Since my last rant, I’ve been reading LJ posts by friends and others that say: Don’t run. Stay and fight. They definitely have a point.
On the one hand, reading these posts makes me ashamed for wanting to give up on my country just because things are looking pretty grim for many of us. I’m sure we can survive another four years of a dangerous fool in the White House, we’ve done it before, and since only about half the people who bothered to vote actually want him in office that means they’re opposed by fully half the nation. The glass is half full, and all that. If everyone who disliked and feared him left, then he would indeed rule a country without opposition, but he would only have half a nation to preside over.
It’s wrong to give up and run when there’s still a chance of winning, and losing all the ground you’ve gained in the years before.
On the other hand, there’s a point where it’s wisest to cut your losses and withdraw from an unwinnable fight (Iraq, as another example). It’s clear that the ideological shift in the U.S. toward the right is not just an aberration; a minor fluctuation that will smooth itself out. If that were the case, Dipshit would have lost the election handily. Last time, he lost the popular vote, and had to be handed the election by the Supreme Court. This time, he won the popular vote by over 3 *million*, and is set to win the electoral vote. Here’s how it falls:
1. His main base of support was the evangelical vote, who validated him by voting him back into office.
2. The Republicans now have an even greater majority control over the House and Senate than they did before the election, and the Republican party is heavily saturated with, and influenced by, hardcore right-wing christians.
3. Three Supreme Court justices will probably retire during Dipshit’s term, and he’s already stated that he intends to try and appoint judges like Scalin and Thomas, the most conservative judges on the bench. This will influence Supreme Court decisions for decades to come, and could impact major previous rulings, like Roe v Wade.
All three branches of government are, or will be, shifting further and further toward religious conservatism as the dominating force controlling them. The end of that road is called theocracy. Wanna know what a theocracy is like? Take a look at Iran or, better yet, read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
When the balance of political power shifts so far that the opposition becomes powerless, you end up with Nazi Germany, or Mussolini’s Italy. Right now things are pretty even but, despite enormous efforts by Democrats and free-thinking types, not only have the right-wing Republicans maintained their power, they have increased it.
Some would say that this means you have to fight harder, and some would say this means it’s time to get out while you can. The way things stand now you could make a strong case for either fighting or fleeing. It all depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice, because either path will require major changes to your life. Or you could simply sit, sheeplike and unresisting, and let everything just happen to you.
Personally, this election is not the only reason I want to move. For years I’ve wanted out of Michigan, I just never found the will to do it. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, 11 years had gone by and I was still here. It’s no one’s fault but my own but I still want out, and I have a partner who also wants out, and today’s results have merely given us fresh incentive to get our act together. Michigan’s passing of an anti-gay marriage amendment just sweetened the deal. Why stay in a state where our relationship can never be legally validated due to constitutional discrimination?
So that leaves two choices:
1. Go somewhere else, like San Francisco, which is much more tolerant and progressive yet still in the U.S., so we have a more conducive place to fight from if that’s what we decide to do.
2. Leave the country altogether and say to hell with them. If this is what they want their country to be, then let them have it, and see what it gets them in the long run. I’ve wanted to live in Europe or Canada for a long time anyway, regardless of politics, just for the experience.