- - Monday, March 7, 2016


These are scary times for the folks frightened by the noise and high-decibel blarney of an American presidential campaign. Some of them, many in Hollywood where whims are regarded as mandates, are joining the quadrennial chorus of celebrities threatening to leave America if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States. This every-four-years’ exercise is as American as apple pie made with sour apples. Granny Smiths, perhaps. Alec Baldwin’s plane has been idling on the runway at Los Angeles International since George W. Bush defeated Al Gore. The tower still hasn’t cleared him for take-off.

This year it’s the folks who hate the Donald to the max who are promising to bolt the land of the free and the home of the brave. Al Sharpton, full-time race hustler, sometime radio talk show bloviator and occasional pal of Barack Obama, says he’s “reserving my ticket to get out of here if Trump wins. Only because he’d probably have me deported anyhow.” Whoopi Goldberg, the former funny girl and co-host of a television gabfest, says Mr. Trump’s America just wouldn’t feel like home. “I don’t think that’s America,” she says. “I don’t want it to be America. Maybe it’s time for me to move.” Jennifer Lawrence, the star of “The Hunger Games” and “Joy,” won’t have to leave because there won’t be anywhere else. “If Donald Trump becomes president,” she predicts, “that will be the end of the world.”

Maybe it’s the Obama years, now racing through the final months, that makes people blurt out things they don’t really mean. In 2010, Rush Limbaugh threatened to move to Costa Rica if Congress passed Obamacare. Congress did and he didn’t. In 2012, Ted Nugent, the aging rock and roller and little-game hunter, insisted that if Mr. Obama was re-elected, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He’s still in the woods, banging away at whatever moves.

Celebrity pouters are grown-up versions of the kid who threatens to take his football and run home if he doesn’t get to play quarterback. Last week the New York Daily News spread Mr. Trump’s photograph across its front page with a helpful headline: “Make America Migrate — the complete guide to fleeing President Donald Trump’s America.” With it was a guide to places to seek shelter if the Donald gets his chance to “make America make great again.”

Austria, the land of Mozart and edelweiss, is cited as the “safest country” for U.S. escapees, though those hills are alive with the noise of thousands of Middle Eastern migrants thrashing their way from Hungary toward Germany, where they want to settle. Austrian intelligence documents reveal that the nation should brace for becoming a “huge asylum waiting zone” this summer, with a half-million migrants trapped in transit.

Americans thinking about fleeing to Acapulco or another sun-drenched beach in Mexico should be prepared to deal with “the tyranny of drug lords.” The Daily News sings the praises of Singapore, “for its slew of high-paying jobs,welcoming atmosphere, stellar health care facilities and top-notch public transit.” It’s a tiny island where residents and visitors alike are subject to a fine of $700 for spitting out their gum on the sidewalk.

These celebrity voters who threaten to bolt the country if Election Day disappoints usually reconsider before moving day, when it dawns on them that nobody but their mothers (maybe) really care where they live. Surveying a world that’s not so great, they usually decide that caution is the better part of vanity. They stay to threaten another year, leaving the rest of us with another broken promise.

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