Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Flight of the Democrats

It was with a twinge of sadness that I read a recent New Your Times article by Rick Lyman that chronicled the rise in U.S. citizens moving, permanently, to Canada.

It seemed to Mr. Lyman that a large contingent of American liberals were actively seeking Canadian citizenship and fleeing, what they feel, is a worsening of the American political and social scene. Quoting from the article:

"America is in no danger of emptying out. But even a small loss of residents, many of whom cite a deep sense of political despair, is a significant event in the life of a nation that thinks of itself as a place to escape to.

Firm numbers on potential émigrés are elusive.

"The number of U.S. citizens who are actually submitting Canadian immigration papers and making concrete plans is about three or four times higher than normal," said Linda Mark, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver.

Other immigration lawyers in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax said they had noticed a similar uptick, though most put the rise at closer to threefold.

[End Quote]

I have to admit I have some really mixed feelings about this, seemingly, unique watershed event. I deeply regret that some people see American as having drifted too far to one side of the political spectrum. Drifted so far, in fact, that they can no longer lives here as citizens. One young lady was quoted as saying "Under Bush, the U.S. seems to be leading the pack as the world spirals down." That truly saddens me. America should be a place for honest debate and discussion and, yes, even protest. For someone to feel so disenfranchised that they feel their only recourse is to leave the country is significant.

We have always been a country where healthy debate was welcomed. If your candidate does not get elected, you fight harder in the next election. You protest. You write letters and editorials (and, today, BLOGs). You contribute to the party of your choice. You go to meetings and you organize. You get more active locally for candidates closer to home. But to just pack your bags and leave? I believe this truly says something significant and worrisome. It's says something sbout the Democratic Party and the Republican Part. It says something about us all.

On the other hand, the conservative in me leaps for joy. I think "Fine! Leave! That will make our majority in the next election even greater. We won; get over it. Good riddance!"

But, I still keep having that nagging feeling that this is not the way it should be. The pendulum should not swing so far as to knock people off the edge. Should it?

15 Comments:

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