Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Spread of Cartmanism

The NYT says that some of the whiners are actually following through on their promises and are moving to Canada. "The number of U.S. citizens who are actually submitting Canadian immigration papers and making concrete plans is about three or four times higher than normal," said Linda Mark, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver.

They are leaving America, says the Times, because they are "fed up with a country they see drifting persistently to the right and abandoning the principles of tolerance, compassion and peaceful idealism they felt once defined the nation."

The article quotes several whiners, like Melanie Redman, 30. "I don't want to participate in what this administration is doing here and around the world. Under Bush, the U.S. seems to be leading the pack as the world spirals down." She adds, "I just can't bear to pay taxes in the United States right now."

Here's Jerry Gorde, 53. "I think George Bush's re-election, in itself, is nothing compared to what happens, over the next 10 to 15 years, if he gets to make three or four appointments to the Supreme Court. I foresee a much darker period in front of us."

Okay fine, that's their right. It's a free country after all. But here's where the veins in my head pop out. Jason Mogus, a Canadian whose Website provide information to Americans about moving north, says this, "Not everybody is prepared to live their political values, but these are people who are."

First, I thought their political values were about tolerance and compassion. Yet they are so intolerant of the political values of their fellow Americans that they will leave the country. I thought their values were about democracy and representative government. But instead accepting the outcome of an election, instead of staying here and trying to persuade others, instead of engaging in the process, instead of working to spread the beliefs they are supposed to cherish, these people pack up and move.

On second thought, maybe moving to Canada does reflect their true political values, values I define as Cartmanism. When the obnoxious South Park character doesn't get his way he is notorious for saying, "Screw you guys, I'm going home." Then he leaves. That's what these whiners are doing. They show no faith in democracy or the America people. When they don't get their way, when it turns out that most Americans aren't that thrilled about some of their ideas, these people pack their Volvos and say, "Screw you guys, I'm going to Canada."

They are indeed living their political values, but those are not the values they proclaim. They are the values of exclusion, cowardice, retreat, abandonment, despair.

Again, fine with me. Whatever. Losers. But what will they do when Canada doesn't meet their expectations? Where to next? Will they become upper-middle class political refugees searching the globe for the perfect nation, as tolerant and pacific and liberal as they are, no more and no less? Good luck.

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