By Mary deWolf
“America — Love it or leave it!” We recall that old refrain of the Vietnam era. Now it’s conservatives threatening to leave in droves after the president’s re-election. JetBlue has offered to help with a free round-trip(?!) plane ticket for 1,006 international travelers as a consolation prize for those whose candidate lost.
Consider some choices. Maybe you fear a more “leftist” America. Canada is close and speaks the same language — but is lousy with “socialized” medicine. Don’t even consider Northern Europe. Southern Europe might be attractive, if you like to keep your money under a mattress.
Disgusted with America’s hedonistic ways? How about Saudi Arabia, where religion (Islam) is the law of the land? Homosexuality and Hollywood-style depravity are severely punished. Teaching evolution is outlawed in academia. Could be the place for you. Just be prepared for separation of the sexes in public — can’t be too careful. And women, you will need an escort every time you leave the house.
Are you tired of government intervention? Haiti or Somalia may be a good fit. No government, everything privatized. What could go wrong?
So leave if you must. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?
Or you might secede. Folks in most states have started petitions. It’s not a new idea. Southern states tried it in the 1860s, and some liberals threatened to pull out during the Bush II era. Libertarian darling Ron Paul of Texas approves secession, saying there’s nothing “treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents." (Isn’t that what elections are for?)
The “onerous” federal government offers help for secessionists with a website for applying and a mechanism for consideration. If red states are successful in seceding they would get most of the obese Americans with their elevated health care bills, a vast majority of all US mosquitoes, tornadoes and hurricanes. The blue states would be left with a large percentage of America's venture capital and tax revenue, control of the country's fresh water, and about 90% of the nation's fresh fruit, high tech industry and most of the low sulfur coal.
You won’t get much official support for your petition. Governor Haslam has weighed in saying that he doesn’t think secession is "a valid option for Tennessee." Even secession-threatening governor Rick Perry has come out against Texas returning to a republic, although some have suggested that we allow Texas to exit and let the disgruntled move there.
It seems a shame to leave now that the economy is recovering, unemployment falling, the auto industry growing and the stock market improving. Charitable giving is increasing. People are optimistic and shopping — Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday all posted gains.
We still have big, but solvable problems. We need everyone to engage, sharing good ideas to continue American’s recovery. If you must go (apologies to Sondheim) we know a plane you can get on. But consider staying. For most of us, it’s still the country we love.