The elections was close and popular vote shows that we are a nation divided. The Monday morning quarterbacking of the Republicans I know has started. (It should be noted I am a registered Republican, even though I voted for Obama).
The main point of comfort seems to be “It was so close, we’ll get in next time.” Blame seems to be firmly pointed on Romney. His gaffs, his being a Mormon, and even his family no one could really warm up to, are all getting the blame. Those not optimistic about 4 years from now are simply threatening to move. They say they must move away as 4 years of Obama will “ruin America”.
During the campaigning my friends that openly supported Obama were subjected to taunts of “Why don’t you move to Sweden? You want socialism, move there!” Denmark was also a popular suggestion. There also were more than enough Democrats that threatened to move to Canada is Romney won the election. This is very common after any tightly contested battle. Few people actually move.
However, there is one problem for the Republicans that are threatening to move. Just where would they move to? You can taunt a Democrat with Sweden or Denmark, and while I have never been they seem like nice countries. Lovely scenery, good health services (that are free!), a well educated population and I hear Denmark has large dogs. There could be worse places to move to. Canada was also a suggestion for those Democrats that didn’t like it here. Much of my family is Canadian and I can assure you it’s a lovely place to live and raise children.
The Republicans have the problem of not having a country they can move to that reflects their political hopes and agenda. Somalia is always suggested as a “Libertarian Paradise”, but I don’t imagine it has the same amenities as Denmark. Given a choice, I think most Republicans would choose Denmark over Somalia. Rush Limbaugh has spoken of moving to Costa Rica if Obama won.
My daughter has been to Costa Rica numerous times, and it’s quite lovely. I think Rush has it picked out a retirement site, and even if Rush himself had won the presidency I think he would still be planning on retiring there. A lush tropical paradise, with universal health care, is a tempting place for anyone to settle down.
My suggestion for my die hard fellow Republicans is that you are not going to do any better than the USA. Local politics offers great opportunities for pushing anti abortion bills and prayer in the classrooms (if you must). Our state officials, the ones you really never know who to vote for on the ballot, have a huge impact on our daily lives. Everything from the taxes we pay to what our children learn in school is decided in part at the local level.
My second suggestion for my Republican friends is that they take a good hard look at the direction the party is going. Republicans are all patting themselves on the back at how “close” the election was. Sadly, they need to look at the demographics. It’s time for the party to start paying attention to the wants and needs of women, Hispanics, blacks and yes, even gays. I know many people that voted against Romney not because they support gay marriage, but because they have a gay brother , sister, or good friend that they wanted to protect. Since gays have come “out of the closet” we all know someone we love or care about that is gay. The Republicans have to deal with that issue. People may not like gay marriage, but they sure like that couple on “American Family” The times are a changing. (I’m old enough to remember the incredible trust it took a friend to tell me he was gay. He was entrusting me with a secret that could ruin his life. Today he’s happily married to his long time love, and everyone knows he’s gay and proud).
The white vote, that gave Romney that popular vote, is declining. It doesn’t mean the end of America. It doesn’t mean that large parts of the US are going to become part of Mexico. It means we have a new even more tolerant and diverse America coming.
I read that the top countries disgruntled Republicans are threatening to move to are Canada and Australia. Those are good choices for a lifestyle much like that in the US, but those countries do have universal health care. They are far more socialist than the US. My ever grumpy Republican neighbor said he’s considering Canada as they don’t have all those “immigrants”. He obviously has not been to Canada recently. I calmly mentioned my dear sister in law, and my niece and nephew. They are Canadian, but they are also of Asian heritage.
He did say his wife wanted to go to Australia. I have never been, but imagine Australia is not the lily white conservative paradise he hopes for. I know he will stay here, preparing for 4 years from now. I also know he will be disappointed again ,and looking at travel brochures with koalas on the cover, unless the Republicans begin to address the America we are now and we are becoming more and more, a very diverse nation that still has the American dream of a good education for their children, and the opportunity for everyone to succeed. No one wants a hand out, but the opportunity to gain the American dream must be seen as being attainable to all that work for it. It’s the image projected by the Republicans that this dream is only for their white support base that did them in. 4 more years from now, despite Romney having so many children and grandchildren, the voting pool will be even less white. It’s time for the Republicans to start rebuilding now, because they truly have no place else to go.