NEWS AND OPINION:
Despite a “migration crisis” in Europe and the influence of “anti-immigrant parties,” hope springs eternal among those who want to leave their homeland according to a massive international survey conducted in 52 countries.
“Instead of any of this acting as a deterrent, Gallup World Poll surveys find people’s desire to migrate permanently to another country actually increased between 2015 and 2017. Gallup’s surveys throughout this period found 15 percent of the world’s adults — or more than 750 million people — saying they would like to move to another country if they had the opportunity,” the pollster reports.
The desire to leave home is the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, plus the Middle East and North Africa. At least half of the population in 13 countries are ready to depart, Gallup said — and they have distinct destinations of choice.
“The countries where potential migrants say they would like to move — if they could — have generally been the same for the past 10 years. In fact, roughly 18 countries attract two-thirds of all potential migrants worldwide,” Gallup said.
The U.S. is the top desired destination, with 21 percent of the respondents saying they would go to America if they could — that is an estimated 158 million people, the pollster said.
Canada and Germany are tied in second place, each with 6 percent of the preference vote; France and Australia are next with 5 percent each; United Kingdom (4 percent); Saudi Arabia and Spain (3 percent each); and Japan and Italy (2 percent each) to round out the top 10.
“While this increase in the desire to migrate may set off alarms among those who would like to see fewer people on the move, Gallup typically finds that the percentage of those who have plans to move is much lower than the percentage who would like to move,” advises Gallup, which also noted that a surprising 1-out-of-6 Americans say that they too would consider leaving their home for life elsewhere.
The Gallup World Poll is based on interviews with 453,122 adults in 152 countries conducted over a three-year period from 2015-2017, and released Monday.
Many people have spotted the familiar yard signs in their neighborhood which read “Hate has no home here.” The signs originated with a nonpartisan grass-roots group in the North Park neighborhoods of Chicago — which credits local elementary school students with the idea, and local residents for securing translations of the phrase into 40 languages.
“This sign is a statement that, while it is OK to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not okay to intimidate or attack a person or group — verbally or physically — based on attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, political party, or sexual orientation. The colors of the sign — red, white, and blue — are the colors of the American flag, not any political party,” the Hate Has No Home Here organization says in a mission statement; they offer the design as free download.
One observer, who has spotted the “Hate has no home” signs in his own neighborhood, has a few thoughts.
“Someone came up with the label ‘virtue signaling’ to describe the psychological impulse behind these signs. The idea is that people who put them up want to tell you how noble they are. But that doesn’t sound right. Virtue-signalers aren’t in any way in doubt about their own virtue. What they really want to do is signal how depraved others are. It’s about vice signaling, not virtue signaling,” writes New York Post columnist F.H. Buckley, an author and law professor at George Mason University.
“A couple of people on the block are Trump supporters. Those signs are likely meant for them. There’s no interaction between the two groups, and the signs are meant to keep it that way. A couple of years back there used to be Fourth of July street picnics there. But the shindigs haven’t happened the last couple of years, and I don’t think I’ll see them again soon. Vice signaling breaks up communities, and there’s a lot of it today,” notes Mr. Buckley.
“Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt. There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them, and that they had reason to do so,” he said, adding, “And if you’re a conservative, how should you respond? Not by being defensive. Instead, tell them you have nothing to apologize for. Tell them to look into their own souls.”
ADVICE FOR THE TWITTER WARS
A very public spat between opposing people is only a tweet away. The most recent sterling example is the online war of words between Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donald Trump Jr., who argue the merits of socialism and the GOP, among other things.
A certain Republican has advice for one and all.
“Social media is making us all stupid,” Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told Fox News, when asked about the feud. “We should unplug, turn off our phones, delete Twitter and spend less time on it.”
“Have actual face-to-face conversations with people. And don’t just surround yourself with people that agree with you, but seek out people that disagree and have a civil conversation,” Mr. Gallagher advised.
A MELANIA MOMENT
First lady Melania Trump is marking her second Christmas in the White House, and has once again introduced some downright lovely creativity to the holiday events in the nation’s most historic domicile.
On Tuesday, Mrs. Trump will arrive at a military base just outside the nation’s capital to help with the annual Toys for Tots outreach hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
“The charity collects new, unwrapped toys and provides them to children in need. The toys are intended to provide hope for children and motivate them to do good in the world,” the White House noted.
The first lady is bringing 100 books for the charity’s literacy program and will sort toys, make Christmas cards and offer a few observation for what the White House says is “the season of giving.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 73 percent of Americans say their concern over the privacy of their personal data has increased.
• 67 percent say the U.S. government should do more to protect their personal data.
• 66 percent have personally taken steps to secure their data.
• 38 percent use social media less often due to data privacy concerns.
• 14 percent say they have confidence in social media to protect their data.
Source: AN SAF INSTITUTE survey of 525 U.S. adults conducted throughout July and released Monday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin