Within minutes of the major news networks calling the 2012 presidential election for President Barack Obama, facebook came alive with people who were outraged with this particular result. I saw a great number of people stating that they were leaving the country. I figured since I have several years of experience living outside my native country that this could be a great opportunity to act as a consultant and posted a tongue-in-cheek status to that effect. If only these people were serious. The same idle threats were made by people outraged at GWB’s re-election, but at least for that group, Canada made sense, but they didn’t leave. Let me spare you some of your valuable time right now; if your only motivation for leaving the U.S. is your disappointment with the presidential election, stop pouring emotional energy into the notion of expatriating, you’re not going to do it, deep down, you realize how easy you’ve got it in the U.S.
Before I continue, I’m going to state a few generalizations about how I view the current crop of would be expats:
- Their core value system revolves around being right-wing, conservative Christians
- They’re strongly opposed to gay rights
- They’re angered by the thought of socialized health care
- They think their taxes are high
- They think gas prices in the U.S. are high
- They’re misogynistic
- They believe in strict immigration laws
With that list of beliefs & values in mind (ignoring the irony of #7), I will, through the process of elimination, attempt to find their Utopia.
The country that seems to be mentioned most often as a destination is Canada. Given its proximity to the U.S. and mostly English-speaking population it’s an easy choice. However, Canada does have socialized medicine, recognizes gay marriage, higher gas prices than the U.S. and recognizes women’s rights. The Obama haters might want to give Canada a pass, as well as Australia, New Zealand & wide swaths of Europe for the same reasons.
The USA’s neighbor to the south, with it’s seemingly endless supply of small arms and Catholic majority seems like it would be a more agreeable choice of locations to expatriate to, but the conservatism of Mexico pretty much ends there. In the long-term, it seems fairly likely that Mexico would consider joining Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Alliance for the People’s of our Americas, that coupled with the fact that the Mexican head-of-state is, well, a Mexican and higher gas prices than the U.S. Mexico no longer seems like a viable option. Most of Latin America can be discounted for the same reasons (though socialized gas prices in Ecuador and Venezuela are much lower than the U.S.).
I’m going to get the entire continent of Antarctica out of the way by saying that my experience there was socialist to the core. Housing, clothing, food and healthcare all provided to me by what wasn’t a government, but was the closest thing to it and was funded by tax dollars. Guns are strictly forbidden, churches are few and far between and science is highly regarded.
There are a few places in Africa that might be considered, topping the list are Somalia and Sudan/South Sudan. These places were mentioned mostly because you won’t be bothered by pesky governments, gun ownership is requisite to your survival and religious extremism is viewed as paramount. The biggest disqualifier for the entire continent of Africa is the number of black heads-of-state and that’s one of the primary reasons you want to leave the U.S.
We’re now left with Asia, a vast and diverse land and I opine that there’s got to be a place for you here. Cambodia, with its recent history of actively killing smart people seems like an excellent choice. Too bad about Cambodia’s crack-down on guns, but if you’re not opposed to dealing with the Russian mafia, guns can certainly be had. Since I’m talking about Asia, you’re probably thinking that the ‘one-child’ policy and Communist history are good reasons to leave China completely off of the list. Not so, you see, if you were to do some independent research you might discover that the ‘one-child’ policy is less a policy and more a guideline. Also, you’ve got to admit that China seems to have figured out the Capitalism thing and I think that in the long-term China might be a good choice. Especially if they stop taking such a dim view on religion. My number one choice, however has to be the entirety of the Arabian Peninsula. Once you stop focusing on the differences and instead consider the similarities, I think you might find the religion quite agreeable. Women are viewed less as people and more as property. English is widely spoken. Government stays out of the day-to-day affairs of people, provided they toe the religious line. Homosexuality isn’t tolerated at all. Gas prices are some of the lowest in the world and the economy is booming. Oh, and as a bonus they have very strict immigration laws, whoops!