I have never wanted or even imagined living anywhere other than the United States..
Not that I necessarily will emigrate. Not that there is necessarily any other nation that is not, on some fundamental level, fucked up in one way or another. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to spend my life fighting for a number of basic rights that many other countries have seen fit to offer their citizens. Like access to health care. Like not visiting war and torture upon the world. Like not locking up a significant portion of its population while denying money to social services.
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the Democrats in office over the Republicans any day. Despite what some might say, there are significant differences between the two parties. But even during the dark days of George W. Bush’s presidency, I could pretend to myself that, after eight years, the Democrats would bring a level of sanity and integrity back to our government.
I know, I know, it was a naive notion.
The point isn’t really about which party is better for the country, it’s that both parties seem unable to create sane policy that actually helps people. Now that the Supreme Court has determined that corporations, as persons, can donate to candidates (but of course can’t be held morally, ethically, or legally culpable for the murders they might commit), the fight for progressive causes and justice in this country will become even more difficult and slow. Yes, the United States is worth the fight. Yes, justice and progress are always created out of the hard work and dedication of people fighting for the future against the dead ideals of the past. I just don’t know how much I want to fight for certain things that are offered in other places.
I would rather have access to good health care than the freedom to own a gun.
I would rather have a relatively stagnant economy that puts workers and people before ravenous profit.
I would rather live somewhere that did not torture.
Again I say that I would rather live somewhere that did not torture.
So . . . what do these thoughts signify? Nothing really. At the moment, I’m not going to leave the U.S. and I’m still trying to figure out what I can do to help further a variety of progressive causes. But I feel very pessimistic about some important social policies in this nation and, well, I just think that it’s interesting that I’ve never before thought of living in another country until now, when the Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House.
[Cross-posted on Daily Kos]