If you ever had any doubt that this is a nation of political hysterics, consider the fact that tens of thousands of people in each presidential election promise to leave the country if the “wrong” guy wins.
And yet, when the contender they fear wins, virtually none of these highly excitable people keep their promise. Then we’re stuck with their irksome sobbing for another four years.
The prospect of second-term victories by the last two presidents left abnormal numbers of our citizens fearing that the world would end if the wrong candidate wins.
When Republican President George W. Bush ran for a second term in 2004, emotional liberals displayed the full shrieking extent of their devotion to the notion that they would leave this land for saner places if Bush won again.
“If Bush wins again,” they would proclaim, “I will move to Canada!”
“Me, too!” everyone at the same liberal prayer meetings would declare.
Of course, they were fibbing to themselves. There weren’t three of them who actually moved to Canada. That begs the question: Did they realize that, in Canada, they would have found what they were running from – the occasional victory by a candidate who seemed noxious to them?
The Canadians have the exact same problem that we do: Every election produces a winner that half the population regrets. That’s just the way elections are – a winner and a loser. And the loser is sometimes your candidate.
I’m guessing that some Canadians, being normal human beings, also get so fed up with their own electorate that they promise to move to the United States if their side loses an election.
But most Canadians don’t actually move south when their heroes lose. I live not far from the Canadian border. I have never seen Canadians flooding over the border when they don’t get their way.
However, if you actually are ready to move when your side loses, then why would you be so lazy and unimaginative as to limit yourself to the neighboring country when choosing a healing destination for your new national home? Why not Sweden or Australia or maybe a really cool place like Iceland?
People who threaten to move to another country if their candidate loses hardly ever move. However, you have to hand it to Republican hysterics this year who are ready to go to a new extreme when their political sky is falling. They had high hopes that Democratic President Barack Obama would lose. But he didn’t, and now they’re hurting just like losers on the left in other years.
But anti-Obama oddballs have gone the anti-Bush loonies one better. They aren’t threatening to move themselves. They are threatening to stay put, secede from the union and form a new country in their current location.
For instance, several thousand weepy Texans are threatening to form a new nation that is neither a part of this country nor of Mexico.
(Sadly, some residents of Mexico have jumped to the mistaken conclusion that Texas will rejoin its original home inside Mexico. Mexicans are so irate that they might have to take Texas back that they are threatening to leave Mexico and move to Guatemala.)
But be grateful for hysterics. Too much sanity can take the spice out of a country’s politics. Our elections would become unimaginably dull without the apoplectic passion of the excitable left and the outraged right.
(Be warned: If you don’t agree with me on today’s column, I will leave this country, but not just yet. I don’t want to miss another installment of my favorite soap opera, the next presidential election.)Bill Hall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501.