Earlier this year, when the tea party protests were getting seriously out of hand, I decided I would leave the country. I set my sights on Canada, preferably the Vancouver area, because I was deeply distressed by what I saw as a strongly possible forthcoming fascist takeover. I’m still worried about that possibility, but Canada has its own problems as illustrated by Amy Goodman’s detention at the border and by a constitutional coup. Its hypocrisy on climate change derives from Alberta’s oil sands and its Governor General ate harp seal meat as a gesture of solidarity with brutal seal hunters. Canada is the only western country who still has a citizen in detention in Guantanamo Bay and refuses to try to get him out of U.S. custody. And Canada has been sending war deserters back to the U.S. These are all things that give me pause but I’m guessing I’d still be better off there than here.
Still, when I went to visit a friend who was feeling down, she demanded that I stay, saying that this country needs me. It hasn’t offered me a job, I replied. If it needs me so badly, why can’t I earn a living? But I guess either I’m not the only one willing to move north or the immigration hassles are too burdensome for colleges to want to deal with. So despite the fact that college teachers are in short supply in Canada, none of the resumes I’ve sent have drawn any response whatsoever.
Now the U.S. is beating a war drum for a war in Yemen. As the country’s political leadership obscures important differences between al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is also obscuring a flat out contradiction between the Houthi rebels and al Qaeda in Yemen. I am sickened and aghast that yet another war may be launched in my name. Never mind that it is on false pretenses, just like the other two already in progress.
I honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t have the luxury of just saying it’s okay for Obama to bail out the banks while leaving the unemployed to twist in the wind; I’m out of money, now. My 69-year old mother, who should be enjoying her retirement, is having to feed and house me. And it is absolutely intolerable that the only way the U.S. can deal with international conflict is through massive killing expeditions.
I can’t stay. But I have nowhere to go.