Why I’m staying, the cleaner version

The Ottawa Citizen asked me to follow up on my pre-election determination to move to Canada if Bush won. I already posted last week about my decision to stay, but here’s the shorter, less expletive-laden explanation I gave the newspaper:

I’ve planned for months to seek work in Canada if Bush won this election. I figured he would win. Although my sister and I live in the Northeast, and my husband was canvassing in Florida for Kerry, the rest of my family live in the South and planned to vote for Bush.

My parents are “values” people, Jesus people, go-ahead-and-bomb-Iraq people. My stepfather and my mom have to exit their car through the passenger side window when the doors stick on rainy days, but they think Bush’s tax cuts are great. They don’t see that only rich people and corporations benefit. And we haven’t discussed it, because I rarely talk to them, but I very much doubt that they see a distinction between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. I wanted to leave because I know how people like my parents think.

Now, a week later, Bush has won. I plan to stay. Sometimes the thing you fear most happens, and it’s as frightening as you expected it to be, but instead of bolstering your urge to flee it makes you want to stand your ground and fight.

Before the war on Iraq started, I marched through the streets with countless other New Yorkers, carrying signs that said, “not in our name.” I watched over the last four years as Bush bombed and invaded another country for spurious reasons, alienated the rest of the world, carved away at our civil rights, and generally favored laws that harm lower-income people in almost every way imaginable.

With the Supreme Court at stake, the next four years will be even worse. But I’ve realized that I owe it to my country (which I barely recognize), to my ancestors (including my late Texan Democrat grandmother), and to the rest of the world, to stay and oppose this presidency with every fiber of my being.


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