Americans: Should you stay or should you go?

At least as far back as 2000 (possibly longer), Americans have threatened to move to Canada (or some other country) should their non-favored presidential candidate get elected. Very few actually follow through with the threats.

At the same time, whites who are racist will often tell people of color to “go back to your own country” or “go back to where you come from,” even if those people of color are not only American citizens but, in fact, Americans born in the U.S.

So there are both voluntary desires to leave and then involuntary desires on behalf of others for you to leave. Should you leave?

Well, first of all, it’s not that simple. Have you ever immigrated or emigrated? Do you know how difficult it is to obtain a work visa or to gain citizenship in another country? Yes, you can travel to Canada if you have a passport, but you can’t just decide to move to Canada or any other country. You also can’t complain about undocumented workers coming to the U.S. if you’re encouraging U.S. citizens to become undocumented workers elsewhere.

Many of my left-leaning friends, when Donald Trump was announced as the winner of the electoral votes needed to be president-elect, reasserted that they were not going to leave the country—that they were going to stay and fight to make the U.S. better. I’m all for that. Fight. Resist.

At the same time, if things keep going the way they’re going, don’t blame people who feel the need to and are able to get out. No one blames Jews who left Nazi Germany before the extermination camps. No one blames Chinese who got out of mainland China before the cultural revolution. No one blames North Koreans who manage to escape to South Korea. If we get to this point, Americans looking to leave won’t be emigrants but asylum-seekers.

Something else I’ve seen floating around is the idea of a California seceding (#calexit) from the U.S. This is a horrible idea for several reasons:

  1. The leader of #calexit lives in Russia. Makes the motivations for that movement highly suspicious.
  2. Any hopes of a fair presidential election in 2020 for the U.S. would be dashed with CA’s electoral college (usually blue) votes out of the running.
  3. Trump thinks we should use nuclear weapons since we have them already. Guess what. If California isn’t part of the U.S., CA is then a foreign country. Wouldn’t take much for Trump to Trump up a phony excuse to unofficially declare (because only congress can officially declare, not that it’s stood up against him so far) war on CA and then bomb the hell out of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

So bottom line: should you stay or should you go? Well, I’d say everyone should stay for now, but don’t shame people for going if the signs become even clearer we’re in an oppressive authoritarian regime.

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