So Now What?

No one said freedom was easy

* * *

I know several people who are looking into abandoning the U.S. for Canada, Spain or other nations that look more like America to them than America does now. But this isn't just a moral dudgeon issue. They don't want to be near the Port of Long Beach when Iraq's missing weapons and looted atomic materials suddenly turn up. They don't want their children inundated by the lead, mercury, toxins and uninspected foodstuffs that abound under Bush. And they don't want to trust half of their fellow Americans again with anything as important as an election.

As for my household, we don't know. Canada sure is a sensible country, and with global warming it should have a nice Mediterranean climate in 15 or 20 years. There's an argument to be made for not ceding our tax dollars to an administration that thinks it's a "tremendous success story" when you kill between 10,000 and 100,000 (who's counting?) civilians in a war over fictitious weapons. But there's also an argument for staying and trying to heal this festering cheese log of a nation. America has done so many great things it would be a shame to let it sink into the tar pit of empire now.

Even if the rich and incorporated control all three branches of government, the media and everything else, they don't have truth and the human spirit on their side. Those qualities have proved effective in the past and may yet work in convincing our fear-besotted brethren that greatness doesn't flow from the barrel of a gun. It's slow soul-by-soul work, but it's possible.

And as George W. Bush likes to remind terrorists and Democrats, you can run, but you can't hide. Whatever America does to its democratic institutions or its environment will have a global effect, so we can't just sit it out in some Amsterdam hash bar. The noble thing, the right thing to do is to stay here, fight the good fight, and remember that things could always be worse. Under Bush, you can be pretty sure that they will be, but that's our lot. No one said freedom was easy.

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