What would make you flee (or fight)?

We’ve seriously looked into the Caribbean. We have friends there who have discussed with us the best way to accomplish this. My kids are the only thing that stopped us from fleeing immediately after the 2016 presidential election.

I’m hopeful that events dire enough to make me consider fleeing would also be dire enough to bring about political change. I worry that at some point political change will be impossible. The Republican Party wants nothing less than permanent control of the government and there is nothing they won’t stoop to in order to achieve that. If it means putting the opposition in concentration camps, they’ll have no qualms about doing so. If they can do it to innocent infants, they’ll not hesitate to do it to me. In its current malignant form, the Republican Party is incompatible with democracy.


  • Excuse me, we’re from the Straight Dope Insurgency. You have been deemed…ignorant. You will come with us immediately into the van…Mods, get the stun batons!
  • But I’ve done nothing, you can’t…
  • Ah, but we can and will. It is simply, how do you say…taking longer than we thought.
  • Cite?
  • Oh but aren’t you the clever one. Very well. You are free to go.

Canada, for starters. Standard refugee procedure seems to be get across the nearest border, then see who’s willing to take you in long term.

Honestly, I’m more likely to flee due to our health care system than due to our political system.

Authoritarianism is a major problem here. But 2016 was a banner year for them. They had so many things going their way (a female politician, Hillary Clinton of all, to run against. Anger after 8 years of a black president. massive cultural growth of minorities in all areas, etc).

But 2016 was an aberration. I predict by the 2020s we will be back to the same society which has its authoritarian fringes, but they build a coalition that has trouble taking major power again.

What would make me flee? If the authoritarians actually dismantled the independent judiciary and just started doing what they want. The judiciary is the only thing protecting us right now.

Flee, no. If overseas, I ride to the sound of the guns if the time comes and head back to the US. The trigger is a clear suspension of Constitutional checks and balances. The government even has digital records that should make them question my loyalty in that case. I fully informed them of my intention to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Hopefully, they are stupid enough to misread that.

The only way I leave is by force.

My inner redneck (whom I keep bound up and muzzled, shackled to a clammy wall in the darkest recesses of my labyrinthine psyche) does indeed use the C word for runners. But he’s a judgmental prick. The rest of me is somewhat more empathetic. The drive to self-protect is a strong one, I think for most people and ultimately everyone has to live with their own decisions. If I were to argue against running, however, even for someone who may be a liability in a fight, it would be to suggest a more passive, or less obvious resistance role. I’d be a shooter & saboteur, I’ve got that training. But I’d need a safe place to duck into from time to time, and nobody suspects small, ill-tempered (you can do ill-tempered, right?) middle-aged women of participating in anti government shenanigans. And if the SS turn up and you’re agitated because you’ve got a sniper hiding under your floorboards, just whip out a snappy heil Trump, and curse the resistance. :slight_smile:

Can’t think of anything specific and concrete, but a general move towards thought-police tyranny would do it. Sure, there’s some of that in many nations, but if we become a climate in America where it becomes downright dangerous to tell the truth, then I’d leave with my kids for the kids.

Yeah, I would do anything I could to get my kids out of a seriously dangerous situation. It doesn’t even take a second thought - if I thought their lives were in danger they’d be packed off that day, even if I couldn’t follow. And, because they are dual citizens, it would be a reasonably simple thing to do.

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I am looking into emigrating to a country with accessible reproductive rights for women - like Ireland, FFS - so my yoiunger relatives can visit me, if necessary.

Um… yes, I suppose I could do “ill-tempered” if I tried really, really hard… :wink:

OK, first of all, I think that suspending/cancelling elections is unlikely. They know how we Americans like at least the forms of our Democratic institutions. but if there’s a leftist-attributed domestic terror incident a few days before either the mid-terms or the next presidential that would certainly give me some pause. The biggie for me would be the states, through their gerrymandered Republican legislatures, calling for a Constitutional Convention. I don’t know what sort of abortion a convention led by such would be likely to produce, but I do know that I wouldn’t want to live under it and that, regardless of what it called itself, the country resulting would cease being the U.S.A.

I have very seriously considered leaving. My Spanish is… OK, and there are plenty of places in South America with stable governments and a low cost of living that are attractive to me. BUT, Mrs. Homie won’t hear of it as long as her mother is still alive.

As for fighting: I am not a man of violence. I will defend myself and my family, and the day may yet come when someone decides to seek vengeance against anyone who has ever said anything anti-Trump on social media. I don’t even believe in God, yet I pray that day never comes. But I fear it’s coming.

If they actually try to “lock her up” that would be very worrisome. Suspending elections as others have mentioned would be another. Yet another would be if Trump ignores a judgment made by the SCOTUS, Andrew Jackson style.

Does anyone realistically think it will get dictatorship levels of bad? This country has survived foreign wars, civil wars, great depressions, etc and our democracy stood intact.

Will a bunch of white people in their 60s who feel threatened by multiculturalism really destroy our democracy when a civil war and a depression couldn’t? I guess I just don’t see it happening.

Also you have to take into account that dictatorship is negatively correlated with a public that is healthy, wealthy, educated and informed. And Americans are all these things in spades (yes, we really are).

A nation of healthy, middle class, college educated people who can discuss and organize online or via cell phones is not going to tolerate a dictatorship for long.

Plus when you consider that Trump’s base is dying off, their grasp on power won’t be forever.

I guess to me, as long as we have an independent judiciary we will be fine. Even GOP appointed judges are not tolerating some of Trumps crap. And that is minor compared to the stuff he’d like to do as a dictator.

I’ve already looked at jobs in other countries. I don’t know if I have the skills any other society would want, though. I do agree with posters who say that’s a coward’s option, but I’m 58 with health problems and I’m tired as hell.

As for what it would take for me to fight and how, like other posters, I decline to answer.

I don’t know, Wesley. I think the next 25 or 30 years are going to be rough even if the Mango Mussolini is defeated in 2020. There are too many fundamentalists, too many Liberatarians, and too many people that hate.
As for Trump’s supporters being people mainly in their 60’s, I remember those pictures of the Charlottesville riot, and most of the thugs were in their teens and 20’s. They’re going to be around a long time.
An independent judiciary has thus far been wonderful, but Trump is trying to put stooges on the courts.
I don’t have much faith in the educated. Too many Trump supporters have college degrees.

What would make me flee is turning 70, as once I do turn 70, still quite a ways down the road, is when I return to Thailand, probably for good, regardless of who is President here.

I lived in Thailand under Presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama and encountered a lot of clowns who were “fleeing oppression” under Presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama. They usually assumed I was a fellow traveler and were genuinely flummoxed that, at least for the 22-1/2 years when I was NOT a Peace Corps Volunteer, I was living there for non-political reasons. During my four-year stay back in the US in the early 1990s, a friend made sure to keep his passport up to date in case Bush I’s jack-booted thugs started kicking down his door. I never did buy into that sort of melodrama. But that said, Chump does seem to be a whole different ballgame. Still, I expect the American voters will eventually correct their tragic mistake.

The only thing that has kept me here so far is my dislike of learning new languages. Employment, connections, and everything await in Switzerland, but I really don’t want to learn German. Russian was bad enough, and that doesn’t even feel like you’re swallowing every other syllable.