Every presidential election year, there are usually firm commitments from at least several people in the public eye stating that, “If NAME gets elected, I’m moving to Canada.” Four years ago, the NAME mentioned was Donald Trump. There was quite a list of folks from the world of entertainment who swore they would up and leave the country immediately rather than have to live in the U.S. of A. with Trump in the White House.
A partial rollcall included Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dog, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Lena Dunham, Ne-Yo, Susan Sarandon, and Barbra Streisand. Most of those folks thought our neighbor to the north would be a good location, although Spain and France got votes. Comedian George Lopez even opined that if Trump were elected as President, he wouldn’t have to worry about immigration from Mexico because everyone would want to go back.
Cher allowed as how she wouldn’t be content just moving to another country. She preferred life on Jupiter. And Jon Stewart said he would join her there. Alec Baldwin has been moving ever since George Bush was elected. Apparently, his brother Stephen said in an earlier election, he’d leave if Obama were elected. (It must be interesting around the Thanksgiving table at the Baldwins.) Even Rush Limbaugh reportedly once told a caller that if Obamacare passed in 2010 and was allowed to be fully implemented, he was taking flight too.
Perhaps you, for whatever reason, have given fanciful thought to what life might be like in another locale. Maybe you’ve been on a trip somewhere and dreamed, “This is the spot for me. I’m gonna pack it all up and move down here as soon as I can.” Surely at some point in everyone’s life the idea of residing on a tropical island has seemed like a good plan. Or in another country that’s been romanticized in movies and books. Tuscany in Italy, the south of France, the Greek archipelago, or any number of places where the grass looks much greener.
The thought of “leaving it all behind” most likely comes into play more with Seasoned Citizens than younger Americans. It’s easier to contemplate a total change of lifestyle if you’re retired, have a bit of cash put away, and are extremely mobile, rather than in the middle of a career with hungry mouths to feed, a mortgage to pay, and all manner of education and other of life’s expenses ahead of you.
Given the wide divide in the country right now (with little hope in the near future of bridging that fissure), just throwing a dart at a world map and heading off for good might seem inviting.
New Zealand has recently gotten some good ink. The Kiwis managed to keep The Virus at bay for some 102 days at a stretch. And the beauty of the country always gets glowing reports from those who travel there. The Dominican Republic also has received high marks from visitors. That’s an interesting place, and one that might not spring to mind, especially when you consider that it shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, often referred to as the poorest nation on Earth. But apparently the Dominican side is more prosperous.
Central America is well-represented on a list of possible utopias. Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama obviously offer warm climes, and have been much more politically stable in recent years than other countries south of our border.
One list I saw mentioned Argentina as a possible permanent destination. I guess my concern there would be if the country is still harboring Nazis and their offspring. (Perhaps I’ve seen too many World War II aftermath movies.)
As far as can be ascertained, all of the aforementioned potential emigrants still reside within our country’s borders. Of course, at least in 2020, even if they and any of the rest of us truly wanted to go somewhere, we’re all basically stuck. Covid-19 has rendered Americans pretty much persona non grata in many countries around the world. Canadians want little, if anything, to do with us. They won’t even let our Major League Baseball teams come up to Toronto to play. Europe definitely isn’t keen on our visiting, let alone living there. And cruise ships can’t traverse the Caribbean.
So, I guess we’re all in the same boat as the celebrities. But not actually being able to leave the country is probably better. This way, we can all express our outrage and claim that by golly, we’d move immediately if NAME YOU OPPOSE gets elected without having to actually follow through on the threat. It’s a great win-win for your psyche. And it doesn’t cost a thing.
©MMXX. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer