Monday, November 07, 2016

Leave the U.S. again or not? Tomorrow is decision day.

Tomorrow may be the biggest day in the United States in a long time.

The Frau is glad to be able experience such a day on U.S. soil, but she is also completely scared of the possible result, as it may mean she will need to leave U.S. soil once again. Having given up her Swiss C-permit over a month ago, this is not the best timing for such a possibility.

She’s trying to have faith. This is a harder thing to have these days in America than it should be.

Any American who moves back to the U.S. after being abroad experiences reverse culture shock. But the Frau’s timing, having moved back here at the end of 2014, was to experience it in the extreme. This isn’t the country she left it in 2006, and she finds the attitudes of some of people extremely alarming.

Will The Frau leave the U.S. again?
The American electorate may help her decide.
No one discusses issues calmly and deeply, people just yell at each other. It’s horrible. The Frau even took her Bernie Sanders bumper sticker off her car after the primaries—she didn’t want to risk someone shooting her—can you believe she would have to consider such a thing?

Which begs the question: What kind of country has this become? The Frau had a friend who voted early precisely because she was scared of what would happen on election day—would there be riots and shootings at the polls? Can you imagine? This country is morally disintegrating—anyone who thinks Trump should represent our country on the world stage is somehow morally confused or uneducated.

Part of the problem is that so few Americans have passports. About 36% of Americans have passports, so there are a lot of people who have no idea about the world beyond U.S. borders—some haven’t left their state—or their hometown. They are scared of anyone who is different than them and don’t realize that many of policies they call progressive (or heaven forbid, socialist), like legalized vacation time, paid family and medical leave, and universal healthcare are not radical ideas. And the very Americans many of these policies would benefit are the ones who are against them—it makes no intellectual sense.

But nothing makes sense in the U.S. these days.

If there is one redeeming factor to the Trump phenomenon, it is that he alone has revealed, in the clearest way possible, the very wealth inequality that exists in our nation. That loopholes allow a billionaire to escape paying taxes, while a poor man must pay his, show just how unethical and immoral this country has become.

The entire American system is broken. And Trump has brought this out into the open, which in a way, is a good thing. Whether it will bring about change, well, that’s another story. But at least the inequality that people like Bernie Sanders have talked about relentlessly is no longer just talk. American wealth inequality is blatantly and grossly in the spotlight. Whether people will vote for more great policies for billionaires at their own demise will be answered tomorrow. As will the question of The Frau's future moving plans.


gudava said...

I can certainly see your point. At the same time, leaving our country when we need rational people here to right the wrongs is troubling. I just returned from Europe three days ago. Had a fine time, will return. What I noticed is that France and Italy are under guard. We saw armed soldiers just about everywhere. I was glad to see them, but it bothered me.The U.S. isn't much different. The world is screwed up, not just America.

I admire your interest in returning to Switzerland in order to expose your child to its culture, etc. I am concerned about your reason to leave. We need outspoken, strong Americans to protect what America is all about. Pray that Trump is soundly defeated.

Bean far away said...

You can move in with me, I live in Zürich.
Sorry I discovered you just after you left.

Anonymous said...

We left the States FOR Switzerland in 2014, so our experience has been the inverse of yours and I can't imagine what we'll (presumably) go back to someday. Alarming is a good word. However the truth is that in CH there are older adults who have never crossed the Röstigraben, right? These same attitudes are prevalent in parts of Switzerland, and all over Europe.

I agree with the other commenters that voices of reason are so badly needed in the US, which is one reason I feel "guilt" for living here. But I know I and my children are learning a lot, and as these values become part of our identity, we can take them back with us one day.

Kimberly said...

We, too, moved to Zurich in 2006 and back mid-2015. So, I totally understand what you are saying and I was a Bernie girl as well. I take my daughter for her first voting experience tomorrow. We have to vote in person on voting day as it is our first time back in the US, and I too, admit to being apprehensive about what we will find at the polling place and if it will be safe. It makes me so sad to see what has happened to our country.

Anonymous said...

Nice ad hominem Frau, to simply dismiss anyone supporting Trump as dimwits! The Clintons are extremely wealthy by any measure, and they seem to think that they are somehow subject to different rules from the rest of the general public, and they don't face the same consequences! I preferred certain aspects of Bernie Sanders' politics to those of Trump or Clinton, but look at him too! A self-proclaimed socialist with three residences, including a $600000 summer beach home? And conveniently brushing off any assets as his wife's? I love how every time Dems face the possibility, however remote, of a candidate other than their choice being elected, they threaten to leave the U.S. Especially for someone like yourself who seems to consider herself so enlightened, do you ever think about the fact that the U.S. government has not just the executive branch but legislative and judicial branches, none of which exists in a vacuum, and that because of these branches there is a system of checks and balances? A president is just a figurehead, and the people pulling the strings are behind the scenes. A president also cannot just impose whatever policies (s)he wishes, (s)he is at the mercy of Congress.

The Dems are no boy scouts/choir boys either. Look at the Chicago political machine, and look at Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Nancy Pelosi, and Jonathan Gruber. There are plenty of ultra-wealthy democrats, real limousine liberals/champagne socialists/caviar commies.

Am I saying that Trump is a good candidate? No. Am I saying that I think Clinton is a good candidate? No. I find both candidates to be horrid choices. Unfortunately there is no viable third party. And it's not as though there is a third party close to achieving that critical mass it needs for federal funding.

American politicians do not need to worry about health insurance plans. Their children have access to the best universities that the general public do not. Not that politicians' children uniformly lack the goods to gain admission based on their own merit. But being a senator or congressman's son or daughter opens plenty of doors.

Oh, and last of all. Barack Obama is not simply a black man. He was born to a black father and a white mother. Which makes him white too. As white as he is black. Even though on his census form he checked "black," but not "white." Race relations have not improved since he became president. Very unfortunate that all that matters in the U.S. is white vs. black. Everyone else is lost in the shuffle. While we're at it, when will most people in the U.S. understand that being "Caucasian" is not determined by skin color?

Kempeth said...

Well if you write some Trump critical articles you can probably come back as refugee soon...

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