Recently I was asked by a friend if I would consider moving out of the country because of what is currently going on (the sequester, equal rights struggles, divided government etc.), he followed up his question by stating that “It doesn’t matter who is in office because the people don’t matter here anymore.” I have been struggling with my own patriotism given current situations but I have to admit this question and statement helped put things back into perspective. I am still not chanting U.S.A all around town but I am still glad to be an American. Below is how I Responded:
It does matter who is in office – just not necessarily who is in the Oval office. It isn’t so much that the people don’t matter anymore but more that the people don’t pay attention or even know how our government runs or operates.
Politicians are only shitty because we allow them to be and we keep voting the same ass holes back into congress and local offices or as is usually the case no one shows up to the polls for the midterm and local elections anyway. The President currently has more power than ever before (mostly thanks to Baby Bush who considerably beefed up the Presidential role) but he is still largely a figurehead with not much more than the authority to Veto. However, no I do not want to move. We are still (even with all of the bullshit happening right now) one of the most stable countries in the world, we still have the luxury of more freedoms than most and even with recent defense cuts we still have the largest and most powerful defense in the world, not to mention that despite what politicians and the media try to make you believe the numbers show that our economy is still slowing rebounding from the recent recession. Also, we are looking at a global economic crisis right now – Europe is not doing any better than we are, China is facing their own issues, Russia is full of nutbags who are desperately trying to reclaim their place globally which causes them to ally with questionable countries and make confusing decisions and Germany has no defense to speak of which makes them incredibly vulnerable for a world power and Greece is still bankrupt with a 17.3% unemployment rate. I suppose one could move to Sweden – it is pretty there, they are peaceful and are not currently being rocked by anything politically but they rely on the rest of the world’s success to succeed which also makes them fairly vulnerable considering. Mexico is a nonstarter as that country is still technically part of the 3rd world; Canada is nice but cold and largely dependent on The States anyhow.
It is very important to know what is going on elsewhere as well as in your own country/state before thinking you ought to just pick up and go. Despite everything, the USA is still at the top of the list as far as comfort, freedoms, employment and opportunity. When and if this country ever stops having issues with immigration that would be the time to worry (and to start packing); as long as there are still people dying to get into this country or sneaking here illegally on a regular basis it is a good sign. Once they stop wanting to come here that is when you will know it is actually falling apart.
We are spoiled as Americans which makes us think things like a recession or a large deficit are the end of the world and they are not and we think that a tax hike of 1 to 2% is the worst thing our government could do. First off, our deficit is mostly borrowed from ourselves – we are not actually crazy in debt to anyone else and China does not “own” us, secondly most of Europe actually pays in excess of 50% to taxes from their income so we really aren’t bad off comparatively. Don’t get me wrong though, things do suck right now (at least for American standards) and we need to fix/change things but this is not the beginning of the end. However, if you want to actually follow something that could be a bad sign of things to come (or at least another war) you might want to pay attention to what is going on in Syria right now and how involved we are becoming – also, North Korea to a lesser extent (they are mostly just bark and no bite but eventually I imagine they might actually bite).
France…I guess you could move to France – though geographically they are in the thick of it if things ever get crazy and it is really pricey to live there and they have pretty high taxes.