Thursday, November 04, 2004

the darkest of days

Yesterday I was remembering how depressed I was when Reagan was re-elected; I thought at the time I was living in a veritable toilet bowl of a world. Now I see elections in terms of the messages Americans send about themselves, to themselves and to the rest of the world. When we re-elected Reagan, we were saying, "We're too scared to face the world without Big Strong Daddy. Daddy wants to keep all the bombs because he wants us to be safe. You can't expect us to let go of Daddy's hand." Totally childish, but you CAN see a) it IS hard to put down your gun before the other guy does, and b) Reagan did deliver a level of emotional comfort that many people could trust above their own puny intellects. Feeling is to many simply more real experientially. And Bush mark 1 simply turned out to be unpalletable as a Daddy surrogate.

But what we've said in this election buggers all description. It's two-pronged kind of dildo-statement. To the world we've said, "We ARE the cowboys; we like riding roughshod over all of y'all when there ain't nothin' you can do about it; we LIKE pissin' off everybody in the world; WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' ALLIES!" Talk about a recipe for inviting terrorism.

To Bush we've said, "You've wrecked our economy, destroyed our constitution, pillaged our civil liberties, killed our young people to line your own pockets, and we like it! CAN YOU PLEASE FUCK US JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER?!" And just to underline that statement, we gave him 3 million of the popular vote to do it with. So all of y'all who voted for Bush, just recognize yourselves for the masochists you are. You like to be seen as the biggest swingin' dicks on the planet, but at home you just can't take it up the ass far enough for your ol' top man.

Ok, so that was the first 24 hours of the rest of my life. Today here's what I'm concerned about. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Inquiries up from anti-Bush Americans seeking to leave U.S.

- Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, November 4, 2004

Sore losers were doing more than grumbling about the election results Wednesday -- some of them were actually thinking of pulling up stakes and bailing out.

It happens every four years, say the people who answer the phone at foreign embassies and consulates. Most callers are frustrated, but some are actually U.S. citizens serious about leaving the country.

"There's been quite a good deal of interest,'' said Rob Taylor, the consul general in San Francisco for New Zealand. "People have been coming in for six months or so.''

New Zealand has had a slew of American admirers ever since the "Lord of the Rings'' movies came out, featuring the country's scenery. But the presidential election ratcheted things up, Taylor said.

"Whenever New Zealand is the flavor of the month, we get inquiries,'' he said.

There are plenty of high-tech jobs waiting for qualified immigrants, Taylor said. New Zealand is picky, though, and the welcome mat is out primarily for younger, educated applicants with specific skills.

"We want genuine people who want to move, not just people hopping on a plane after the election, saying, 'I'm leaving, goodbye,' " Taylor said. "We want people to come have a look first, and then think about it.''

Consulate executive officer Tim Blackmore said prospective immigrants, even angry ones, should be more keen on coming to New Zealand than on leaving the United States.

"We want people interested in New Zealand as more than just an exit point, '' he said. "But the prospect of another four years of the current administration is certainly weighing on people's minds.''

The Australian Consulate said the phone was ringing there, too.

"Americans are funny,'' said consular officer Linda Heller. "They don't get their own way, so they want to move.''

At the Canadian Embassy in Washington, which handles most immigration issues, inquiries were up as well.

"Yes, we've heard from Americans distraught with the election results,'' said press officer Pam Lambo. "We do hear regularly from people distressed by the direction of the country. I don't get the calls myself, luckily.''

Immigration spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said it was "a little early to tell'' whether there would be a surge of applicants based on the U.S. election. She said disgust with the U.S. president would neither help nor hurt an applicant's chances of being accepted by Canada.

Some U.S. citizens already living in Canada did not seem encouraged by the results of Tuesday's election to return.

"If I had any inclination to move back, what happened yesterday sealed the deal,'' said a U.S. expatriate and Vancouver resident who goes by the name of Stan K.

Stan K., who moved from Los Angeles to Canada in 1986, teaches jazz saxophone in his central Vancouver studio. Canada suits him, he said.

<> <>"I like living in a country that isn't a superpower,'' he said. "It fits my style. After I watched the U.S. election results, I asked myself if I could move back, knowing that the bozos are still in charge. I don't think so.''

My question is, can't we DO something constructive with that energy? If some people do leave, wouldn't it be better to arrange that leaving as a public protest? Would people be willing to go to some neutral spot as a group, in a true, high-profile act of conscience? The officials quoted in the above article are so dismissive of these individuals because, I think, they ARE individuals and not organized. These few officials are creating the image of Americans as spoiled cry-babies for wanting to leave the U.S. "because they didn't get their way." I think that is very insulting to these Americans personally and very much in furtherance of the damage that's already been done to the image the world has of Americans now. I want that kind of damage to stop. Why can't an organization be created to deal with embassies on behalf of Americans who want to vigorously reject this administration because of its Constitution-destroying activities-- an organization to insist that these Americans be given the same respect that we have generously accorded to political refugees from outside the U.S.? Because indeed, that is what they are, and there's a hell of a credibility difference between a political refugee and a cry-baby, and they deserve to have that distinction be made. Above all, if Americans leave this country in any kind of numbers, some political juice has got to be gotten out of it, regardless of where stay-at-home Americans stand on the ethics of such a choice. And also, any Americans who emigrate for politcal reasons should be functioning as rebuilders of our ties to the rest of the world. Any wave of expatriation must be a success and it must be portrayed as being done for the right reasons, reasons of conscience and not selfishness. I think it’s vital that some effort be made to take control of these developments and use them as a tool for change here; the potential for destructiveness is too great otherwise.

That's the second 24 hours of the rest of my life.


Blogger Brook said...

We don't owe anyone any soul searcching or self-criticism until the discrepency between the exit polls and the ballots is explained.

The hand isn't called until all the cards are on the table.

If Kerry has the votes (even if he isn't President) that would make us the majority. We need an accurate count of the cards.

And then, we can decide if we hold em, fold em, walk away, run, etc.

In the meantime, we should totally be breaking shit.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 8:50:00 PM  

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