Readers Write: Auntie Knows Best

Auntie Establishment is a weekly column on our Election 2004 page. She counsels all political woes – from hearts broken over a favorite candidate's loss to irrational love for a politically unsavvy mate. Come to Auntie with all your questions.

Step Right Up
You are correct. Clueless in Chicago may be in a minority (hopefully a growing one), but I would not say "out of step." I don't have cable TV, don't listen to King George (Karl Rove's talking head), because he will never honestly listen to me, and I think the majority of the mainstream media have been infected by the "Emporer's New Clothes" virus (among others). Whereby they ignore critical stories, such as Haiti, the Pentagon's report on global warming, voting machine controversy, and so and so forth. I remain hopeful that there are solutions, but we won't get them from our currect administration, who ultimately are shooting themselves in the foot, on oh so many ways. I hope the country can survive them.
David Laning

Knowing When to Give Up
I have been a fighter all my life. I have never turned my back or run from a fight. But with regard to Packing My Bags in Pennsylvania, if Bush wins in November, and if he also has the opportunity to place three justices to the Supreme Court, and if they are all right wing ideologues in the mold of Scalia/Thomas, as Bush has repeatedly expressed, there will be no way to fight any longer. For example, short of a Constitutional amendment, the current Supreme Court would probably ultimately strike down the anti-gay marriage legislation – including state constitutional amendments as violations of due process and equal protection. But a Scalia-led Court would almost surely accept those as well as a host of other limitations on civil rights, because they basically follow the tenet that the majority may determine what rights minorities can heave. This is the fundamental divide between the right and the left in terms of the Supreme Court.

I am seriously considering going to Canada as well if this circumstance comes into being. A Court led by Scalia would encourage reactionary state governments to pass whatever restrictive laws they choose against minorities in general, and women and gays specifically. I for one am doing everything in my power to try to ensure that Bush does not get re-elected. But if he does, the US as we know it and love it may truly be doomed.
David Wilbur

Looking Down From Canada
It's too late for me. On January 15, I packed up my family and moved north to Vancouver, BC. We are not looking back.

I thought long and hard about staying and fighting. What finally swayed me were my children, now 11 and 13. No matter how hard we fight, it may be quite a while before the tide turns in the U.S. By that time, my children may be adults – ill-educated adults with poor job prospects, no health care, and no options left but to be drafted in to some corporatist jihad. I wanted another future for them – the kind that America no longer chooses to offer its children. And I wanted my own taxes to go for something other than the further enrichment of oligarchs.

We're well aware that Canada may not be the perfect safe haven. An economic disaster in the US would certainly hurt it, badly. But it has resources to draw on, too. First, it's not quite as dependent on the US as many think, because its financial and cultural links to both Europe and Asia are much stronger than America's. If bad times come, this widespread connection to the community of nations – the connections Shrub has so thoughtlessly severed for America – will do much to soften the blow.

Second, Canada is still the leading supplier of things that America (and the world) will continue to need through any crisis, including energy, oil, timber, and fresh water.

Third, Canada's social values are very different. While Americans seem bent on turning on each other with bared teeth these days, my new neighbors impress me daily with their gentle strength and thoughtful intelligence. Canadians are raised from birth to take care of each other, keep the peace, and value order and teamwork. Much more than Americans, I trust them to make humane choices in the face of hard times.

As for "fighting from within the belly of the beast": We can fight from here, too. We still have voices, votes, an Internet connection, U.S. passports, and cars. We are already planning to spend several weeks this fall campaigning for the Democrats in one of the swing states – wherever we're needed most. In some ways, we will be at greater liberty to fight for America's future, because if those in power try to retaliate, they'll have a much harder time threatening our home or our children. Neither will be under their jurisdiction.

If the Unelected Fraud manages to steal himself another election this fall, we expect to see many more Americans in our neighborhood. In the cool northern air, they may be surprised to remember again how fresh and good real freedom can smell.

Sara Robinson

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