Looks like four more years in which we get to see just how dark this night can really get. We can probably expect full-scale world war to break out, with conscription (in the US and Australia; as soon as the US brings in the draft, Australia will follow suit) and the use of BushCo's nifty new mini-nukes, not to mention spiralling debt, authoritarianism and a brain drain as many members of the creative class move to London, Berlin or New Zealand. Or just north of the border.
Meanwhile, one of the rumours on MetaFilter was that the electronic voting machines used in key states, which left no audit trails, gave Bush 5% more votes than the exit polls. Mind you, that's just a rumour; other reports are saying that many voters went with Bush because, while he may have screwed the economy and Iraq, Kerry would legalise gay marriage, which was far worse.
Momus (who's well worth reading) has an argument in favour of leaving America.
Assuming that Bush has won, what will you do?
Move to Canada/Europe/wherever
Stay and fight
Stay and give up
Talk loudly about moving to Canada but probably stay
I supported Bush, you goddamn gay-loving liberal commie!
I'd check an option on your poll, but I'm already here, having left America in January for Australia (and once before from Sept. '02 to January '03). When I first came over to scope the place out, the U.S. political climate was one of many reasons I wanted to live and study in a foreign environment. Now it's becoming a more and more important reason in its own right.
Do I want to be apart from my home country permanently, though? No, I'm not feeling that badly about it, yet. Having been to a few countries besides Australia and my own, I do think America is severely misguided on a lot of fronts, but I am also quite devoted to my home. I would like to move back there one day, after having obtained my degree(s) and done a bit more world travelling. Then, using the knowledge, qualifications, and important international perspective I will hopefully have gained from my travels, I would like to improve my country from within, by contributing wonderful things to it.
Now, that said, if things get so bad that living there would risk serious harm to myself and the family I one day hope to have, I would possibly have to reconsider. I would hope things wouldn't get to such a point, though, and if they would, hopefully it wouldn't be prolonged. America has been through division and dark times, before, and has risen from the ashes. I have glimmers of faith that it could do the same again -- that this low point is yet another in an endlessly repeating political cycle.
I also don't think a mass exodus is the solution at all. Not only will it not force America to improve (just prolong the shit), I think that it's easy for young folks to overlook the fact that moving to a different country is an extremely difficult thing. Just to come over here to study, I had to spend a lot of money (often money that was not mine) and go through a year's worth of immigration bullshit just to finally secure a place. I can't even imagine how those difficulties would multiply if I had a family to move with me, and a residence or employment visa instead of a student visa to obtain. Immigration-wise, the world is not the global village we'd like to think it is -- free travel on a college backpacking excursion is one thing, but moving your life intercontinentally is something else entirely. I think that, for many people, even if they wanted to do such a thing, it just wouldn't be that simple.
It breaks my heart to think what would happen if so many of my wonderful American family and friends decided to desert the country that raised them. I think that, in dark times like these, America needs them (and me, and many other people) more than ever.
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