Love it, don’t leave it
In the annals of empty gestures, threatening to leave the country following a disliked political outcome ranks somewhere between President Nixon’s post-resignation “V” sign and basketball coach Phil Jackson’s book “The Last Season.”
In 2000, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder and the late director Robert Altman both promised to vacate America if Mr. Bush won the presidency; eight years later, actor Stephen Baldwin promised to depart if Mr. Obama won the Democratic nomination; two years after that, radio host Rush Limbaugh said he would move to Costa Rica if Congress passed the Affordable Care Act.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the above remained American citizens. Which is also why the 2007 film “Blue State” – a love story about a disaffected supporter of Mr. Kerry who disembarks to Canada following the 2004 election – is, in fact, fictional.
“I had a feeling of estrangement in 2004, like, ‘I don’t understand where I live,’” said “Blue State” director Marshall Lewy, who once volunteered for Mr. Kerry’s campaign in Ohio. “I thought it would be a funny premise for a movie. But I didn’t actually consider moving to Canada – not until I actually had to go there to make the movie.”
Over the past week, distraught and presumably right-leaning citizens in more than 20 states reportedly have signed online secession petitions, with one from Texas gathering roughly 50,000 signatures. An online poster with the handle “Blue Collar Republican” went one step further, posting an open letter to the Queen of England that states in part, “if you can find it in your heart to forgive us and take us back, we promise never to trade British oppression for Socialist tyranny again.”
It always gets better
For his part, Mr. Thompson spent the day after the 2004 election at an Arizona resort, where he saw a group of Republicans – decked out in campaign gear – checking in at the front desk, talking and smiling and elated over Mr. Bush’s victory.
Mr. Thompson wanted to hide. He wanted to head back to his room and pull a bedsheet over his head. He later attended an Inauguration Day protest in Washington.
Of course, that was then.
“To all conservatives, I’d say, ‘Don’t worry,’” he said. “Four years ago, the names George Bush and Sarah Palin used to drive me and my friends into a red-faced frenzy. Now they’re irrelevant. Obama will become the same.”
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Patrick Hruby is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees from Georgetown and Northwestern. He also contributes to ESPN.com and The Atlantic Online, and his work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Follow him on Twitter (@patrick_hruby) and contact him at PatrickHruby.net.
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