Sunday, November 14, 2004

Nitwittery on Display

Yesterday two articles about the election ran in The Buffalo News, one relating how happy Bush supporters are about their victory, and the other describing how despondent Kerry supporters are about their narrow defeat.

I wanted to slap the people quoted in both stories.

First, the easy one. One of the Bush supporters in the first story says this:

This country was founded on strong religious values. My father's family and my mother's family fought the American Revolution for that. That's what this country was founded on. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

Ah, yes: "Love it or leave it." Yeah, well, with all due respect to this person's forebears who took up arms against the Redcoats, screw that. I have ancestors who fought for this country too, and I plan to work hard to advance the agenda in which I believe precisely because this country is my home and I love my country.

Now to the folks on the other side:

On the day after the election, the number of U.S. visitors to Canada's main immigration Web site jumped from an average of 20,000 to 115,016 - a nearly sixfold increase that practically doubled the previous record.

Look, I have no idea how much of this traffic was brought about by people who are actually considering expatriating to Canada, or just living there until January 20, 2009, or whatever. I admit that I read this Harpers article about the ins-and-outs of ditching one's country, but I did so because it was linked on MeFi (I can't find the link right now) and I thought, "Gee, I wonder just what is involved in changing one's nationality." You never know when something like this is going to be useful, when you're a writer-in-waiting.

(And it's actually a very interesting read. You'd be surprised at the amount of legal stuff that awaits anyone trying to go this route. It really makes me wonder just how much money all those rich folks who renounced their citizenships to evade US taxes spent on the lawyers who had to iron out the details.)

I suspect that a lot of traffic to whatever site this article is referring was of similar variety -- i.e., I doubt that the number of people actually thinking about leaving the United States for greener (well, colder, anyway) pastures in Canada is very low. Anyone who hangs around Blogistan for even a short while knows that traffic does not imply support, and I suspect that this site may have been Slashdotted or something similar.

But to anyone who might actually be considering moving to Canada, let me say: You're nitwits. All of you.

The risk of participating in a democracy -- hell, it's not even a risk, but a guarantee, a mortal lock -- is that sometimes you're not going to win. Sometimes you're going to want the country to go one way, and fifty-plus percent of the people who vote are going to want to go another. You don't knock the board on the floor and stomp off to your room; you reset the board and try again. If you do that, you just make it that much harder on those of us who do still hope to win one of these election thingies once in a while.

So, to sum up: Conservatives, your recent victory doesn't mean that you own America and get to tell the rest of us to get out if we liberals wish to pursue our agenda. And liberals, shut up about moving to Canada, because that's really an anti-American attitude, and I for one am done listening to people tell me that I am anti-American. I am an American.

(But if you really really must move to Canada, Sarah Jane Elliott has some pointers for you on how to be a Canadian. And before you leave, make sure you stop in Buffalo and spend some money. We need it. Bad.)

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