If you know me in RL or have bothered to read my bio, you’ll know that I’m an English expatriate in the US. I’ve been in the States since I was 12 so, in many ways, it’s a bit ridiculous to cling on to the British label but cling I do. Even after all this time, I have difficulty connecting with US history, and the globalization of information makes it very easy to maintain a serious Anglophilia habit. I maintain a running joke that if I won the lottery, I’d return to Britain – although winning the lottery is about what it would require. I lived in the San Francisco bay area for over twenty years and consider myself pretty hard-bitten when it comes to property prices, but England – especially the entire south-east – makes me wince.
Far more wince-worthy, though, is the current state of the US presidential election. Specifically, that crop of inhumane creatures passing for GOP candidates. The top three candidates could be represented by a Venn diagram of horrific policy positions – and the area of overlap would be pretty significant.
More horrific yet is the fact that millions of people support these three men, cheering on the idea of rolling back various human rights, building walls and generally securing the USA’s place at the top of the Most Disappointing Nations league. Seriously, fellow citizens? You want to be a part of an agenda built on fear and hate?
(A moment’s silence, please, for poor ol’ Kasich, the best of a bad lot and without even a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the nomination.)
Over the past few months, my opinion regarding Herr Trump’s candidacy has shifted from sarcastic nonbelief (“He just wants attention”) to bemusement (“Why are people taking this seriously?”) to growing dread (“Oh my god, what if he wins?”).
I’m not feeling so hot about the other two, either but, let’s be honest, it’s Mr. Torture More, Constitution Less that has me sweating.
(News broken while typing this post: Mittens is going to run. This isn’t an improvement.)
So, what’s all this got to do with my being an expat – beyond the fact that you can bet your ass I’m voting in November?
The husband and I have been talking and we’re prepared to leave the country if we end up with a Republican president and a GOP-controlled Congress. If it’s Mr. TMCL, we won’t even stop to pack. The cultural zeitgeist re: immigrants around here is NOT going to be pleasant, even those of us who are brimming over with Anglo privilege.
(What if we get a Republican executive and Democrat legislature? The Magic 8 Ball says “Answer uncertain”. To quote another pundit elsewhere, the Dems have a tendency to step on their own dick when given a political advantage. They’ve rolled over for a GOP administration before, that much is well-established.)
I’m lucky. I’ve got a way back to the old country and could, in theory, return at any time. My husband’s situation is trickier as we haven’t been married for all that long and Britain, in particular, has built a couple of serious speedbumps when it comes to bringing a non-citizen spouse over. But at least we’ve got an option, even if it’s difficult, expensive and might require our being apart for several months.
Stay and fight? If you want to, then the best of luck to you. Me? I can’t bear the thought of my tax dollars supporting a fresh round of war-mongering for the benefit of industry cronies and god knows what other lunacy a lock-stepped Republican president and Congress will bring in. It definitely won’t be a good time for anyone who isn’t a cis white male – and Christian, to boot.
As they say “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” So… we’re preparing.