What would make you flee (or fight)?

In this political climate in the U.S. and elsewhere, I’ve been thinking a lot about what would make me get out of dodge (watching the Handmaids Tale isn’t helping my mood).

For my family, it would be fairly simple, but a huge hassle and financial hit. My husband and sons are all dual U.S./Australian citizens. If we had to, they’d go and I’d do a bunch of paperwork and follow. We’ve been living in the U.S. for eleven years, though, with a house, jobs, and my elderly mom nearby, so it wouldn’t be optimal. I’m wondering what would trigger us to get out of here.

For me, with teenage/preteen boys, a draft would definitely be first on my list. After that…I don’t know. The calmer version of me thinks we will just struggle through the next 2.5 years with this madman in office and that the pendulum will swing. The dystopian fiction fan in me is pretty sure, though, that if it all goes to hell, it’ll be a quick tumble.

What events would have to happen for you to flee the country or join an underground band of resistors? What signal would have you building the bunker?

This is my country and I’m not leaving. There is nothing that would make me flee. There are things that would make me join an insurgency, but I decline to discuss them here.

I left the US just about 50 years ago. Now that I am retired and all my kids are back in the states, my wife and I were quite seriously thinking in 2016 of moving back to be close to one of them, likely my Brooklyn daughter. But we decided not to do anything till after the election, although we were convinced Hillary was going to win. Ha ha. We are still here in Montreal. Maybe in 2 1/2 years. But health care is still problematic. Bring in medicare for all and we are back in a shot.

Of course, there is a lot of inertia here. It is much easier to stay out of the country than move out of it. So I guess my response is no help.

That’s pretty much just what I came to say.

Okay, if you wouldn’t leave, what signals would trigger you to think…this is it, here we go!

I wouldn’t leave the country. I would, however, go underground if forced. Some sort of invasion or pandemic would be the catalyst, I think.

When the altright bring out the guns. I am no longer confident that it won’t happen.

Depending on what you mean by “bring out the guns” and who you define as “the altright”, it’s arguably already happened (and has for the left-wing as well).

One of the forum rules is: “Do not post threats or state or imply that any individual or group is deserving of harm.” Talk of joining an insurgency is probably a bit too close to, or over that line, for me to feel comfortable discussing my personal opinions on the matter.

Eh, if somebody called me today and said they had a way I could become a Canadian citizen, I’d probably be packed by the end of the week. I’ve never really had the tribalist nature, and I wish that emigration was a lot easier. It’s the ultimate expression of free-market ideals- may the best national ideals win!

Exactly this.



  • . . . what are we up to now, six?

Something like that…which is interesting because it sort of misses the point of the question I asked.

What signs are going to clue you in that the country you live in has taken a hard turn? I gave two options, flee or fight, so there’s no presupposition that you’d leave (although I don’t feel that way myself and would certainly leave in a heartbeat if I thought my kids were in grave danger). Things like…journalists getting killed at their desks, martial law being enacted or maybe things that we’re already seeing…protests erupting in violence, immigrant children being detained away from their parents. What is going to make you say, oh shit, this is where it turns?
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I decline to list any specific events here. Any discussion of such here will plunge catastrophically into a circular pissing contest. Beyond that, I don’t care for my posts to bring any alphabet agency’s attention, however passingly, in my direction.

:dubious: Alrighty then. Nice seeing you.

I can totally relate to

I wouldn’t rule out being an abject coward (and/or deciding that the factors that had bred in a sense of “this is my country” were spurious) but I have nowhere obvious to go and I suspect that by the time I really really wanted a different reality to live in, so would lots of other people and it might be hard to find a host country.

I’ve never lived anywhere else. Hence I really don’t know whether America is (or has ever been) the epitome of all it claims to stand for or if it’s just another plot of land and another government among many and I could do quite well elsewhere. I can say conclusively that I’ve never felt adequately consulted in how it is run. I have little expectation that that would be markedly different elsewhere.

I wish I felt more formidable. As in “if you continue to take this country in such a direction you’ve got ME!!! to contend with”. But I have no following. I’m just an opinionated individual, easily dismissed as inconsequential. That’s seriously irritating and I wish it wasn’t so.

I’m pretty sure they can’t make me over into the mold they’re promoting. If I have one strength, it’s immunity to peer pressure and the sense of a need to belong. That might just get me relocated or eventually shot, but I don’t assimilate.

I’m also staying in my country. I like living in Canada. I’m very attached to Montreal and have lived here all my life. I sometimes wonder if the political climate or job situation will ever cause me to leave Quebec for somewhere else in Canada, but it’s one of the least expensive places to live in Canada, plus I have so many friends here.

I clicked on this thread expecting to read about spiders and snakes.
Right now, as a single person with no kids, the only thing that would induce me to leave America would be the prospect of something better yet overseas. It would be about seeking what’s good, not fleeing what’s bad.

But if I were to have kids and America were spiraling downwards, I might only stay in America long enough for them to get US citizenship (presumably still a good commodity). Then get out. The two things that would likely make me leave would be 1) threats to their safety and 2) an environment detrimental to their morals or freedom of thought.

What would be the thing that you witness that would indicate that America is spiraling downward? What specifically would be the canary in the coalmine for you? Not that you’d necessarily leave, but that would make you think that that was the turning point and a time to make a plan to do something.

I think I might not have been clear in what I’m asking, since almost no one is getting my point. I’ll try to give a better example.

In The Handmaid’s Tale, there is a terrorist attack that triggers martial law which triggers the more draconian laws that are the basis of the story; in the show, they have scenes with people lining up at the airports trying to get out. One of the “signs” that things are going off he rails is when women have to start getting their husband’s permission for birth control. In Nazi Germany, there were people who saw warning signs when there were calls for Jewish businesses to be boycotted, or when Kristallnacht occurred, and they tried to leave if they could or at least take measures to protect themselves.

My question is, what events would cause you to think about leaving or, EVEN IF YOU WOULDN’T LEAVE, would have you thinking about what steps you’d take…even if that is just making sure you have supplies and a safe place to be (above and beyond what you’d normally do for emergency prep stuff).

I’m not asking what you would do - I’m asking what are the early warning signs that would make you think the shit has hit the fan. I am certainly not asking you what laws you’d break or what the coordinates of your gun stash are.

My trigger would be if there was a draft. I’m interested in yours.

Any actual attempt to postpone/suspend/cancel elections would be a big one. I mean, New York City once postponed a mayoral primary election by a couple of weeks, but given that the elections in question were originally scheduled for September 11, 2001, I think that was pretty reasonable (and unavoidable). But the United States as a whole didn’t cancel national elections for the Civil War, so unless the aliens invade on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, or the Yellowstone super-volcano blows its top on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, any attempt to interfere with either of those would be a major sign of shit-hitting-the-fan. (And no, I don’t think my reaction would be “flee”, but how can I really say what I–a middle-aged former cubicle drone who has always been “the bookish type”–would really do?)