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October 8, 2004

Nowhere Left to Go

One hears of liberals' promising to leave the country should George Bush win, as did Alec Baldwin before the 2000 election, if I'm not mistaken. In all honesty, I half joked the opposite during that election season. It isn't a promise, joking or not, that I've made this time around, however, should John Kerry win.

The difference isn't that John Kerry is any more palatable a candidate. (Although, he may very well be more sane than Al Gore, and he'd probably be more constrained in the damage that he could do.) Rather, I think liberals' and conservatives' differing circumstances with respect to expatriating have become much clearer since the closing months of 2001.

One assumes, when liberals threaten to flit away, that they would go to some other modernized country: Canada, for example, or any of the Western European nations. Such a move would almost certainly involve a transition to life under a government that's already more in line with the person's politics.

But where would conservatives go? The same emigration would be, for them, akin to escaping trade school for a liberal arts school, Rand for Marx, the oven for the open flame. Perhaps a couple countries in Eastern Europe would do, ideologically, but they'd entail lowered economic expectations.

That consideration might actually fall in the "benefits" column. A struggling nation would be one in which conservative policies could make a readily tangible difference for the better; conservatives are, in the main, inclined to enjoy building their communities up. Liberals prefer "progressing," which in their usage means "tearing down" (e.g., the old order, the status quo, or the existing paradigm).

Of course, conservatives are also inclined to preserve, and it mightn't be too alarmist to suggest that, if America's conservatism cannot be preserved, less developed nations cannot be built up.

Posted by Justin Katz at October 8, 2004 6:43 AM
Liberalism vs. Conservatism