I have heard not a few people say that a Bush victory in November will lead them to move out of the United States. Most of them say that they will go to Canada, although occasionally Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are the locations of choice. I think that this is absurd, and I think it is worthwhile to explain why.Running away from political problems will solve nothing. Without resistance to current policies, those policies will not change. Without messengers who will inform the public and engage in substantive debate, no resistance will be formed, and without Americans dedicated to the preservation of our freedoms and prosperity who remain here despite political loss, there will be no messengers. Political change depends upon your presence, and those who run away only show that they wish to live in a more perfect world without fighting for it.
Most people who say they will run away are supposedly dedicated liberals, though it seems rather ironic that liberals, of all people, would jump ship for their own self-satisfaction or comfort rather than work to bring about change for the good of all. Such people are not liberal in any respectable sense of the term: they are lazy whiners, so miffed by not getting their way as to never try again. If these people move away, then perhaps America will be the better for it.
I think that most who say that they want to move are simply frustrated, but they cannot be so absolutist in their convictions as to relinquish their dreams for a better nation when faced with temporary resistance. To an extent, a Bush victory would make some initiatives look rather bleak, but we must heed the admonition of Clausewitz: “The vividness of transient impressions must not make us forget that such truth they maintain is of a lesser stamp.” In short, do not be so quickly convinced that four more years of Bush bodes the end of all that is good and valued in this nation.
America withstood the Sedition Act, a Civil War, McCarthyism, and endless violations of civil rights; America will withstand the PATRIOT Act, a ban on federally-funded stem cell research, an economic downturn, and the War on Terror, but only if those who with such conviction oppose Bush’s policies remain here to fight them.
Bush is right when he says, “freedom isn’t free.” What we sometimes forget is that it is not free even for Americans in terms of political cost. I, for one, am convinced that America is worth fighting for. I sincerely hope that you think the same.