Adam Sneed is a senior associate editor at CityLab, focusing on city life and culture. He was previously a technology reporter at Politico and a researcher at Future Tense, a project of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.
In opposing Syrian refugees, the Republican presidential hopeful reimagines the Northeast.
At this point, presidential campaigns are little more than showing voters you know the country and its issues better than anyone else. So when a new topic dominates the national conversation, what better way to show you know what you’re doing than to blast out a bright, bold map showing voters how you compare to leaders around the country?
That’s surely what the Ben Carson campaign had in mind when it posted a map on Facebook showing which governors have said they won’t accept Syrian refugees (even if they don’t have a direct say in the matter).
The map gets one message across loud and clear: Carson doesn’t welcome those fleeing violence in the Middle East. But look closer and there’s something more curious going on—specifically in New England.
In Carson’s America, most of New England has broken free from its anchors east of New York, drifting so far up the coast that Connecticut is now as far north as Vermont. Massachusetts and New Hampshire are even farther north, falling solidly above Real America’s border with Canada. But that should come as good news to Vermont, which now gets miles and miles of prime beachfront property to the south and east.
Thankfully the Carson campaign “updated” its post, putting things back where they should be. Here are the two maps side by side for comparison:
It’d be more forgivable if, for whatever reason, this map were drawn from memory (and let’s not forget how good Senator Al Franken is at doing that). The simple fact, though, is it takes effort to muck up a computer-generated map like this. The beauty of the campaign trail is the chance to share your vision of America. But maybe, just this one time, we should leave America as it is.