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February 07, 2005

Take Off Already, Eh? You Hoseheads

They still claim they want to leave the US, but they seem to be using Alec Baldwin's rather slow-moving travel-agent to arrange things:

Christopher Key knows exactly what he would be giving up if he left Bellingham, Washington.

...

But leave it he intends to do, and as soon as he can. His house is on the market, and he is busily seeking work across the border in Canada. For him, the re-election of George W. Bush was the last straw.

"I love the United States," he said as he stood on the Vancouver waterfront, staring toward the Coastal Range, which was lost in a gray shroud. "I fought for it in Vietnam. It's a wrenching decision to think about leaving. But America is turning into a country very different from the one I grew up believing in."

In the Niagara of liberal angst just after Bush's victory on Nov. 2, the Canadian government's immigration Web site reported a surge in inquiries from the United States, to about 115,000 a day from 20,000.

After three months, memories of the election have begun to recede. There has been an inauguration, even a State of the Union address.

Yet immigration lawyers say that Americans are not just making inquiries and that more are pursuing a move above the 49th parallel, fed up with a country they see drifting persistently to the right and abandoning the principles of tolerance, compassion and peaceful idealism they felt once defined the nation.

...

Melanie Redman, 30, assistant director of the Epilepsy Foundation in Seattle, said she had put her Volvo up for sale and hopes to be living in Toronto by the summer. She and her Canadian boyfriend, a Web site designer for Canadian nonprofit companies, had been planning to move to New York, but after Nov.2, they decided on Canada instead.

"I'm doing it," she said. "I don't want to participate in what this administration is doing here and around the world. Under Bush, the U.S. seems to be leading the pack as the world spirals down."

...

"I'm originally from a poor, lead-mining town in Missouri, and I know a lot of the people there don't understand why I'm doing this," she said. "Even my family is pretty disappointed. And the fact is, it makes me pretty sad, too. But I just can't bear to pay taxes in the United States right now."

Finally! Join the club, Sister. What took you so long?

I question the timing.

But I guess I do respect those who not only despise America (or "what America is becoming," at least), but are prepared to act on that conviction, rather than remaining affiliated with a nation they so plainly hate.

The pursuit of happiness is a cherished American ideal. And if that ideal compels you to pursue happiness in Canada-- well, that's just fine with me. No one, apart from jailed criminals, is a captive of this nation.

We seem to be witnessing an accelerating trend of migrations based on political ideology-- the libertarians, for instance, have long talked about invading New Hampshire to make it a bastion of Ayn Rand-type freedom not unlike Colorado in Atlas Shrugged. And now the left, long ago having invaded Vermont, now seems to be moving to its own Colorado of the North.

I don't know that there's anything wrong or dangerous about this. I think perhaps that a friendly local ideology is being elevated much higher on the list of sanguinary attributes of a locale that it had been previously. But if that's what people want -- well, we're all free to choose our own bliss.

Vaya con Dios. Seriously-- I hope it works out for them. Better they be happy in Canada than resentful, miserable, and angry in America.

I do think this sort of undermines the left's dedication to strong-form diversity. It's about time they admitted the obvious-- there may be some benefits to diveristy, to being forced to deal with people much different than you (including with respect to ideology), but let's face it, most people seek out the company of like-minded individuals.

Opposites attract, but those of like minds tend to stick together for longer.

Thanks for the title to NickS.


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posted by Ace at 01:26 PM

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