The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

On departing the U.S. (simulcast at

Since a lot of my Internet-linked friends and acquaintances are either liberals, libertarians, or leftists I have heard a lot lately about leaving the U.S. because of disgust with or fear of the current government and their policies.

Let's talk sense about this.

  1. You can't just "move to Canada" or Sweden or France or the U.K. or anywhere, really. Unless you're independently wealthy and/or retired it just doesn't work that way. You have to go through an immigration process and it's long and painful. It can easily take years for even an experienced professional with a job offer to get through the thicket of bureaucracy that any well-run country erects for immigrants.

  2. You can't run from Imperial America. Canada is an especially laughable choice here; when we sneeze, they get a cold. The long arm of U.S. power extends to every place in the world, certainly to every place you could stand living. Go up there and watch things get worse here if you want. At some point an apologetic Mountie will arrive to explain that you're being deported back because of a joint security agreement.

  3. Foreign countries, surprisingly, are different. The peculiar luxuries, freedoms, and opportunities of our country will not be present there. Things cost a lot more, the weather is different, and the justice system may shock you. If you're not already an experienced traveler who enjoys surprises and strangeness, it's entirely possible you'll hate everywhere but home.

  4. Cowardice is not rewarded, either in respect or in results. Stay and fight for what you believe. Whether you are a libertarian who despises Ashcroft's new police state, a liberal who rejects warmongering and theocracy, or a core leftist despairing at corporate America, there is work to be done here. Defeatism is a self-fulfilling apocalypse.

In sum, don't leave unless you have another good reason to do so and a plan for achieving it. The wealth and privilege and freedoms you have as your birthright carry with them the obligation to serve your country in its time of need. Be a citizen first for a change. If you leave here, your new home will demand no less of you.
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