I’ll be the first to admit it – I’ve caught myself saying things like, “I just want to leave the U.S. already,” or “I want to move back to Sweden;I’m over this,” a lot lately. Seems awfully soon for someone who just became a U.S. citizen less than five years ago, I know, but living in a country where at any given time the government can be shut down for 30+ days for virtually no reason, and implements a ban on visitors of your religion is starting to feel less and less desirable to me. In fact, many people are starting to feel that way.
In an article published by The Huffington Post, it’s revealed that according to a Gallup poll performed in 2018, there were a record-number of Americans who said they wanted to get out of America forever based on how the country has been run for the past two years, and the state the country is in now. While the study doesn’t ask pollers about their political preferences, it’s no surprise that the surge in desire to migrate out of the country comes mostly from people who have more democratic ideals, as well as those that fall into the categories being affected by the Trump presidency, such as women and lower-income groups. The study specifically shows that a whopping 16% of Americans would like to move to another country, 40% of women younger than 30 would like to leave the U.S., and 22% of Americans who disapprove of Trump would like to leave as well. Of course, getting up and leaving a country isn’t always a realistic financial option for people, but some very well could’ve left already, or may be planning to act on their wishes in the near future.
The tricky part is that at the end of the day, the desire and willingness to move is in each of our hands. We are all entitled to do as we please, and reside where we would like to, but is packing up and leaving the country really what’s best for our democracy? A top destination that people have been considering is Canada; probably because it isn’t too far away, and English is still the first language, meaning it wouldn’t be too much of an adjustment. And again, while it’s important to note that people’s desire to move doesn’t translate to their actual intention, there is still a risk that we will be losing many valuable citizens that value democracy and equality.
The less people we have to fight for what’s right, the less chance we would have in making a difference in society. tweet
I mean think about it: if 40 to 50% of the people who disapprove of what the Trump administration is doing with regards to the government and the country are taken out of our population, we would in turn have an extreme drop in the amount of people that would be willing to actually stand up to the government and its wrongdoings. The less people we have to fight for what’s right, the less chance we would have in making a difference in society. Logically, the people “left behind” would begin to suffer even more than they already are, because they would be part of an even smaller minority group and would have less “supporters” in a sense. In addition, we’d be likely to lose lots of qualified doctors and healthcare workers, successful businessmen and women, etc, who contribute immensely to our society and work for a better democracy every day.
The point here isn’t to guilt anyone out of leaving the country, nor is it to shame people actually considering to do so. Not only do people who were born here, or have lived here for almost their entire lives not feel like they belong anymore, but with all the bans on immigration for migrants wanting to come into the country, it’s been made abundantly clear that they “don’t belong” either. Why would people want to stay any longer just to suffer? Why would immigrants want to come either? Does the American Dream even exist anymore?
At this point I think it’s safe to say the conditions we are being asked to live in, and the crimes against humanity at the hands of the government are absolutely frightening, disturbing, and quite frankly, completely unfair. It’s very normal to feel the urge to give up fighting for what you believe in when it feels almost as if every option has been exhausted, and the work you do is for nothing.
This is my country, this is OUR country, and we have a right to use our voices, make a change, and not just exist here, but also thrive here. But for that to happen, we must first be determined to stay, and fight for our democracy. tweet
Protests occur, yet injustices are still being acted out every day in the form of police brutality, attacks on healthcare, the monitoring and undying sexualization of the female body. The list goes on and on. And as much of a “protest” it would be to leave the country, we can’t all just give up. We can’t just say, “Okay, this isn’t working, my only other option is to get out of here.” The beauty of democracy is the continual fight for what is right.
Things may be extremely bleak, and it certainly is becoming difficult to function as a middle-class citizen, but we have to keep pushing, and we have to keep showing that we want to bring true democracy back, or as some people argue, make it present in the first place. To fulfill this civic duty, we need as many like-minded individuals working together as possible, and that’s not exactly possible if we all scatter into other areas of the globe, and make a promise to never return.
This is my country, this is OUR country, and we have a right to use our voices, make a change, and not just exist here, but also thrive here. But for that to happen, we must first be determined to stay, and fight for our democracy.