race against Mark Clayton. Lamar Alexander: out of touch and bad for Tennessee."
posted by Navelgazer at 1:22 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it.

We're also giving them part of the northeastern US, where we've been dumping out annulated wastes since The Year Of The Whopper.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:22 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seriously, though, if he wins I want him on the judiciary committee.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:23 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did the DCCC do dick all?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:24 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, DSCC.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:25 PM on August 3, 2012


Has there been any instance of the Republican Party disavowing their candidates? 'Cause this seems to only when Democrats get stuck with a lemon candidate.

As covered previously, in Michigan's 11th congressional district, five-time Representative Thaddeus McCotter flamed out spectacularly after the filing deadline but before the primary. This left the very Republican 11th with Kerry Bentivolio, a hard-core Tea Partier (seriously, he would not only overturn "Obamacare" but advocates a Constitutional amendment against mandates) as the only candidate on the primary ballot. The local Republican Party realizes Bentivolio will lose to Democratic candidate Dr. Syed Taj, who the Dems were already pouring effort into when McCotter was the candidate. The GOP establishment is now backing Nancy Cassis as a write-in candidate in next week's primary, but they haven't quite "disavowed" Bentivolio yet.
posted by Etrigan at 1:28 PM on August 3, 2012


I think it's worth repeating that this is for the U.S. Senate as well. As in, the Tennessee Democratic Party couldn't establish a viable candidate for an office that the entire state would vote on.

If that's the state of the Democratic party in any state, I find that heartily depressing.
posted by Brak at 1:31 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This guy is running as a Democrat? In Tennessee? It's not like he has a hell in chance of getting elected anyway.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:31 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


U.S. Protests Mexi-Canadian Overpass (2002)

"The honking, the chickens, the sound of thousands of cars going back and forth to Canada and Mexico is more than I can take. I can hear those goddamn radios blaring Mariachi music and Rush all day and night."
posted by elmono at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's already a CANAMEX corridor that runs in the west. It goes through Calgary, though, not Toronto, and it's actually a pretty uncontroversial idea.

The incomplete "NAFTA superhighway" is I-69, which runs to Port Huron, MI/Sarnia, ON. But what exists now is not going to be widened to 400 m, and again, it's not a super controversial idea.

There was one idea for super-wide highway corridors, and that was the Trans-Texas Corridor. One of the corridors was the above-mentioned I-69 through Texas. Another was I-35, another interstate sometimes called a "NAFTA superhighway" because it goes north-south right through the middle of the US, and connects to Mexico. However, I-35 doesn't go to the Canadian border, or really near anywhere important in Canada.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:33 PM on August 3, 2012


Riffing off the title of this post, a coworker alerted me to the story of this colorful character, a Tennessee Republican who changed his middle name to "Low Tax" for political reasons.

Oh, and he also murdered his political opponent a couple weeks before the election, which I guess is a sign that the name change alone wasn't going to win it for him.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:34 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It will finally unite the CISCOR, the Canadian Intelligent Super Corridor, with the burgeoning markets of the Lower 48 and Mexico.

As a Canadian, let me disabuse you of the notion that this CISCOR even exists. We do have the "Trans-Canada Highway", which in parts is one-lane each way and completely unlit at night. It goes through small towns with many traffic lights. There is nothing remotely "intelligent" or "super" about it. It is a paved road, multi-lane in places, not in others. That is all.
posted by modernnomad at 1:34 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I might, however, be in favor of a superhighway as wide as the state of Texas that runs from the Mexican border to Oklahoma. Just throwing that out there.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:35 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not a dime's worth of difference between this Democrat and a Republican!

Alvin Greene ... with a criminal record, and an action figure and ... a graphic novel.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it.

The road will be four Canadian football fields wide, thus ending America.
posted by benzenedream at 1:41 PM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Clayton has another intriguing theory. This one involves a former governor of California: "Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, wants to amend the Constitution so that he can become president and fulfill Hitler's superman scenario."

Hitler wanted to have a baby and launch him into space before the planet exploded?
posted by PlusDistance at 1:51 PM on August 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Kramer discovers he is the Republican Party candidate for Governor after signing what he thought was a petition to reintroduce ocelots to Central Park. Jerry dates a veterinary technician specializing in small animals. Elaine gets a promotion but doesn't know how to handle her strong political differences with her chatty new boss. George falls down a well.
posted by Shepherd at 1:52 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu: "> Er – who do I vote for if I actually want the superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto?

Rob Ford.


WHAT THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW IS THAT ROB FORD IS CLONE CHRIS FARLEY COME BACK
"

I swear to god everytime I see his mug, that's what I think: CHRIS FARLEY IS ALIVE!
posted by symbioid at 1:55 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it.

This is utter nonsense and only a conspiracy nut would believe something like that. Any reasonable person could see that the superhighway is simply necessary for the giant death striders that are phase 2 of the Illuminati secret project. OPEN YOUR EYES, MAN!
posted by wolfdreams01 at 1:55 PM on August 3, 2012


260 yards wide or 213.33 yards wide? A little precision would be nice.

The northern section is 260 yards, the central section is 213.33 yards, and the southern portion is 272 meters wide, obviously.

It makes total sense for him to oppose this; the merging zones will be very dangerous. You can't take a 65 lane road down to 53 lanes without getting some pretty serious traffic.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:08 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe he's against the superhighway because the plans currently do not include bike lanes.
posted by perhapses at 2:17 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The rest of the world must look at the US in utter horror at the prospect of these nutjobs possibly actually running the place.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:21 PM on August 3, 2012


I get his concern about the possible environmental impact, and I don't like overuse of eminent domain any more than the next guy, but trust me, if you had to make the Toronto-Mexico City commute twice a day you'd start to think about just moving. Seriously.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:22 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: "The rest of the world must look at the US in utter horror at the prospect of these nutjobs possibly actually running the place."

How quickly we forget.
posted by Splunge at 2:34 PM on August 3, 2012


I dunno, Splunge. W seems almost...sensible...compared to what's been crawling out of the woodwork since O took office.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:39 PM on August 3, 2012


My friend and I have been coming up with these all day:

Mark Clayton: Because hate-individuals are far less effective

Mark Clayton: Because All My Warrants Are For Misdemeanors.

Mark Clayton doesn't trust this "New" Mexico any more than the old one. And that goes double for New Hampshire!

Mark Clayton opposes immigration from West of the Mississippi because he still considers it France.

Mark Clayton is running as a Democrat because they have a majority in the Senate and Mark Clayton refuses to be a minority.

Don't Kid Yourself: Mark Clayton's about to eat that dog.

Lamar Alexander is a product of the D.C. machine. Mark Clayton is legally barred from interstate travel.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:45 PM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


> I dunno, Splunge. W seems almost...sensible...compared to what's been crawling out of the woodwork since O took office.

Good NIGHT!
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 2:52 PM on August 3, 2012


The rest of the world must look at the US in utter horror at the prospect of these nutjobs possibly actually running the place.

Or maybe people in countries like Italy are glad that it takes the spotlight off them.
posted by perhapses at 3:08 PM on August 3, 2012


No offense, but unless I'm missing something, this seems like more of an indictment of the current state of the Democratic Party in Tennessee than anything else.

This is the truth. Tennessee Democratic Primary voter here. I did my research, Took one look at this guy, and voted for Park Overall, who not only has a platform I can agree with, but also decent web design.

Thanks to the 2010 Tea Party landslide, both houses of the state legislature and the governors mansion are in the hands of the Republicans, who are looting the state as fast as they can. The only bright light in this state is my representative Steve Cohen, who represents Memphis, which is Harold Ford, Jr.'s old seat. He was an early supporter of Obama, a staunch opponent of the Iraq war, pro-choice, pro-marijuana legalization (you may have seen the videos of him grilling the head of the DEA in a widely seen YouTube video), a reliable vote for health care reform, and pro-same sex marriage. He was also a close personal friend of both Warren Zevon and Alex Chilton. He won his primary handily yesterday, but The Tennessee 9th District has been gerrymandered and is not as secure as it used to be. His Republican opponent is Dr George Flinn, who is a millionaire and spending a lot of his own money. Cohen is likely to be outspent, and Flinn's TV commercials are already airing. If you want to help, please consider kicking a few dollars his way.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:22 PM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Serious question, what do they think such a gigantic highway would be FOR? I mean other than destroying the USA. I guess I mean like HOW would it destroy the USA?

(And does he not know you can already do this if you've got 43 hours to spare?)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:36 PM on August 3, 2012


oh, the other awesome thing about that road is working out the numbers: A single football field, excluding end zones, is approximately 25 lanes of traffic. Suppose there are no offramps, etc, and we just PAVE OVER existing highways. That's 16,390,000,000 square feet of tarmac.

There are varying state regulations on how deep tarmac needs to be for various traffics. Illinois DOT recommends 17.5 inches deep for heavy commercial traffic -- we have to assume we're going to be doing heavy commercial traffic or why are we bothering with this in the first place -- that's 23,900,000,000 cubic feet (2.39 * 1010) of asphalt (or etc).

The volume of the moon is 2.1958 * 1010, or 21,958,000,000. So, over 2% of the earth's volume would be this highway.

So there's the materials, what about the project planning? Colorado DOT lists a 2.2 mile project. It will take 2.4 million dollars and 3 months to complete. It's mostly 2 lanes; 2,217,600 cubic feet of tarmac seem about right. That's 10,777th the size of the superhighway, which napkins out to a superhighway cost of $25,864,800,000 ($25.8Bn) and 2,694 years to complete. This seems wildly optimistic; Boston's Big Dig cost an estimated $22Bn, and was around 4 miles of total renovation. Using that as our high end, this project could cost $11.383 trillion dollars.
posted by boo_radley at 3:37 PM on August 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


* So we're using more tarmac than we have moon, and over 2% of the earth's volume would be this highway.
posted by boo_radley at 3:39 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stuff like that will happen when a party can't find a reasonably real candidate willing to be the sacrificial lamb.

I would have done it if they asked. I do not like Bob Corker.
posted by absalom at 3:43 PM on August 3, 2012


Boo_radley, you're off by a bit: the volume of the moon is 2.19 x 10^10 cubic KILOMETERS, vs cubic feet. Given approx 35 cubic feet per cubic meter, and 1,000,000 cubic meters per cubic kilometer, the volume of the moon is more like 7.7 x 10^17 cubic feet. So 10^7 times smaller than the moon. Not that it's small or anything.

/pedant
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 3:56 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alvin Greene ... with a criminal record, and an action figure and ... a graphic novel.

You sir, have managed to ruin my evening and yet still, somehow, improve it. I... errr... thank... you... ?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 4:00 PM on August 3, 2012


I'm all for the establishment of a new North American Union, an end to nation states, and convenient travel between Toronto and Mexico City. . . but, a superhighway? That's just crazy. My vote goes to the first pro-NAU candidate with a solid high-speed rail proposal. And they damned well better have a concrete timeline for the construction of the east-west extension line.

It's astonishing that cranks feel the need to be so creative, given all the obvious and visible ways that powerful elites really are conspiring to destroy the world. (Not to mention all the ways they're working to destroy the world without the need to conspire.) I suppose "building a magic, nation-destroying superhighway" is a little more dramatic and tangible than "failing to act to protect the world's fisheries" or "crippling organized labor in emerging markets." But, how come the people who go on about wacky threats aren't also concerned by the real ones?

If there's any good side to this, perhaps it will convince at least a few more democrats that winner-take-all elections are a problem, even if you happen to like the mainstream candidates of one of the two big parties.
posted by eotvos at 4:35 PM on August 3, 2012


Remember when Howard Dean built out a 50 state strategy to make sure the Democrats would have basic party tools everywhere. Then they won the election and immediately abandoned the strategy because Rahm Emanuel thought it was a bad idea.
posted by humanfont at 4:36 PM on August 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


I mean, it's fun to laugh at the North-American Super Highway nuts for piecing together elaborate conspiracy theories about how hypothetical improved freeways are going to end American sovereignty, but... what do you expect them to do? They're uncomfortably (for them) close to the truth -- that American capitalists and their politicians have outsourced and automated away the manufacturing jobs that made a middle-class lifestyle possible for them, and don't give two shits that this huge constituency of marginally-educated working-to-lower-middle-class people are falling into outright poverty and retail-sector slavery?

Apocalyptic magical-thinking explanations for The End of America are a comforting substitute for the truth. It's more sad than funny.
posted by junco at 5:02 PM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know everyone is LOL about how many lanes a 400-yard highway would be, but Texas really did propose corridors this wide with the Trans-Texas Corridor. They weren't going to just be road lanes (although Texas has some really wide roads), but also utilities and railways.

The conspiracy folks probably aren't worried about the amount of pavement so much as the land expropriation required for a corridor that wide, and the probably limited number of roads crossing over it.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:39 PM on August 3, 2012


four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto

Would those be NFL, CFL, or Association football fields?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:52 PM on August 3, 2012


"The United States - one nation, one superhighway stretching from coast to coast. My fellow Americans, that is my nightmare, that is my dream. Let's make it happen. God Bless America. Thank you."
posted by fallingbadgers at 12:39 AM on August 4, 2012


How the hell did I miss the story of Byron (Low Tax) Looper? He murdered his opponent? Why has this not been made into a movie?!!

As to Clayton. It's not just that he is a loon, I'm confused as to how he is a Democrat. It sounds like he is following the GOP plank right down the line. There must be some Democrats in the state. Why was he not exposed for being a sham candidate by bloggers, newspapers, and voting right groups? I'm having a hard time figuring out how in this day and age of internet connections such a complete wackadoodle could sneak under the wire.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:10 AM on August 4, 2012


Fnord
posted by Freen at 9:18 PM on August 4, 2012


It's not just that he is a loon, I'm confused as to how he is a Democrat. It sounds like he is following the GOP plank right down the line.

Sadly, he is far from a unique case in that regard.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:00 AM on August 5, 2012


« Older Grant Morrison's Guide to Batman on the Big Screen...  |  What if every Olympic sport wa... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments