Note to liberals: Stop saying “I seriously considered moving to Canada.” It sounds stupid (because it is), it’s not true, and it’s only providing hope and encouragement to the right wingnuts.
“I seriously considered moving to Canada.” Really? Did you travel to Canada, look at houses, check out schools, apply for a job? OK, did you start reading a Canadian newspaper or buy books on Canada? Did your “serious consideration” involve anything at all except saying that one silly phrase?
Didn’t think so.
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is you are right not to move to Canada, for any number of reasons.
First, Canada is less progressive than you think. It still has an expansive, interventionist military policy and it also has its own variety of Neanderthal political factions. Remember, much of Canada is more or less Alaska, and we know very well what those folks are like.
Second, Canada has a tiny, resource-based economy, so unless you want to drive a wheat combine or a fishing boat or a dump truck the size of Starship Enterprise up above the Artic Circle, there’s not that much for you to do. The U.S. is the most advanced economy in the world, a byproduct of which is that we are the most hyper-specialized economy in the world. Many of the jobs we have, particularly the high paying ones, don’t even exist in other parts of the world.
Third, the weather genuinely sucks. If you can afford to bid against newly-minted Shanghai billionaires for tiny two bedroom condos in Vancouver, you can get weather that is almost bearable—Seattle, only colder. Anywhere else in Canada and the weather is pretty lousy. These are people who in January go to Duluth to warm up. In theory, all of us like the change of seasons, etc, just fine. In practice, we all are weather wimps. As a nation, we have all been slowly but surely moving southward as the advent of air conditioning and anti-microbials let us do so. By the way, so have Canadians. I know a lot of Canadians, and they all live in Rio, the Caribbean and Sarasota, anywhere but Winnipeg.
Fourth, it’s not unbearable here yet. Sure, it may be one day. And when it is, history says we will leave, just as the Jews finally left Germany in the 1930’s and the blacks finally left the South. But it has to be pretty unbearable before people emigrate, and usually that unbearability has to involve not just political repression but physical danger, e.g., the Irish diaspora.
Fifth, there’s an awfully good chance you’d end up isolated and irrelevant, like the Confederate enclave in Brazil or the Mormon settlements in Mexico. (Or Utah for that matter, but I digress.) You’d be forgotten by history except as a tourist attraction, like the cotillions with hoop skirts they have in Brazil.
Sixth, Canada has quotas and probably wouldn’t let you in.
So you ain’t going nowhere. And I’m not either. None of us are. So we should stop saying it.
I mean, after all, what do we think we will gain by voicing that intent? Do you think the Tea Partiers regard that as a threat? They should. All the statistics say that mobile liberals are smarter, better educated, wealthier and contribute more so society than the average conservative. If there was a mass emigration of those on the upper end of the political left, it would be devastating to the U.S. economy and society. But you’re counting on a Tea Partier to understand statistics and broader economic implications? These are people who can’t understand basic arithmetic and you think they’ll understand macroeconomics? Really?
The truth is every time you say it a right wingnut smiles. It confirms their suspicion that you’re not a real American. (Traitors emigrate. Real loyal Americans secede, like Rick Perry.) And it gives them hope that one day you might do it. Remember, these are folks whose idea of a diverse society is, except for some trivial details, identical to that of Mullah Omar. In their view we are either Communists, Jew-Muslims, or gay, or some combination thereof. Their vision of the ideal society is one without us. They love to hear you say you’re headed north of the border, and in fact are available next Saturday to help you pack the truck.
So, shut up already.