Puh. Leez. This happens every election regardless of whom is elected and to which party they belong. You read it on all the social media outlets, you hear it declared in beligerent tones in public gathering places, you see it reported on the nightly news:
"THAT'S IT! I'M MOVING TO CANADA!"
"THAT'S IT! WE'RE SECEDING!"
You know what I liken that to? When my boys were little and they threatened to run away from home because I made them brush their teeth or eat their broccoli or go to bed at the mandated time.
"THAT'S IT!" they would say, crossing their matchstick arms and thrusing out a tender lower lip. "I'm running away from home because you're SO MEAN! You won't let me do anything I want! You'll be sorry too because I'm never coming back and you're going to miss me!"
Hey, I tried it too. I think every kid has. Because childhood may be a magical time, but it's also a fairly powerless one. We had few tools at our disposal to effect any real change and so, we exploited those we did have; removal of our fabulous selves, with ruthless, if misguided determination.
But I think it's safe to say that none of us absconders ever got very far. Because we forgot, in the full throttle misery of our oppression, that while freedom is intoxicating, it doesn't do much to fill an empty belly or warm frosty fingers and toes, or chase away the boogeyman when the shadows grew deeper and darker than we were accustomed to. And then, we began to appreciate what we had left behind. Safety, comfort....home.
And this is what these erstwhile seceders fail to consider when they proclaim all the evils of Government. Government is trying to deny our rights! Government is tyring to stick it's nose in our personal business! Government is taking our tax money to do things we don't agree with! Government won't respect our religious beliefs!
These things may or may not be true. No Government is without it's foibles. But part of living in a Democratic society means that sometimes we have to accept things we don't agree with. We have to take the good with the bad. We change what we can, we accept what we can't. And we go on with life.
Because "bad" in our country means a candidate we do not support got elected to office and now we have to live with him for four more years. He might implement some policies we don't exactly agree with. He might appropriate some our tax dollars for things we don't support. He might not consider the tenets of our chosen religious beliefs when serving the greater good as he sees it.
"Bad" in other countries means that people die of starvation. They die for lack of clean, safe drinking water. They die for lack of basic medical care. Women die in childbirth. Infants die in infancy. Sons and Husbands die in Civil Wars and families recieve nothing to compensate for the loss. They beg. They steal. They prostitute themselves to feed their children. "Bad" in other countries means no hope, no help, no future.
These seceders will never actually secede. Why? It's very simple. Because as much as they like to villify Government....they need it.
They need Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. They need law enforcement, fire and rescue, and people to direct those personel to their homes when they are in crisis. They need paved roads, stop lights, potholes repaired. They need schools built, staffed and maintained. They need libraries and post offices. They need running water, sewage treatment, parks and recreation, animal control and trash removal.
These are things they use and enjoy and even consider their due as tax paying citizens. But they take them for granted and don't really think about how all these things come to them; through Government auspices and and the toil of public servants.
So they will grumble and petition, but they will stay. And in another four years, perhaps the other half of the populace will be bemoaning the fate of the country.
The friend that posted this link expressed her grave concern over the fact that this country is so divided. And I've seen the old adage "United we stand, Divided we Fall" cited over and over these last few weeks as though it were gospel. I don't think it's gospel. I think it's bunk. America has always been divided. We emigrated to the New World expressly for the right to be divided without losing our heads for it. And although we may disagree on respective candidates, we value our right to do so above all else. It is that core belief that unites us in the only way that really matters. And it is that right that makes us stand up and defend this nation together when the need arises. History has proven that several times over.
We have faltered, yes. We have fractured, yes. But we have not, nor will we ever...fall.
So, let them threaten. Let them sulk and stomp. Let them run away if they can actually summon the courage to do so. It's the only way they'll learn.
Just as I learned and you learned and my kids learned. We learned that we needed our Mommies and our Daddies. We learned that maybe complete and total autonomy is just a little bit overrated and the comforts of home are worth the relatively inconsequential sacrifices that we have to make. We learned that safety and security don't come cheap.
We learned that despite the battles we may fight amongst ourselves, we are only part of a whole and we kind of like it that way.
And they will too.
It's all part of growing up.