Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 6, 2012

Advice for the whiney

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

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Every time we have a presidential election I hear some otherwise patriotic American say some version of this: “If we elect ___, I’m moving to Canada (or France, or Mexico, or Timbuktu).”

The fact is that almost anyplace you’d want to live is going to more liberal (and expensive) than here, and anyplace more conservative than here is not a place you’d want to live.

Canada already has gay marriage, social medicine, and a tax rate that makes ours seem like a parking ticket. Same for all of Northern Europe. Australia has social medicine, there’s no “right” to own a gun, no capital punishment, and they’ve had three atheists serve as prime minister in the past, although I’ve heard the weather is very nice.

Mexico is a lovely place to visit, but do you really want to live cheek to jowl with grinding poverty and some fairly significant criminal justice issues? There’s a reason people risk their lives to leave there. Same thing with China and most of the developing world.

Sure, there are pockets of conservative but wealthy places. Singapore and Hong Kong come to mind, but they’re pretty strict on those pesky freedoms like speech and press that some of us enjoy. Japan is wealthy and somewhat conservative, but be prepared to live in small, tight, crowded spaces — and speak Japanese.

I’ve heard this “I’m leaving” refrain from both liberals and conservatives, so I’m not picking on either side. Back in the 2000s, it was the liberals whining about Bush. Now, it’s the conservatives moaning about Obama. Reality check: For 99.9 percent of us the policies in Washington don’t affect us day-to-day, although it’s fun to blame our problems on them. Most of us are far more likely to be impacted by our own decisions or what the state legislature does.

There’s a couple of websites called “white people problems,” and “first world problems” which mock the minor annoyances that the privileged have to endure. It sprang from a joke that when someone gets so spoiled that he or she needs a reality check a friend would say “that’s a first-world problem,” or a “white people problem.”

From this week’s posts on WPP was the woman at the Germantown Country Club who bought a new tennis outfit but her visor didn’t match, and the man who wanted to transfer $10,000 from his savings account to buy a wave runner but the funds wouldn’t be available for two to three days. One woman wrote that her neighbor’s tree drops leaves on her lawn and he refuses to cut it down.

This country offers free education to its children, cheap food and energy, a generous social safety net, protection from our enemies domestic and foreign, freedom of expression and opportunity for everyone regardless of what social or economic status their parents had.

If the wrong person living in the White House makes all this simply unbearable to some folks, that’s a first-world problem and those malcontents should definitely move. It’ll be an eye-opening experience for them.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com