Normally I try to avoid political issues on this blog, but given the seriousness of the political nightmare that is currently unfolding in the US, I feel compelled to share some thoughts. There is a general feeling down here that the inmates have taken over the asylum and I think we all need to talk about it. Whether you’re a classic liberal, conservative, libertarian, or progressive – I think we all feel uneasy about what just happened.
As financially independent Canadian citizens who now reside in the US with green cards, Amanda and I have the bittersweet perspective of evaluating US culture through two lenses: as Hosers from the Great White North and as US Permanent Residents who expect to have dual citizenship within the next few years.
Yes, we have the option to move back to Canada and wrap ourselves in the warm blanket of a relatively healthy political climate, and it’s definitely tempting! Having a cost-effective Universal Healthcare System that although has long wait lists for some stuff, is a pretty great system (it just needs more money to keep up with the aging baby boomer population). Trudeau is a leader who understands the scientific method and prioritizes action on climate change. National cannabis legalization has been promised, ranked choice voting will soon be delivered, and the overall well-being of citizens is considered more important than spending money on military.
Sounds like a progressive paradise, right? Yeah, it really does! I love you Canada.
But down here, the circus sideshow candidate from New York who was just elected leader officially has no policies. Except vague excitement on building a massive wall on the southern border, lowering taxes on corporations and the super rich, spending more money on military, cancelling international trade deals and pushing for a very conservative Supreme Court Judge. Aside from that, nobody really knows what this guy is going to do. Not even Trump knows, since deep down he never thought he would win the election. Democrats were overconfident, apathetic, and not excited about voting for Clinton.
If aliens are watching us, they are probably shaking their heads in disbelief. What if there is an asteroid heading towards us right now and the aliens were considering helping us out by deflecting its course? Because of our collective fuckup here, maybe they’ll just let bygones be bygones and let the asteroid go. Maybe we’d survive it. Or maybe Trump would build an asteroid deflection program. Not to protect the Earth, of course but simply out of the self interest of his business empire! Yes, this is possible.
In some ways the situation is almost tragically hilarious. It’s an exciting drama, really. Maybe he’ll make the richest 100 Americans bring jobs to middle America by switching all power generation over to wind, solar, and nuclear? This could happen, yeah! On the other hand, maybe he’ll destroy all environmental protection laws and simply allow all corporations to start dumping their waste wherever they want, like in the good ‘ol days? Hrmm, the latter seems more likely, but who really knows?
So why don’t we pack our shit up and try and move back to Canada? Well, because even though the political climate down here is like someone rubbing your face in a nasty pile of dog shit, the US still has it’s charms. Although climate change is slowly warming Canada up over time, it might be another 20 years before you would consider winters to be “pleasant”. So for now, weather is much better in the US. Also, housing is much more affordable in the US. Vancouver and Toronto are off the charts, and even Montreal is expensive. The great thing about the US is the large number of affordable medium size cities that already have great infrastructure, architecture, and history. Finally, Canada’s economic outlook looks uncertain. A large portion of its GDP relies upon oil exports, which is a shaky foundation.
For now, we’re pretty happy with Asheville, NC as an oasis of progressive values and thought. Even if Trump fucks shit up over the next 4 years – there is always the chance that most if not all could all be undone with a Progressive President and Congress in 2020. Until then, we might as well donate our life savings to Bernie Sanders, sit back, and watch the show. Might as well grab some popcorn!