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What does anyone make of this column by Barbara Ehrenreich? I a huge fan of Ehrenreich's, always have been. (She's also a fellow union member.) I'm confused about what she's saying here.

Is she sarcastically deriding the idea of leaving the US because we find ourselves at such odds with the mainstream? She compares staying in the country of one's birth to staying in a bad marriage, and I can hardly imagine Barbara Ehrenreich advocating that.

However, this:
Of course, some of your friends and family may choose to remain behind. There are people who take a somewhat inflexible view of "patriotism," just as there are people who never give up on their first, childish, seventh-grade object of infatuation. Perversely, these diehards think it's their RESPONSIBILITY to remain in their country of origin just as it becomes an international source of terror and a mockery of democratic governance. Whether out of masochism or misdirected altruism, they feel OBLIGED to stay and straighten things out.
makes me wonder. Is she implying that progressives should stay and fight? That it's our obligation?


Anonymous said...

I think you're reading too much into it.

I think it's just a humerous article about why people are leaving America, and the stuff they have to put up with about their decision.

On CBC the other day, the had an audience of Americans and Canadians talking to Americans who were planning to move to Canada. The people who were leaving all sounded pretty much the same. They've been fighting for their values for years and they're getting tired of it.

And even though the crowd was from supposedly blue-state Michigan, a lot of the Americans in the audience give that typical "don't let the door hit you on the way out" response. If the right really holds true Christian values as they claim, then why are they mean spirited? Isn't kindness supposed to be one of their virtues?


laura k said...

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I'm not sure. The writer is very political, from the left/progressive side, and it's a leftist magazine she's writing for. But you could be right.

Re CBC story, I'm glad there are others actually doing it, not just talking about it.

The right-wingers do take it very personally! If you ever favorably compare another country with the US, someone will invariably yell, Then why don't you just MOVE there?? They'll say this about anything. If you say the trains are great in Japan, or public education is good in France, someone will jump down your throat: Why do you hate America??

It's crazy. It's not enough to live here and pay taxes, you must believe it's The Greatest Country In The World - or leave!