There's nowhere else in the world as far to the right as the United States. If you want to live in a world that's further to the left, move to Europe. But we Americans who want a world that's further to the right have nowhere else we could go. We just have to hope our country doesn't drift left.
I read the first few comments and realized that it just wasn't worth my time to clarify. This morning there are double the comments, and it seems some people out there did understand what I meant.
If I were somehow the exact same person that I am right now, but I got dropped off from a spaceship and was told to choose where I want to live, I could only choose the United States. It's the only country that comes close to representing my value system. (My husband smirked and said, "Well, there's Hong Kong and Singapore, but then again we might get put in jail for dropping a gum wrapper.") However, for people who are strongly in the left camp, if they got dropped off from the same spaceship, there are perhaps several countries they could choose to fit their values: Canada? Sweden?
I never said "love it or leave it". However, I certainly respect people who do this. My good friend from college sold every belonging she and her family had and moved to France. They knew certain aspects of getting settled might be rough, but they wanted to be in France. And I respect and admire their determination. I applaud them for having the gumption to pack up and move to somewhere that better fits their way of life. It wasn't easy for them to disrupt their life so, but they did it out of conviction. Sadly, the experiment didn't work: a year later neither of them had found a job and they moved back to the US. Interesting that her French-citizen husband got a job much more easily in the US.
I admire this couple for giving it a shot. They're like the reverse of immigrants who came to the US a century ago looking for a better life. If I thought that there were anywhere on earth that would suit my values better than the US, I would do everything I could to move there. Show me Galt's Gulch, and I'm there. But the US is the closest we've got. That's why we on the right really worry about it shifting closer and closer to countries that already exist. We've got nowhere else to go...
I never said lefties have to leave. But they've got the option to if they want.
This really to the point, please read:
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Posted by: Ashley at January 16, 2006 07:19 PM (rzjfo)
America, love my vision of it or leave it, eh? Sorry, that isn't how democracy works...
Posted by: Pericles at January 16, 2006 10:13 PM (eKf5G)
There was a discussion in the comments section of Ace of Spades a few weeks back, and folks both on the left and right were sort of in agreement that with the two sides of the debate getting further and further apart, and neither side wanting to leave, "secession" or "dissolution of the Union" is becoming more and more of an attractive option.
Sadly, I think it's true.
Posted by: Sean at January 17, 2006 01:13 AM (29u+V)
I do not think you are trying to grok, you are being very knee-jerky here.
Being pro-healthcare and for some forms of gun control are not marginal views of a few crazy leftist extremists.
According to every poll I have seen on the question, the majority of Americans (me along with them) want some form of national healthcare. Why do we put that burden on our corporations, and cut into their profits? Why do we empower unions by keeping this on the table?
Gun control is not one thing, but a question on policies about a lot of things (criminal background checks before sales/Brady Bill, handgun ownership, automatic weapon ownership, assault rifle ownership, etc). Polls in general show Americans favor some forms of gun control and not others. I assume you have a more nuanced view than that there should be no controls whatsoever on owning any form of gum. If not, then you are in a stark minority.
What makes you so special that you as a minority in at least one of those views (healthcare), and maybe both (depending on where your views on gun control really are) can go telling the majority to leave their own country?
Pretending people really followed your advice, when your country has been depopulated by greater than 50%, do you really think you would be better off? When that depopulations is primarily of college educated professionals, do you really really think you would be better off? Do you think the country could survive the migration of the wealth and knowledge those people would take with them?
Even if you don't like the views of most Americans, even if they were a minority, maybe you should learn to be a little more tolerant of them. Healthcare and gun control are both really fairly complex problems, the are not simple questions with simple answers. Maybe you should try to have some more respect for those who have thought things out and came to a different answer.
Posted by: Mr. Silly at January 17, 2006 01:34 AM (kWQWR)
Mr. Silly...you'll attack me for this, but you lobbed the softball, I didn't. You're very aptly named.
Healthcare and gun control seem to be your hot button issues...neither of which have anything to do with federal legislation.
Yes, health care is expensive...but why do you think that might be the case? Is it possible that we're trying to subsidize the health care of just too many Americans and non-citizens at the same time? If all I have to do is make it across the Rio Grande, sail my seaworthy raft to any American shore, or snow shoe across the Canadian border...I've made it to "Easy Street" if I catch a cold. Don't believe me? Put on a green windbreaker that has "INS" in big yellow letters on the back and walk into an emergency room any night of the week. The other factor that increases the cost of healthcare is that we've got far too many lawyers in this country that expect our doctors to practice zero defect medicine. Just because you made it to the doctor before expiring, doesn't mean that he'll be able to save you. Lawyers just help survivors cash in by punishing doctors just trying to do their best.
As far as gun control is concerned, I agree. Criminals shouldn't have guns...but you know what? They're always going to have them...BECAUSE THEY'RE CRIMINALS AND DON'T OBEY LAWS!!! I watch a lot of CourtTV...and have seen some very interesting uses of claw hammers, baseball bats, and the like, but I don't see anyone running background checks at Home Depot or Academy Sporting Goods. Let's call a spade a spade here, we've got bad, evil people out there that use these items AS WELL AS GUNS to perpetuate crime. Let's lock them up! I don't see "Escape from New York" and "Escape from L.A." as action thrillers, but more like "how to" documentaries.
Sarah can state any opinion here that she likes...for one thing, this is her corner of the Internet. If you don't care for her ideas and politics, there are plenty of other places where you might be able to find more like-minded people like yourself. Try the Huffington Post, I think you'd lap that stuff up without the spoon.
Wow...sorry Sarah, but I had to. I just had to rant a bit!
See you on the high ground!
Posted by: MajorDad1984 at January 17, 2006 06:31 PM (j7S/Q)
How about just closing the comments down, or restricting them in some way to insure that they meet certain standards of true and correct discourse? What a messy place the internet is. We really must clean it up.
Posted by: Marli at January 17, 2006 07:17 PM (5sump)
Major, I don't get the impression that you read anything I wrote.
Sarah's opinion included saying that people who disagree should leave the country. There is ample reason to criticize this immature view.
As for guns, I stated no position. Personally I am against most forms of gun control, including the assault gun ban and the Brady bill, if you care, but I acknowledge that I am in the minority, and I do not think that those who disagree should leave my country.
WRT to healthcare, the issue is complex, but your examples do not shed much light. For instance, to get health care in Canada you need an insurance card - I have experienced this firsthand. There is a reason why uninsured Americans do not just pop across the border to get free healthcare when they need it. To get an insurance card you either need to purchase health insurance (which is not cheap), or show proof that you have been a resident for a year. It is actually a lot easier to get free healthcare here than in Canada. I agree that healthcare costs are too high here due to abuses. But the costs from illegals taking advantage of the system (which is something that should be corrected) are largely taken up by the state, and those that are not are not a drop in the bucket compared to the abuse that is done by the highly collusional insurance companies who have record profits while their net expenses and payouts have decreased by raising malpractise and other rates over and over. In Texas rates kept rising after tort reform measures came in, so (contrary to your talking point) it is not frivolous suits driving the costs. At this point the system is so broken on so many fronts that I am for starting over from scratch and building a sane system with a new insurance system that locks out the old corrupt companies.
Posted by: Mr. Silly at January 17, 2006 08:20 PM (0MHXm)
"America, love my vision of it or leave it, eh? Sorry, that isn't how democracy works..."
Pericles, one other way in which democracy isn't supposed to work is when a minority forces their "vision" of America on the majority through nebulous legal concepts such as The Constitution being a "living" document whose meaning changes based not on those who wrote it but on what those charged to interpret it wish it to mean. The truth is that there are countries that closer match your idea of a better country but none match the idea of a better country held by the majority here (especially conservatives, military and veterans) the way the US does.
Certainly at some point when leftists are able to convice the majority of the population that their views are the right ones you'll get an America made the way you want it, but it will no longer be America. It'll be a country named America, but one that no longer resembles the dream of The Founding Fathers, and which no longer espouses the ideals and values that constitute what America is.
Sillyman, you're argument is based on the false notion that being pro-healthcare is the same as being pro-universal socialized healthcare. You're argument on gun control is equally false in that some gun control is not the same as banning firearms. The aim of the left is not common sense control and education of firearms, but rather to remove firearms from the hands of the common man.
Frankly I'm with Sarah on this. If your values diverge so far from the values that this country represent, then why bother to stay here? Are leftists such sadist that they wish everyone who believes in freedom and liberty the pain of living in yet another failed socialist utopia? Are they simply religious extremist evangelists bent on forcing everyone to worship at the shrine of Marx?
We know it's not because they prefer to live in a country that espouses their values since those countries already exist and would embrace them and their inherent anti-Americanism.
Oh, and let's nip this one before someone poser tries to make an issue of it. If you espouse ideas and values that are contrary to those that define America, then you are anti-American despite your heated denials. Being against something makes you "anti" that thing. Such as me being anti-communist or anti-Jihadist.
Incidentally, despite the knee-jerk reaction of the leftists, nowhere does Sarah say "America, love it or leave it," though the opinion of that old bumper sticker is just as valid an opinion as the anti-Military "bakesale for bombers" one I've seen. Well, actually it's more valid since it has a logical basis whereas the bakesale bumper sticker is based on idiotic aunt-Nellism that is self-destructive and delusional.
Posted by: Kalroy at January 17, 2006 11:39 PM (9RG5y)
Silly, "Sarah's opinion included saying that people who disagree should leave the country. There is ample reason to criticize this immature view."
No she didn't. She pointed out that countries that fit the vision of liberals and the far left already exist, but countries that fit the vision of the center and center-right exist singularly as the United States of America. No country, least of all America, fit the vision of the far right.
"Pretending people really followed your advice, when your country has been depopulated by greater than 50%, do you really think you would be better off?"
I doubt it would be greater than 50%. The left does not make up a majority of the country. Center and right make up a greater portion of the country than the left, and the center is more rightwing than it is usually portrayed. Even a large number of ardent Democrats are too far right to be left. From Union supporters who use can't stand the left, to Black Baptists who are ardently anti-Abortion, pro-traditional family, and pro-Christian. Both groups tend to be ardent Democrats, but their support is based on very narrow goals of the Democrat party, and they support more of the Republican platform. However, in the words of my ardent Democrat in-laws, "I'll be damned before I vote Republican." Of course they are also disgusted by homosexuality, abortion, socialized anything, mixed race marriages, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and a host of other pets of the Democrats. Theirs is a strange point of view held by quite a number of people I've met in my blue-collared life.
Posted by: Kalroy at January 17, 2006 11:55 PM (9RG5y)
orrr, everyone could just, like,shut up and move to Russia or something.
Posted by: Marli at January 18, 2006 12:57 AM (O5TXh)
You are a bit off base.
In general polls show that the American public supports some form of universal healthcare. The details depend on the poll, but most people recognize that what we have now is broken and getting worse, and want it fixed, with universal healthcare being an obvious solution.
In general polls show that the American public support some forms of gun control - not all, but some. I am not advocating any gun control. I own a shotgun (for home defense), a few hunting rifles, and a handgun (a Luger which was a gift from my deceased uncle). I have kids so I secure them properly and treat them with due respect. I think that any citizen who does not have a history of violent crime who wants to be armed should have that right, and that any laws resticting that right should be state or local laws, not federal. My views are not in the majority, and I can accept that.
I believe I misunderstood Sarah's initial post, so I take back my remarks about leaving the country. I still would say that if most people in the country want to see it go a certain direction, better that we act like a democracy and do what they think would improve their country than leave because some minority opposes the changes, even if I am among that minority.
FWIW, emigration is a lot easier said than done. Picking up, leaving friends and family, and going off to a new country is both expensive, and emotionally difficult, so even if there were some imaginary country that had laws and a culture that I thought were sane, I would still stay here.
Posted by: Mr. Silly at January 18, 2006 03:10 PM (K4xEt)
Off base? Heck, I can't even play ball, my indian name is "Throws Like a Girl" so.... But I get your point and you're right. I was off base in my statement. The Polls depend on the wording and worded as "Universal Healthcare" and some "Gun Control." When "universal healthcare" is termed "socialized healthcare" support drops off. Both terms are loaded. After all, in this country no one is legally prohibited from obtaining healthcare, but they're responsible for it themselves (with, of course certain exceptions such as Health Families or Medi-Cal). With the term "socialized healthcare" it becomes obvious that I'm expected to pay for the healthcare of a welfare queen or a hippy dropout (and of course for the kid with a bright future struck by a car).
I myself like the idea of a safety net, but hate how badly it would be abused (considering how badly it's abused right now), and frankly agree with most of my union brothers and blue-collar construction buddies (most ardent democrats) detest the idea of paying the way for welfare queens (I'm using the term in general), even though I know several and have seen how they game the system without ever breaking the law.
As to gun-control, I'm with you on this, I think everyone should excercise good control over their gun. It's already illegal for the bad guys to have guns, and law-abiding citizens should not have their own rights abridged simply because the state can not seem to enforce the laws already on the books.
"I still would say that if most people in the country want to see it go a certain direction, better that we act like a democracy and do what they think would improve their country than leave because some minority opposes the changes, even if I am among that minority."
I agree with that. But that's not what the left wants because they're not in the majority.
As to your point on immigration, well, yeah. It's almost impossible to pick up and move out of state, or even out of town where a person can find employment or better employment. So I see your point on that. I know it's possible, however, since I spent all last year and half of this year (ummmmmm, 2004, 2005 I meant) working out of state because California is short on worthwhile jobs for a blue-collar worker, before that a stint overseas.
However, I still maintain that the leftist minority that wants to remake the country in the image of France and Cuba should really just move their and let the majority have some peace and let the majority have their democratic way. I don't expect it, but I'd love it if they did. Though, they may all decided to move back.
Perhaps the problem is that they don't want to go to those countries because America still has far greater opportunity than France and Cuba. It's just that leftists fail to realize the reason for this is because it is not like Cuba.
Okay, gotta go eat now.
Posted by: Kalroy at January 18, 2006 09:51 PM (9RG5y)
The thing I don't get is why people on the right who insist on parroting the party line on every issue can get so worried about socialized medicine. The White House, both houses of Congress, and the SCOTUS are all controlled by Republicans. The legislature has been thoroughly bribed/campaign donated by the Insurance companies, the AMA, and big Pharma. Even the Dems in the Senate are well bribed by the same.
If there is some leftist minority that wants to turn us into Cuba, why even care? They are powerless. Besides some blogs, a few op-eds in the papers and their last bastion in universities, they have nothing.
Even on gun control they only make minor gains like Brady/Assault ban, and the Assault ban is dead now thanks to the fact that Republicans control the federal gov't, so why get all worked up?
Posted by: Mr. Silly at January 19, 2006 01:09 AM (K4xEt)
Actually, the Founding Fathers had a lot of disagreements about what the country should look like, as we do today. Consider, for example, the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debate about the role of the central government. So when you speak about "their vision," the truth is that as a group they had no such vision about what the country should look like or what the Constitution allowed. In any case, I agree with you that the idea of a "Living Constitution" is morally bankrupt. On the other hand, though, so is "strict constructionism." Constitutional interpretation has to be driven by what the words meant when they were written. However, the Constitution contains a lot of value-laden language, and we have to interpret that language based on what our best understanding today of what it means, even if that is not what the Framers thought. Just to choose one example, think about the prohibition on cruel punishment. Cruelty is an abstract value-laden concept, which means something like inflicting more suffering than is justified by any good that results. That meaning hasn't changed since the 18th century. The strict constructionist mistake is to say not only that we have to be guided by the original meaning of that term, but in addition that we have to take the Founding Fathers' word for what punishments are cruel. Maybe they got that wrong, though, and if they did, being true to the meaning of what they wrote means rejecting their judgments about what specific punishments are and aren't okay. That isn't a "Living Constitution" approach; it is the truest form of "original meaning" jurisprudence. And the same reasoning can be applied to other abstract terms in the Constitution, such as the establishment of religion or the equal protection of the law.
Posted by: Pericles at January 21, 2006 12:05 PM (eKf5G)
OK so Sarah didn't say love it or leave it.
That means I can. Love it or leave it idiots.
You suppose you are in the majority? Where's the evidence. I see no links to actual polls. I know of NO (nada, nyet, nunca, none) majority support for universal government sponsored health care. So quit dirtying up the comments with supposition and provide some facts for review, girls.
Posted by: Subsunk at January 22, 2006 10:40 PM (6RsXX)
The overall misconception in this entire argument is that the founding fathers were Republican and that if alive today, they would vote for Bush.
Sounds likes a right-wing fantasy to me. Sure, the fathers were about personal freedom, low taxes (which is more about small government), and the right to self-defense, but if you think that that's what the Republican party of today stands for and not what the Democratic party of today stands for then you are sorely deluded.
The evidence shows that Bush is about big government spending (the highway bill), favors to the energy and defense industries (the energy bill and the Iraq war) and government sponsored invasion of personal freedoms (the patriot act and the wiretapping.)
The founding fathers were radicals when it came to rights of the individual. That's why the Democratic party policies on same-sex marriage, abortion and the seperation of church and state are, in my opinion, far more in line with what America is supposed to be. So when you try to say that America is one thing, and that the rest of us (which is a lot, considering Bush's popularity numbers) should "move to Europe", I think you are very mistaken about the fundamental concepts of what this country is all about.
Basically, you want a Republican totalitarian state. This country is about opposing views, non-violent debate, and accountability of our leaders. The Democrats and their allies keep this country in check, day after day, when the rest of you would be willing to hand over the keys to the kingdom at the first sign of fear-mongering.
You pick a few issues like medicare, public education and welfare and try to label us freedom-hating, government loving socialists who love Marx and want to set up communist system in this country. What a huge, bogus lie. Just because there are humanitarians in the Democratic party who empathize with their fellow citizens and want to give their less fortunate neighbours a chance to pursue happiness DOES NOT mean that they want goverment to take over our lives. We want the government out. You guys with your anti-ACLU stance and your unflinching love and acceptance for the president are coming dangerously close losing all of our freedoms.
But that's okay, we'll just stay here in America and work to make things better, and you can all thank us later.
Posted by: Will Somerset at January 25, 2006 07:48 PM (eIQfa)
The overall misconception in this entire argument is that the founding fathers were Republican and that if alive today, they would vote for Bush.
Sounds likes a right-wing fantasy to me.
Sounds more like your fantasy of what you think your opponents believe.
Posted by: Patrick Chester at January 26, 2006 11:19 PM (74cXW)
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