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An Expatriate Of The Heart

A sad comment from an Atlanta reader in another thread:

Little of what I was taught as a young boy still exists in this country. When I was young we went to church, our parents (lifelong Southern Democrats) worked middle class jobs and told us to be patriotic. I became an eagle scout, served in the military, raised 3 daughters and sent them to Christian colleges. What I got for my trouble of following what I was told to do as a young person was my wife leaving me for another woman, my house taken in divorce court, and the company I helped build taken over by hostile investors. Nothing political, economical or social I was told to count on still exists – not even the loyalty of my wife.

I did not despair for long though. I changed religions, became an Orthodox Christian, and began to think about how none of this matters. None of this political stuff, none of the economic stuff, none of it matters. The only thing that matters is if the gospel is true.

Now having determined that it is true, and that I want to live it out – this old “Country First Conservative” who rebelled against my Democrat parents with my Republicanism, well I’ve decided to accept defeat on this continent. I have began to travel to other countries to find a place where I can hopefully retire in peace and escape the madness of the United States. I no longer recognize my country and I don’t feel welcome here anymore. That is why I’m leaving America, for the same reason my ancestors came here, to find home.

Good luck with your hopes that a liberal like Elizabeth Warren will turn America around. This nation has become laughable except for the tragedy of our never ending wars, self loathing and vice. Next stop – East Africa.

Well, I don’t realistically hope that a liberal like Elizabeth Warren will turn America around. I don’t think politics can do it. But that’s not why I’m posting this comment separately.

I’m posting it because it really got to me, this Atlanta reader’s despair over America. If you want to post to mock his pain, save yourself the trouble. I’m not going to post it. If you disagree with him, by all means feel free to comment.

What got to me about this man’s commentary is how he’s given up on the idea of America. I’m neither going to praise nor condemn him for that. I want to understand it. Giving up on your country is no small thing. I don’t feel the same temptation, but just this morning I was talking to a friend, telling him how much I wince that my 14-year-old son is talking up the prospect of serving in the military. I was raised to be the kind of father who would be proud that he had a son who wants to serve. And I want to be that kind of father!

change_me

Still, I was taken aback by the intensity of the negative feelings I had about it. It’s not that I look down on the military — not at all. It’s that I hate what our civilian leadership has done to the military, with these never-ending wars. I want to believe that America is a force for good in the world, but I don’t really believe that anymore, at least not in the same way I once did.

A small example: there has been an important schism in the Orthodox world. Many Ukrainian Orthodox have split from the Moscow Patriarchate, and have declared their own autocephalous church. It’s a very big deal. I have avoided commenting on it, because the situation is extremely complicated, and I honestly don’t know enough about it to feel comfortable making a clear judgment, beyond lamenting schism. Politics, on both the Russian (Putin) and Ukrainian (Poroshenko) sides, are at the heart of this terrible rending of the Orthodox fabric.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo phoned the new breakaway Ukrainian patriarch to offer the US Government’s support [1]. I can’t expect the US Government to have a theological care about the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church, but I hate that my government is exploiting this rift to gain advantage against Russia. Last year, the US Ambassador to Ukraine walked at the front of the gay pride march in Kiev.  [2] This did not happen under Barack Obama; this happened under Donald Trump.

Along those lines, two years ago, under Obama, I wrote about how the US State Department, in partnership with George Soros’s NGO, translated into the Macedonian language Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, [3] and distributed them there in an effort to undermine the country’s traditional moral customs.

It gets worse. In 2016, the State Department put out a $300,000 bid to hire culture-war mercenaries to go into Macedonia with the express purpose of fighting Orthodox Christian teaching on homosexuality. [4] The American taxpayer paid money to export the destruction of Macedonia’s Christian culture.

Again, these are relatively small things, but significant to some of us Orthodox Christians, who wonder what business America has trying to tear down the Orthodox Church and Orthodox culture abroad. (And before you say it: No, this doesn’t mean that Vladimir Putin is now our BFF.)

The US Government is not the United States of America. You can love your country, even if you don’t love your government. But I wonder if a lot of us aren’t closer to the despairing Atlanta reader than we think. Personally, I don’t know what it would mean to “give up” on America. That said, I find our country to be an increasingly hostile, alien place, in terms of the direction of the culture, and the lack of a sense that there’s anything left to restrain its descent.

Henry Olsen, writing in American Greatness in support of Tucker Carlson’s much-discussed monologue [5], says:

Carlson and Trump agree that American business owners have long since stopped thinking they owe anything to American workers or communities because they are American. They contend too many American executives, responsible only to shareholders who in turn value only the highest monetary return possible, are unconcerned about whom they contract with so long as the contracts are upheld. Nearly everyone concedes this is how business operates today; the question is whether correcting or influencing this is a proper matter for public action.

Conservative dogma has said “no” for about 25 years. Treating economic action as a solely private preserve, any attempt to regulate or interfere in the terms of trade or the allocation of capital has been attacked by intellectual conservatism and its increasingly powerful libertarian allies. The fact that this has made ever more and more of industrial America a wasteland littered with closed factories, abandoned houses, and Dollar Stores doesn’t matter to these market fundamentalists.

As I’ve written here many times, American liberals view individual rights (and not duties) with the same sacrosanctity that American conservatives treat economic individualism. What we are rapidly approaching, if we’re not already there, is the creation of a polity in which nobody feels a binding sense of loyalty to anybody or anything beyond themselves. This is neither a liberal nor a conservative problem. But it’s a problem.

In 2016, in a comment under this post about cultural decline, [6] reader Annie wrote:

There’s the commenters saying this isn’t a big deal and it has always been going on and turn off your television because it’s distracting and we all just need to relax.

The foster care system here is snapping beneath new pressures, but it’s easy to ignore if you’ve always heard it’s stressed. There aren’t enough homes for the children. There aren’t enough relatives long enough in one place. The drugs, the brokenness, the belief that pure sensation is our purpose in life… all these contribute to the empty gazes and scarred faces I see. Say it’s not real, sure. I’ve lived in the elite centers, and worked in the no-go zones outside the gentrification circles. I know the difference between the comfortable and the broken, and I’m seeing more and more brokenness.

When I walk the streets of the dingy towns surrounding Pittsburgh, or when I glance at the local stories and arrests that come after front page politeness, I see a story unfolding of families falling apart that aren’t even families. It’s just broken people trying to catch one another, shifting alliances and living arrangements every few months. It’s children moving from parent to grandparent to foster parent to uncle with trash bags of mildewed clothing and it is a cycle that doesn’t stop.

When I talk to the aging progressive or conservative community leaders in those towns, I hear confusion and foreboding. No one, wherever they fall on the political spectrum, “feels good.” If Hillary had won, perhaps there’d be a false euphoria. Certainly much of their hysteria is a result of pernicious comfort and entitled expectations. And there is certainly a false confidence amongst the Trump supporters. But there is no one among them who says things are well, or who denies we are living beneath strange, new winds. We all know.

There’s a crisis, but some people want to say because there have always been tough times or places, it’s impossible that things could get worse. That’s simply not true. It’s wiser to admit we don’t entirely understand what is afoot than to tell Rod to fiddle while the colonies of Rome are burning.

To be clear, I don’t at all expect ever to leave America. For conversation’s sake, though, I would like to know you readers’ thoughts about this. Have you left America (for whatever reason — left-wing, right-wing, or otherwise)? What has your expatriate experience taught you? Do you regret it? Have you ever seriously thought about leaving, but chose not to? What changed your mind?

Can you imagine leaving for good? Where would you go? Why would you go there? Do you really think you can get away from what would be driving you away from the US? I’m not asking in an accusatory way; I’m just interested to know what people think.

Reminder: if you want to mock the Atlanta reader, I’m not going to publish your comment.

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198 Comments (Open | Close)

198 Comments To "An Expatriate Of The Heart"

#1 Comment By Mario Diana On January 10, 2019 @ 9:59 am

I suppose I lack imagination, but the question is: Leave America and go where?

I’m pretty sure that I can claim Italian citizenship. Have you seen what’s going on in Italy? Of course you have. Rod, you and I are the same age. Even if we live long lives, Italy will not be Italy by the time we’re ready to leave this world. So, why go there? The same goes for much of Europe.

Is there another part of the world? Latin America? Asia? The Middle East? Africa? I’m all ears.

#2 Comment By MrsCole On January 10, 2019 @ 10:06 am

@Ellimist000

That all sounds great! Unfortunately, we’ve tried it, and it didn’t work. I did pick up a lot of Spanish while we were out of the country, but it’s all vocabulary, no grammar. Even after a lot of real-world immersion practice, I’m lousy at it. We deliberately avoided other expats, studied the language, and lived in a non-expat neighborhood. I got to where I can manage basic transactions. Everybody was extremely nice about it (you get a lot of goodwill points for trying hard), but… it’s a heavy barrier. We’ll never be translators.

It may not be so everywhere, but our experience was that the market was completely saturated with wannabe English teachers already. Not something you could count on making a living at, without, say, a master’s degree in TEFL or something.

As for BenOp communities: you have inadvertently hit the nail right on the head: median income. What is that now? $60k/household? We’re nowhere near that. We live close to the poverty line, by choice. It gives us the liberty to raise our own kids and homeschool. Once you start talking about a house near a good church, or in a particular community… haha! You’re so funny! Our old church, which we drove over an hour to reach, has a fantastic community with tons of homeschooling kids, very involved families. Lots of the church families have moved to be in walking distance. Very Ben-Op. I would love to be a part of it. But home prices in that neighborhood run around $300k. Never in our wildest dreams could we afford that.

Show me a budding Orthodox BenOp community that’s moving into a ghetto neighborhood where they almost can’t give homes away, and we’ll talk. Until then, I will continue to see the BenOp as a nice white middle class project for doctors, lawyers, journalists, and technocrats. Not for us.

#3 Comment By Dude Without A Country On January 10, 2019 @ 10:08 am

Egad, I’m coming to the party as most others have left. There’s something in today’s dental hygiene experience which puts a chemically delicate patient like me in a stupor for the day.

I can’t leave: I’m too old, too disabled, mainly, too pauperish. And why, for example, would I want to go to Sveden, my motherland? They all speak English – I have a half cousin who sounds like Jackie Kennedy with an upper class London accent – the country is lovely, and seems sometimes to be color schemed ( all the red houses, with their magnificent gardens ), but in anything than a top down, you – will – make – your – home – look – like – this way. The Swedes are brilliant natural craftspeople.

And so dead, spiritually.

Is there any place in Western Europe of which the same couldn’t be said?

Of course, American culture is its own Dollar Store. In the dental office yesterday, the usual “Sunny” radio station, with the usual amusic, was playing. The hygienist said to the dentist, with a laugh, that they were playing a particular song for the fourth time since she’d been at work. How she could tell I can’t imagine.

Does anyone else here remember the Bell Telephone Hour? Granted, it was probably the classiest show of its kind in American television history, but it’s shocking how many live, written for television musicals there were on American television in the 1950s. Unless it’s been removed, you can go to YouTube and see a program from 1960, with Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, and, OMG, a tottering but determined Igor Stravinsky.

It is like a transmission from a now dead, interstellar world.

That curse, the Internet, can, as we all realize, also help to aid and abet internal and rather pleasant inner exile in America. The ever sinister Amazon can been a big help. So can Spotify. And I am using up my smarm for 2019 – 2024 by telling you, Rod, that this blog is invaluable.

Yes, it’s sad for me to have seen the great, disappearing America. But the ecclesia abides. My small branch of it is looking to buy its own little intentional community. We’ve found a landlord who may be willing to part with an enclave of five to seven small houses for between $300,000 – 400,000.

Get the BenOp website up, Rod! We have people to meet.

#4 Comment By MrsCole On January 10, 2019 @ 10:15 am

@Ken’ichi

The Amish have a good thing going– but they’ve also got a lot of legal exceptions carved out for themselves due to long history. They also don’t have to pay social security or serve on juries.

I would love to see a BenOp community become cohesive enough to start fighting building regulation, but I expect that would take quite a lot of time. In the meantime (I don’t live in PA), our local/state ordinances don’t seem to be negotiable. They absolutely require central heat/air, an electrical hookup, minimum square footage, etc.

#5 Comment By Kenneth On January 10, 2019 @ 10:24 am

I would live in France near the German border for two reasons: home schooling is legal in France and my wife and children all speak German. It would be ideal if we could find serious Catholics and a good parish. (They do exist, I’m told.) I am a paleo-conservative and have never felt at home among most “conservatives” here, and I know that Europe is more liberal than the US, but it would be easier to bear the nonsense in Europe as a foreigner than it is to bear it here as an American.

#6 Comment By Sid Finster On January 10, 2019 @ 10:27 am

Sid wrote: “I lived abroad for 20 years in two different parts of the world. I’m back now and retired. If you never live in another culture, you tend to think that yours makes the most sense under the sun. You confuse your culture with the way the world works, with some unwritten laws of nature. You think it’s obviously organic, logical, proven, maybe even divinely inspired and backed by the supreme being. It isn’t, necessarily. When you spend some years in another culture you can begin to see what is universal versus what is cultural indoctrination.”

As a feline who has lived most of his professional life abroad, this is good advice.

Also, do not try to view Russia or any other country through the lens of American politics, especially in terms of “liberal” vs. “conservative”. These terms, *as Americans understand them*, are basically meaningless when transplanted outside of the United States.

Once my mind was freed of that particular illusion, a lot of things started to make more sense.

#7 Comment By Gary Keith Chesterton On January 10, 2019 @ 10:32 am

My wife is from Italy; we inherited a nice little condo in Rome a couple years ago when Mamma passed away. We sold it. Italy is doomed, awash in immigrants. We have given up on any plans of retiring there.

#8 Comment By Thomas On January 10, 2019 @ 10:47 am

I have given up on the US. Not really sure why besides the culture revolts me and I feel out of place. I am a devout Christian and have decided to create beauty in this world and to create a place of peace for myself and others. If anyone ever comes to my house there is a place to crash, food to eat, chess to play, books to read, and a bed to sleep in if you need it, guy or girl. There is physical work to be done. There will be tree planting, pruning, grass cutting, weedeating, vegetable harvesting, and bees to tend. Then when the house is taken care of we move on to more of the same at the farm. On Sundays we rest and have church and on Wednesday we have church also.

#9 Comment By grumpy realist On January 10, 2019 @ 11:20 am

I suspect that those who move “elsewhere” in order to escape the faults of America will discover (painfully) that their haven will have other problems just as bad and that they can’t run away from their own problems.

Speaking as someone who lived for 12 years in Japan and many years in Europe. And yes, i’d return to Japan in a shot. One of my fellow ex-expats is totally horrified at my stating this, but as far as I can tell he’s one of those people who will make a misery of his life no matter what country he lives in. (Returning to the U.S. didn’t solve the problems he had in Japan.)

(Moral of the story: self-pity is a dangerous drug and will cause you to trash your own surroundings.)

#10 Comment By Derrick On January 10, 2019 @ 11:34 am

I lived abroad for 6 years in South Africa. I had a job I loved and a good Christian community I was a part of. I even had extended family who acted as surrogate grandparents to my kids. My Father emigrated to th US in the late 70’s. My wife and I chose to leave that so our kids could grow up American.

Having lived in South Africa, I am much more patient with the politics. The US still has miles to fall before it reaches the level of South Africa. There is a lot wrong here. And things are not headed in a good direction. But there is still so much to build on. Another Christian great awakening is the best we have to work for and hope for. The neat thing about America is it has happened before and could happen again.

#11 Comment By Ready for the Apocalypse On January 10, 2019 @ 12:33 pm

anon_the_second provides useful info about life in Japan, but also says this: “Good luck finding that kind of environment in the US; or the little neighborhood festivals, or the streets so safe that kids can play outside unsupervised after dark.”

In fact I live in such a place in the US; so do many other people I know. There are probably hundreds of places – towns, villages, old-fashioned suburbs, even some urban neighborhoods – where you can live like this.

It’s easy to look at America from abroad and conclude that the whole country is a hellhole of degeneracy and crime. But the country is so big and complex that you can find any kind of living situation if you look hard enough.

#12 Comment By Brendan On January 10, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

I’ve lived outside the US for years at a time, twice. It was interesting and in some ways fun, but I don’t feel inclined to do it again, really.

That isn’t because I feel a great deal of affection for the United States and certainly not for its culture — I don’t, far from it. Of course I live embedded in the culture of one of the main cities here, professionally, but personally I live aloof from the culture in as many ways as I can manage, because I do not care for that culture, I do not relate to it, I do not like where it is going, and I do not wish to participate in it more than I must in order to get along in life economically.

Some people in a similar place, in an interior sense, may find it tempting to move overseas, but keep in mind that living overseas can be quite challenging as well culturally, particularly if you have no personal “tie in” to the culture (like a spouse or heritage tie-in). There will likely be a million things, little practical day to day things, that you find irritating about living in a place where things are simply done differently than they are in the US, and which have nothing at all to do with your alienation from the mostly disastrous mess that is contemporary American culture. You may be cut out to be a long-term expatriate — there are some of these — but in my experience having spent most of my professional life around both temporary and “permanent” expatriates from the US, there are relatively few people who can truly become permanent expatriates, and many of them had backgrounds that facilitated this (either they were “third culture kids” or children of expatriates themselves, in many cases .. not all cases). So if you are interested in this, take a good hard look, but realize that you may not find what you’re looking for in another culture after all.

#13 Comment By John Doe On January 10, 2019 @ 1:21 pm

Rod, I’m disheartened by what most of your commenters are saying. I myself am definitely liberal by nature, but I still believe in Catholic teachings. What saddens me is that they seem to approach this society with the attitude of “My Way or The Highway” – but in reverse: “My Way or I take the Highway and may you all Rot In Hell”. Unfortunately, that is not how a healthy society works. A healthy society needs to use the gift God gave it – the Gift of Reason – to work towards a – dare I say it? – a “More Perfect Union”? Because a society – by definition – is composed of many individuals, it is natural that there will be differences of opinion. Does that mean that the society should disintegrate, with each one going their own way? No. It means that the members of that society should discuss – with good intentions – how best to move forward. This will necessarily entail a give and take. But you need to approach the discussion with humility – always humility. No one on this earth has a monopoly on the truth. And no one knows what the future will bring. Yes, the other side may refuse to listen, may even heap abuse on you and scorn you. But isn’t that what Jesus faced? Yet he persevered. There’s a lesson there.

#14 Comment By BD On January 10, 2019 @ 1:44 pm

I lived in France as a kid for a couple years due to my dad’s job, and while I loved living there it did make me appreciate a lot of the little things about America (for example, television, potato chips–I was a kid so of course those were first on my mind!). But also it made me more defensive of America, particularly when my non-American friends made cracks about it. Sort of in that “we can make fun of our own family but when outsiders do it we circle the wagons”.

If I retired to another country it would likely be for financial reasons, but I expect to stay here and just travel when I want to see somewhere new.

#15 Comment By mary On January 10, 2019 @ 2:13 pm

“The hospital itself flies this “pride flag” in front of the building on an equal level with the American flag. This is a clear representation of how far this nation has fallen, and such a thing would have been unthinkable even a generation ago.”

I wish someone had the talent to do a mash up of Sound of Music using CG to substitute all the Nazi imagery with LGBT symbols and speak.

Cue the scene where the captain tears down the nazi flag after the SS has put them up around his house while he was away. Rainbow flags abound here.
One could have an easy time overlaying the same threat from social Justice terrorists and their similar tactics of compliance to their dogma onto that film.

If someone does it, let us know.

#16 Comment By Chris Mallory On January 10, 2019 @ 2:18 pm

2050 will mark 400 years of my family being in North America. We fought with Washington to help found this nation. We forced the red savages west of the Mississippi. We put blood and sweat into this land. Immigration, starting in the 1840’s, has destroyed much of what my ancestors left to me. But I will not run and surrender this nation to the savages flooding this land today. Leaving would be the coward’s way out.

#17 Comment By Augustine On January 10, 2019 @ 2:37 pm

It was not until I literally became an expatriate that I realized that I’ve always been one, figuratively. Though I felt alienated by the predominant culture in my country of origin, it took the disappointment of bearing the same feeling in my adopted country to realize that. In a certain sense, I’ve made the Benedictine choice decades ago, firstly, physically, now, just psychologically, but always spiritually.

#18 Comment By SMK On January 10, 2019 @ 3:39 pm

JP: Rather than leave the U.S, I’d rather see the empire partitioned along regional and ethnic lines. [NFR: Ethnic lines? Oh brother. Here in the South, there are no Honkystans. We’re stuck with each other whether we like it or not. — RD]

Rod, sadly you are wrong here. The US will divide among racial lines as we have no other unifying culture or religion. And it’s going to happen rather quickly. Think Yugoslavia, merely faster.

We saw this after the Civil War when blacks fled north and whites fled west away from them.

We are going to see a lot of white flight as whites fall below 50% around the nation, and national politics implode. The R will be the “white party”. Hispanics will take TX, CA, NV, NM, AZ and will swing. Blacks will own MI, DC, GA, and parts of LA, SC, MD, AL. Asians and whites will dominate the edges of these states, with whites controlling everything north & west of CO.

Importantly, each area will be 80% or more racially/culturally uniform. Everyone will run until they feel safe. Check out the history of white flight out of Detroit. Then read Sally’s comment above, and think about what the US economy will look like when enough of the population becomes economically broken.

#19 Comment By SMK On January 10, 2019 @ 4:53 pm

McCole: Show me a budding Orthodox BenOp community that’s moving into a ghetto neighborhood where they almost can’t give homes away, and we’ll talk. Until then, I will continue to see the BenOp as a nice white middle class project for doctors, lawyers, journalists, and technocrats. Not for us.

You are 100% right. But you won’t see those communities from folk here; it’s all talk, no walk.

We started our version of said “project” over 20 years ago. And it’s more about economics & lifestyle than anything else. What do I mean? Cooking from scratch. Buying a home within walking distance & waking everywhere. Growing big gardens. Homeschooling. Hunting, fishing, and harvesting. Working out daily to stay fit and healthy to avoid doctors. Getting rid of TV, video games, and social media.

I remember discussing these economics on this very blog many years ago (different handle back then) with people laughing at the idea of “walking everywhere” and “gardening/hunting/fishing” and “fixing everything yourself”. Well, we’ve done it now for decades. It’s awesome. Because it allows for kids to be economically independent without being driven everywhere, keeps everyone outside and fit, and nearly eliminates auto accidents (a leading cause of death/injury in the US).

But it’s all about diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Which means counter-cultural economics. It means cutting spending like a fiend and thinking outside the box. Such as if you lack the capital to buy a home close you may buy a larger home within walking distance on credit and rent half of it to make the payments. But it can be done. People just lack the discipline and work ethic, not the money. They are romantics, not hard-nosed practical DIY’s.

#20 Comment By Floridan On January 10, 2019 @ 5:30 pm

A lot of the laments seen here in the comments remind me of long ago when my son was still little and after some disagreement with his parents announced that he was leaving home.

“Fine,” we said, “leave if you want.”

After a moment of silence he replied “How can I unless you give me a credit card?” He then retreated to his bedroom.

#21 Comment By Tim On January 10, 2019 @ 7:32 pm

Leave America? Maybe people contemplating such a move should get to know it better first. It’s a very big place. American society is even bigger. That’s the territory that is actually harder to visit, since most of us are more confined by our social circle than the many thousands of miles of roads we have yet to travel.
I empathize with the man from Atlanta. He reminds me of Job. Perhaps he will find a place where he feels more at home, though obviously with some heavy regrets. To reach a point in life where one has striven and apparently been deprived of it all can only be heartbreaking.
But America isn’t through. There is still such a thing as the American people. They don’t really conform, individually or in their various groups, to the tired stereotypes blithely employed by the chattering classes and statisticians of either the left or the right. They are in search of commonality that seems to be effaced by much-touted pluralism and multiculturalism, and is also under siege by globalism and unfettered capitalist excess.
As our numbers have grown traditional social bonds have been stretched and strained and all manner of oddities have arisen, some of them quite repugnant despite evident trendy appeal.
Casualties – like the man from Atlanta – walk among us in increasing numbers, and prospects seem dim for a sane, just and livable world. The promises we were raised on seem to have evaporated under our eyes.
But we don’t have to succumb to nihilism, cynicism, hate or despair. As one who was always keenly aware of the long-standing and seemingly irresolvable grudge match between our traditional 20th century political alliances, it seems that a realignment of interests is nascent. When notable conservatives speak up in opposition to the long-standing tendency of those on the right to extoll the virtues of capitalism something is surely afoot. Those of us who plan to remain here will have to stay tuned for further developments. There is an absolute guarantee that they won’t all be good. But there is also no guarantee that our common enterprise, the USA, will founder and fall apart, either. We have the inestimable advantages of great founding fathers, plenty of living space, and the ability to learn from past mistakes. If we want a livable future we have an obligation to prepare for it by remaining hopeful and dedicated to the difficult work of restoring good things that have slipped into eclipse and creating new things that serve us well. We’re bigger than ever, and won’t fit into our old shoes very well anymore, but that’s not a tragedy unless we conclusively decide that this place, made of so much toil and backbreaking labor, is no longer worth the effort needed to carry on.

#22 Comment By Phillip Nolan On January 10, 2019 @ 7:45 pm

Honkystan!!!

Thanks for that, Rod.

#23 Comment By Frank Healy On January 10, 2019 @ 9:01 pm

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,

I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.

But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught—they say—God, when he walked on earth.

– Robinson Jeffers

A friend asks me, when he reads people praising the Tucker stuff, about who is going to pay for all the ideas of the “New New Right”? Barry Goldwater had policy prescriptions. Where are the ones coming from Vance and others? Where are yours?

In the end, the “donor class” of the GOP doesn’t want to make any significant sacrifices, does it Rod? So all we are going to get are more tax cuts and attacks on Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez?

#24 Comment By Melvin Backstrom On January 10, 2019 @ 9:28 pm

I’ll second Millennial Academic’s comments. Canada is certainly far from perfect, but in so many ways it works much better than the USA. And the reason why is because—contrary to what almost everyone thinks—Canada is more conservative and the USA is more liberal. After all, when you Americans revolted (including my great-great-great-grandfather), you tried to get the Canadians to join you, first through persuasion, then by military force. Neither worked because the Canadians were quite happy with the British having just been granted the Quebec Act legalizing Catholicism (which was, infamously, one of the “Intolerable Acts” named in the Declaration of Independence). They were also much more conservative in beliefs and attitudes than the American colonists, and thus far less willing to opt for rebellion. After the Revolution, thousands of Loyalists left the USA and moved north, all of whom also were obviously more conservative than their revolutionary brethren. And to this day, Canada still has a monarch: Queen Elizabeth of Canada. (So no, the Queen of England is NOT the Queen of Canada. She is the same person, but has different titles and functions.) I love asking Americans what the Canadian equivalent to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is. No American I’ve asked has ever known. It’s “Peace, Order and Good Government.” Which is more conservative? Which is more liberal? The answer is obvious. Peace, order and good government are bedrock conservative ideals. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in contrast, practically define liberalism.

If you’re curious about the differences between the two countries (Canada being only 8 years younger than the USA), I’d highly recommend reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s writings about Canada during his visit to N. America ( [7]), as well as Thoreau’s “A Yankee in Canada” ( [8]). Both capture how much slower the pace of life was, how much more traditional the people were, and how important the church was. That Canada is now commonly understood as more “liberal” is largely because the traditionalism and primacy of the good of the community over the rights of the individual (Peace, Order and Good Government!), has been re-articulated as “liberal” in response to the reinterpretation in the USA in the 20th century of 19th-century liberalism’s as “conservative.” Doesn’t make it true though.

I spent a few months living in the USA, last spring teaching at a university in California. I enjoyed the experience, but am I ever glad to be back living in Montreal. You Americans love to brag about your freedom, but I feel far more free in Canada, at least for anything really worthwhile, than I do in the USA.

#25 Comment By Ellimist000 On January 10, 2019 @ 9:52 pm

MrsCole,

I certainly understand the language thing, it sounds like you are far, far more capable of learning a language than I am! That was just me offering unsolicited advice that probably is obvious and just was not to me for a long time :).

“As for BenOp communities: you have inadvertently hit the nail right on the head: median income. What is that now? $60k/household? We’re nowhere near that. We live close to the poverty line, by choice. It gives us the liberty to raise our own kids and homeschool.”

Much respect about this! My parents homeschooled me too (not for BenOp reasons, more like “I-live-in-the-ghetto” reasons). I suppose I understand your thinking better now. I was indirectly criticizing conservatives more generally for not being willing to sacrifice to live out their beliefs here or take the best course to accomplish their goals. But that clearly does not apply to you. My point was the idea that a single low-income family could not solve these issues, but the many might (and I find myself strangely echoing Ken’Ichi).

But I suppose a lack of such people is the problem, isn’t it? I could easily mirror your concerns from a left-wing perspective (though you could probably find many more Ben-Op-ish/voluntary poverty type people on the left, without much of the Orthodoxy, of course. I know they manage being off-grid for sure).

“Show me a budding Orthodox BenOp community that’s moving into a ghetto neighborhood where they almost can’t give homes away, and we’ll talk. ”

Why, MrsCole! You are a much, much more capable comedian than I! 😛

#26 Comment By Ellimist000 On January 10, 2019 @ 10:02 pm

Atlanta Adam,

Well, as I said, I’m sorry for what happened to you.

Godspeed, for what it is worth.

#27 Comment By Nabljuduvach On January 11, 2019 @ 12:13 am

I left the United States thirty-five years ago, not out of any disaffection with the country but simply because there was more money to be made in my field outside the U.S. than inside. When I hit retirement age, I simply decided to stay where I happened to be at the time (Macedonia), whence, after a few years, I moved on to Bulgaria.

There are two advantages to living in Bulgaria:

1) Unlike all the other EU countries except Portugal, they don’t tax pensions. (Not having paid any taxes on my income to anyone since 1983, I have a fierce aversion to taxes, VAT excepted.)

2) The health care is astonishingly affordable: Three months ago, I had major abdominal surgery that kept me in the hospital for more than a week, part of the time in intensive care. The bill was less than $700.

#28 Comment By George On January 11, 2019 @ 1:35 am

Rod,
Like you, I don’t share the degree of despair that has affected our brother from Atlanta. And yes, there is a sense that a different wind is blowing in our nation, even among traditional religious persons, conservatives and business people. Annie was correct in saying that there is societal and cultural brokenness here. And that brokenness clouds our minds with a feeling of foreboding. And yes, the signs of brokenness are all around us.
Families still are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables; people, especially young people, are suffering and dying from drug addiction; people are seeking the meaning of life in the abyss of pleasure-seeking; mental illness is proliferating among all groups of people. A significant number of American business icons are going bankrupt; empty, dilapidated store fronts and shopping malls litter our cities. Many business and economic analysts are telling us that we experienced a false recovery over the past decade fueled by unprecedented fiat currency creation which will result in a great economic calamity. These same experts even tell us it would be wise to obtain dual citizenship in case we need to leave America to avoid the coming great economic cataclysm. In fact, we are told by trend experts that people across the world will be migrating from their birth nations in an effort to escape the misery of their failing sovereign nations.
So you asked, where would we, your readers, go? Of course, that is the question. Do we go to Singapore to catch the rising Asian sun? Australia maybe? Maybe we go to stable Switzerland? What about Norway with all of their social programs? Or maybe somewhere closer to home, like Panama, Nicaragua or Costa Rica? I hear the ocean is beautiful there. But then again, I hear Uruguay, between Brazil and Argentina, has one of the best healthcare systems in the Western Hemisphere. What about Greece? I here the islands are idyllic there and I bet there some good deals there since their economy fell apart. I guess, if push came to shove and I had to go somewhere, I would look for a place where the people are pious and are respectful of others’ desire to worship in peace. I’m not sure where that would be, especially with all the discord among religious communities across the globe.
In spite of all the struggling, and all of the brokenness and all of the suffering, we realize that GOD permits all of it. — How unfair, how could a loving god do that ? (a discussion for another article)— And GOD does so for everyone’s spiritual edification and maturation. So maybe, I’ll just stay where GOD has planted me and help those friends and neighbors around me who are struggling, broken and suffering. Because, no matter where we go in this world, we will always be foreigners in a strange land, longing for and looking, in the distance, for
our homeland.
Lord have mercy on us,
George

#29 Comment By Anonne On January 11, 2019 @ 3:30 am

Dear Atlanta Expat:

I’m not going to mock you, but I do disagree. I think you should travel *this* country more and meet more people, and practice some of that Christian love and embrace them.

Do not make your patriotism into an idol. The Constitution and the Bible are far from the same document and the former tolerates far more than the latter. Your problem with the loss of Christian America is not a problem unique to America. If you’ve never felt like a part of the world, that’s supposed to be by design.

American Christians long for the glory days of cultural hegemony but they don’t understand that that’s always been a comforting farce. People are living more honestly now, however depraved that may be, than they were back in said glory days. They got the taste for power and now they don’t want to give it up, trading their supposed virtues for a crass reality show host. But he is a reflection of their true heart: greedy, vain, self-righteous, unforgiving, ungracious, hypocritical. The prodigal son’s brother on steroids.

But, God always leaves a remnant. Thank God for that. Be the remnant and find others. Don’t expect it from America or anywhere in the world. Ask it from individuals.

#30 Comment By Mark VA On January 11, 2019 @ 5:53 am

If this gentleman is really serious about it and has a sense of adventure, then I suggest he consider becoming an immigrant, not merely an expatriate;

The difference is between full and irreversible immersion in another culture (i.e. assimilation), with all its perils and, when done right, incredible rewards, and sort of just safely nibbling on the edges, “neither here nor there” style, with very little to show for it in the long run;

Whenever I hear the word “expatriate”, I think of the UK nationals on Spain’s Costa del Sol, who bristle at being called “immigrants”, stay aloof from the Spanish culture, and end up in a state of suspension. Basically, their souls, language, food and drink are in England, but their bodies enjoy the Spanish sun. They have no intention whatsoever to assimilate:

[9]

Let me propose this definition:

An immigrant is someone who irreversibly and permanently assimilates to the new culture. An expatriate has no intention to do so, and considers the experience temporary, for as long as it is convenient. In essence, a rich vagabond with options.

#31 Comment By CDE On January 11, 2019 @ 6:34 am

I am a bit on the liberal side and I don’t think liberals believe in unfettered hedonism. I actually believe that if you produce children, then you need to be able to care and support them. Don’t produce children that you can’t support for the next 20 years. If you produce the children, do everything in your power to give them the best start in life possible.

As far as government policy, I would like for the US to be less involved in foreign wars and provide more help to families. Childcare is more expensive than rent. How can anyone afford to be a parent anymore? Why isn’t there paid maternity leave in the US?

I studied abroad in Russia and the Czech Republic. I am visited Austria, Poland and Uzbekistan. I have often thought I would have been happier in Europe than the US. I often do think I might want to retire to Costa Rica or Thailand. Mostly because my meager retirement savings would go farther there.

I think the US needs to get away from liberal/conservative or other party affiliation. Infrastructure needs to be fixed. Education needs to be fixed. The student loan crisis and how to properly fund higher education needs to be addressed so that we don’t end up with people in debt and unable to save for retirement. Corporate profits need to benefit the employees, not just the CEO.

Cultural issues — gay marriage, transrights and such are not a problem. It does not hurt your traditional Christian marriage if a gay couple lives today. Most of those people just want to live their life without harassment and assault. That should not be a big ask. The writer complains his wife left him for a woman. Maybe if being a lesbian had been more acceptable when his wife was young, she would have married a woman to begin with and he would have married a wife that wanted to married to a man and his life would be a bit happier now.

#32 Comment By George B. On January 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Rod,
Like you, I don’t share the degree of despair that has affected our brother from Atlanta. And yes, there is a sense that a different wind is blowing in our nation, even among traditional religious persons, conservatives and business people. Annie was correct in saying that there is societal and cultural brokenness here. And that brokenness clouds our minds with a feeling of foreboding. And yes, the signs of brokenness are all around us.
Families still are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables; people, especially young people, are suffering and dying from drug addiction; people are seeking the meaning of life in the abyss of pleasure-seeking; mental illness is proliferating among all groups of people. A significant number of American business icons are going bankrupt; empty, dilapidated store fronts and shopping malls litter our cities. Many business and economic analysts are telling us that we experienced a false recovery over the past decade fueled by unprecedented fiat currency creation which will result in a great economic calamity. These same experts even tell us it would be wise to obtain dual citizenship in case we need to leave America to avoid the coming great economic cataclysm. In fact, we are told by trend experts that people across the world will be migrating from their birth nations in an effort to escape the misery of their failing sovereign nations.
So you asked, where would we, your readers, go? Of course, that is the question. Do we go to Singapore to catch the rising Asian sun? Australia perhaps? Maybe we go to stable Switzerland? What about Norway with all of their social programs? Or maybe somewhere closer to home, like Panama, Nicaragua or Costa Rica? I hear the ocean is beautiful there. But then again, I hear Uruguay, between Brazil and Argentina, has one of the best healthcare systems in the Western Hemisphere. What about Greece? I here the islands are idyllic there and I bet there some good deals there since their economy fell apart. I guess, if push came to shove and I had to go somewhere, I would look for a place where the people are pious and are respectful of others’ desire to worship in peace. I’m not sure where that would be, especially with all the discord among religious communities across the globe.
In spite of all the struggling, and all of the brokenness and all of the suffering, we realize that GOD permits all of it. — How unfair, how could a loving god do that ? (a discussion for another article)— And GOD does so for everyone’s spiritual edification and maturation. So maybe, I’ll just stay where GOD has planted me and help those friends and neighbors around me who are struggling, broken and suffering. Because, no matter where we go in this world, we will always be foreigners in a strange land, longing for and looking, in the distance, for
our homeland.
Lord have mercy on us,
George

#33 Comment By Turmarion On January 11, 2019 @ 10:24 am

Haigha: If we’re not careful, the linguistic and cognitive shorthand can fool us into thinking that the collective noun actually is in some sense an entity, with “interests” and “rights” that are something other than the aggregate or average of the interests and rights of the individuals who make it up.

Your linguistic points are interesting, and as far as it goes, I wouldn’t disagree with what I’ve quoted here; but that’s all sublimely irrelevant.

Your point, if I understood you right, was that things like corporate ethics and such came under the rubric of Christian morality. In other words, CEO’s and their ilk should perhaps exercise restraint on the basis of their Christian values (assuming they have any), but as you say,

The ability to use force means that it’s never safe to permit government to check private power that is purely economic and And, of course, if the government can interfere with private economic activity in order to enforce “Christian morality”, why only economic activity?

My assertion was that “interfering with private economic activity” has nothing whatsoever to do with “enforcing Christian morality”, and cited pre-Christian philosophers in support of my assertion.

Now you might argue that it is wrong in general for the government to “interfere with private economic activity”; but such an argument has nothing with enforcing any religious belief. That was my point.

#34 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On January 11, 2019 @ 10:34 am

I grew up in East Africa. The internet service is crap and the Chinese look to be slowly taking ownership of anything they can get their hands on, but otherwise, he’s going to love it. I can smell the eucalyptus trees and coffee beans cooking from here.

Well, the internet / cell phone service all over Africa is expanding amazingly fast, but oh man, I read your “eucalyptus leaves and coffee beans” line and it sent a thrill through me. I lived for three years in Madagascar (not quite East Africa, but close), and I remember walking out of my door every morning and seeing people roasting the coffee beans over a charcoal grate (raw coffee beans, thy roasted them with a bit of sugar) for the day’s coffee. It takes me back to Madagascar right away.

East African countries are a lot poorer than America, to state the obvious, but there’s more to life than just material wealth, and there were a lot of really attractive things about the rural village where I spent three years. Working as a sweet potato farmer can be tough and low-paying, but I would suspect those people are, to a large extent, happier than a Wal-Mart greeter in America even if they have less stuff, because they know what they’re doing has real and tangible value.

Good luck to you on moving to Europe, and good luck to Turmarion, the Atlanta guy and all the other people here who are considering expatriating. I’m not sure I would want to live permanently in Africa- it can be a fine place to live, it’s just not necessarily the place for me- but I would love to expatriate if I ever got the chance. Maybe to Western Europe, or to Eastern Europe, or to Latin America or maybe Oceania. Somewhere, most importantly, that isn’t America and doesn’t share our status as the imperial power of the world. Being an empire and having that degree of wealth and power is always corrupting, and it’s corrupting at some level towards everyone who’s a part of it.

#35 Comment By Maclin Horton On January 11, 2019 @ 10:52 am

I’m skipping most of these interesting but multitudinous comments to say that Matt in VA’s comment (3:09 pm January 9) is brilliant.

#36 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 11, 2019 @ 12:54 pm

Show me a budding Orthodox BenOp community that’s moving into a ghetto neighborhood where they almost can’t give homes away, and we’ll talk.

Catholic Worker communities generally do that. There is one just three blocks from my house.

#37 Comment By Haigha On January 11, 2019 @ 3:40 pm

Turmarion, I would have thought that, at least after my last response, it would have been clear that I wasn’t making a “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” sort of argument, but was arguing against the forcible imposition of any subjective morality beyond that which is universal, instinctive, and necessary to coexistence.

#38 Comment By Karen M On January 11, 2019 @ 4:49 pm

I’d definitely be interested in moving to Canada, especially Vancouver where it’s not as frigid. I’d also go to Australia, New Zealand or a Scandinavian country if my parents and my sisters families came too (before the Brexit mess the UK would have been a top choice). I have chronic health problems and the only reason I’m not suicidally depressed about the future is the fact that I have wealthy parents who could pay out of pocket for things if necessary. There are things I love about this country but I’d give them up for a higher quality of life in a heartbeat.

#39 Comment By Rossbach On January 11, 2019 @ 5:21 pm

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

― American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)

#40 Comment By Anon2017 On January 11, 2019 @ 8:14 pm

Melvin Backstrom: Canada celebrated its 100th birthday on July 1, 1967, not in 1891 and its 150th birthday in 2017. Hundreds of thousands of English speaking residents of Quebec left the province (net of in-migration) during the four decades after the French language law passed in 1976. So did major corporate headquarters (e.g. Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal). The term “Peace, order and good government” comes from the British North America Act of 1867, not a British statute creating Upper and Lower Canada in 1791.

#41 Comment By TeriMoto On January 12, 2019 @ 12:37 am

We actually did the “pack up the plantation and move on out” back in 2014 to Japan. A job opportunity came up, we always wanted to see that country, and we figured – why the hell not?

We came back last year. In some respects, I can’t imagine a better place for our kids to spend a chunk of their childhood. It’s clean, it’s safe, it’s amazingly beautiful, and 99% of the Japanese were gracious and kind to us. Our kids learned that there are other ways of doing things besides the “American” way, and that those ways might actually be better from time to time.

However, we could never call Japan home, no matter how well we learned the language, or how good our “Japanese manners” became. We could live there for twenty years and become naturalized citizens, but we would never be anything other than foreigners to them. We don’t have Yamato blood, and most importantly, we didn’t grow up there.

We came back to a small city with a strong Catholic community. America doesn’t “feel” like home any longer, though. We’re homeschooling our kids to protect them from the insane intersectional crap invading the public AND private schools.

Me & Hubs are here to stay, unless another amazing overseas offer comes up. In Hubs’ field, that’s always a possibility. Returning to his native land (he’s a naturalized citizen) is out of the question, though. It’s getting more antisemitic every year, and when Europe starts down that path, it doesn’t end well. We’re under no illusion that there is some place much better for us to end our days than here, considering how old and cranky we are now.

The kids are looking for fields of study that are in demand worldwide. College overseas is also looking mighty attractive to them – there is NO American university worth their ridiculous tuition, and the required virtue signal courses are a waste of time.

I hope that they will be the first generation of my family to never join the military since the Civil War. It’s crazy that our best gets put in harm’s way, while SJW Tumblrinas sit at home, bloat and emote. (Next time Washington wants to invade a country, let’s send our worst first, and save the best for last.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if our kids someday leave America forever. Five years ago that thought would have made me incredibly sad. Now? Well, there’s Skype, air travel, and many other ways to keep in contact.

Their old man left his native land. Maybe they will too. I only wish them well. They didn’t make this mess. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice their future happiness to pay for the spoiled, willfully ignorant clowns in power.

#42 Comment By Tony On January 12, 2019 @ 6:10 am

The Atlanta commenter is not far off. I left the US in 2014 for strictly professional reasons, (was never particularly political until late 2017). Looking at everything across the Pacific has been painful (spent my first days in a hotel watching coverage of the Ferguson riots in a language that, at that time, I couldn’t speak). Especially for the past two years it’s just been plain confusing. By profession I am a foreign policy analyst – have done some work for the Pentagon, been cited in Congressional reports. At this point I have developed a niche where I can serve American interests from my perch in Asia, yet I have no desire to go back, much less raise my l kids there (married a local woman – the kids’ identity confusion will be bad enough, I’m sure). That’s literally the only way I can feel connected to my home. My hand goes over my heart every time I pass the flag at our embassy or on one of our military bases, yet I have been completely disabused of the notion that the America I once knew still exists.

#43 Comment By guy in MI On January 12, 2019 @ 8:47 am

Long-time reader here. Thank you for this blog–enjoy reading a lot of the regular contributors here as well.
As a few people have already pointed out, you cannot run from your own problems forever, and every country in the world has its problems, though the language and cultural barriers may make you blissfully unaware of them for a long time. Just as likely, your struggles with a new bureaucracy and figuring out how everything works will occupy enough mental effort that you won’t care about everything that stirs the natives’ passions.
If you sincerely want to try living in another country and think you have the resources–personal, financial and/or vocational, or existing cultural knowledge or contacts–to make a go of it, then there’s only one way to find out. However, keep in mind that sometimes God shows you this is your place and sometimes He shows you the door. You may know of or meet expats who are making a go of it, but their lives will not be exactly the same as yours.
After living in Russia for six years, getting married and having a child, my permanent residency was rejected and our daughter diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and we quickly found out that Russian society was about where the USA was in the 1970s dealing with autism. Even though I knew I’d be returning to no good opportunities back in the USA, the exit sign was clearly marked.
As an Orthodox Christian, I know there are some who might say I left Holy Russia for Babylon, but despite whatever evils or issues exist, there shouldn’t be a contest for anyone between a country that lets you live together as a family and one that that won’t. My wife got permanent residency with amazing speed and ease compared to what I was put through trying to get the same in her country, and thanks to therapies and IEPs here our daughter is starting to thrive.
So yes, all the problems of the USA from a Christian perspective are real–why else would I follow this blog?–and I know Orthodox Christian expats who were able to make a go of it in Russia and other countries. Yet we don’t always live where we think it’s ideal, but where we can. This is, in a sense, where God plants us.

#44 Comment By SMK On January 12, 2019 @ 4:12 pm

SJ: …moving into a ghetto neighborhood where can’t give homes away…Catholic Worker communities do that…one just 3 blocks from my house.

Heh, this is exactly my point. The problem is never truly “economic”. Were this the case, why are immigrants pouring in by the thousdands?

Rather: we are fat, lazy, spoiled, and immoral. Through liberalism, supporting single mothers, allowing divorce, and do-gooder welfare programs we’ve destroyed the family structure and work ethic that used to be America. That ship has sailed.

But for all those who want to expat, I say: it’s still very easy to live well in America today. It just takes a different mentality, a “low-trust” vision of society where family is tight, share values, and live together. Think Mormons and Jews. And over the next few decades most of us will get there, no matter what the country, in fact. It’s what modernism is all about, and it’s invading every place (except maybe Japan by slamming the door shut on immigration).

#45 Comment By JimDandy On January 13, 2019 @ 12:53 am

“I was raised to be the kind of father who would be proud that he had a son who wants to serve.”

I was raised that way, too. And, in that particular way, we were raised wrong. I understand the deep desire to want to believe in America as a unique force of good in the world, but that desire is essentially a religious yearning for transcendent faith, projected onto the corporeal, sinful state. There has never been a war that justified the draft in this country. A history of plutocrats sending poor kids off to kill and die is nothing to fetishize.

I sympathize with your reader who has given up on America. Identity politics have made the straight white man who seeks a traditional life this nation’s pariah. The weaklings and the moral failures in our demographic lash out against this relentless injustice with violence and hatred, and the enlightened, it seems, accept defeat and leave. The majority of us remain here in the middle, trying in vain to win arguments about fairness and sanity against a coalition of special interests and elites and quisling grotesques.

I can’t help thinking of Tolstoy:

“It may be affirmed that the constant fulfilment of this rule is difficult, and that not every man will find his happiness in obeying it. It may be said that it is foolish; that, as unbelievers pretend, Jesus was a visionary, an idealist, whose impracticable rules were only followed because of the stupidity of his disciples. But it is impossible not to admit that Jesus did say very clearly and definitely that which he intended to say: namely, that men should not resist evil; and that therefore he who accepts his teaching cannot resist.”

#46 Comment By VikingLS On January 13, 2019 @ 1:07 pm

I can not recommend Hal Freeman’s blog highly enough. As someone who lived there for five years I agree with most of his observations (can’t think of any I disagree with.)

Rod PLEASE take the time to check it out.

I’m currently in the same boat as Guy in Mi in that I have a daughter with Autism and the resources in the USA are far better than what we would have available in Russia.

All things being equal I would choose Russia, particularly since my wife still owns an apartment in Saint Petersburg and a Dacha nearby, but all things aren’t equal.

#47 Comment By JonF On January 13, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

Re: it’s invading every place (except maybe Japan by slamming the door shut on immigration)

Immigration has nothing to do with it: check out Japan’s rock bottom fertility rate, as well as the phenomenon of “grass eating men”. Japan is not exactly an icon for old-fashioned* Family Values either.

* “Old-fashioned” in this context would mean the traditional Japanese family, not a traditional Euro-American one. But yes, those are pretty uncommon in the Land of the Rising Sun too. A much more likely villain is plain old modern technology which had altered the limits of the possible in just about everything.

#48 Comment By Josep On January 16, 2019 @ 3:23 pm

I was born in a cold morning in China in 1999 to a Chinese mother and American father of French and Irish descent. My family moved to the United States in November 2005.

As early as the age of 11, I started thinking of leaving America to start a new life in another country. Currently, at 19 years going into 20, I am unable to travel abroad, since I am still a student at university, and I do not have a job.

Every time I read some article here at TAC regarding foreign policy or cultural collapse, I am further convinced that there’s something rotten in the USA. Even before I heard of TAC in early 2017, other factors included the shoddy health care system, poorly-managed public transport, and the lack of paid maternity leave. Worse, still, why the heck are we Americans still using old measurements based on the body parts of a long-deceased English king?

When I was much younger (as early as 2012), I used to believe that life in the UK would be any better than in the US. As I got older and wiser, however, I started to lose interest in and stopped caring about Britain, especially [10]. After all, they speak English too.

While I’m happy to see Eastern Europe trying to resist the sort of progressivism in Western Europe, however, they (minus Russia) are still members of NATO and the EU. Reading sites such as consortiumnews.com opened my eyes to the utter depravity of the bombing in Yugoslavia by NATO. This means that the entire Western world, including Poland and the Czech Republic*, is out of the question.

These days, I’ve got my heart set on Russia, although I occasionally think about Japan as well, and there have been occasions where I’m divided on the two. On the one hand, Russia, unlike Japan, has a lower debt-to-GDP ratio and an actual history of Christianity, and is not a lapdog of Western (read: American) imperialism. Russian looks relatively easier to learn too. On the other hand, Russia has a lower lifespan and higher rates of crime, obesity, alcoholism and tobacco consumption than Japan. What they both have in common is that they don’t recognize gay marriage, have open borders, or follow daylight savings time. With the way [11], I have more hope in Putin’s Russia despite said flaws, but circumstances may change as I get older; time will tell.

My birth country China is not one of the countries I’d think of as a place to start a career. While I do have family living there, thus making it easier to adapt, however, the language is rather difficult (each word has its own symbol), and I’m not sure if they’d be open to Christian believers. With France and Ireland suffering the same problems as the USA, I’m pretty much screwed here.

Bottom line – adapting to a non-Western country and its culture is going to be difficult, but it should be preferable to being blacklisted, etc. for speaking out against Identity Politics, the LGBT agenda, etc.

*Side note: What also turned me off of the Czech Republic was its post-Christian secularism, particularly the rejection of Biblical creationism in favor of Darwinian evolution, especially if [12] [13] [14] are anything to go by. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against whites marrying whites, but at the same time, I believe no-one should be ashamed for the color of his/her spouse’s skin.