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A couple of recommended diaries here and here have prompted me to write this one.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away from a bad job.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away from an abusive spouse or partner.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away from a failed investment.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away from a worn out automobile.

Comes a time when you just have to walk away from your country.

Say what?

Whoa, whoa there mule.  Are you serious (you may be asking of me)?

Yes, I am afraid I am.  Dead serious.

I have already made up my mind to leave my hometown in search of employment upon the high seas with a cruise ship line as soon as I graduate junior college this May.  So I will be walking away from a town, and its people, that I love and have loved ever since I moved here in 1960.  Not that I haven't left before; but I've always returned.  This time I foresee no return, at least not until I retire or die.  I do intend to be buried here as I already have cemetary plot space.  But to return to live here?  No, most likely not.

But what about walking away from my country?  Do I mean by that that I intend to relinquish or renounce my American citizenship?  Well, that's the thought that I just can't get out of my mind.  I have become so sick of the bigotry, the hatred, the social injustice that is paralyzing this country and seemingly overwhelming it that I feel I need to walk away from it lest it kill me.  Very frankly, right now I would like to shed my identity as an American and seek citizenship in some other country (and there are many that come to mind) that practices a fuller recognition of essential humanity in terms of social justice and democracy.

Naturally, I can not predict the future, so I do not know if I can even get a job with a cruise ship line, nor can I unequivocally say I will seek citizenship in another country, but I can't help feeling that, for my own peace of mind at least, this is something I probably need to do.

I anticipate that many may say I am abandoning hope, that I'm precipitately despairing, that I'm exhibiting disloyalty in the face of temporary adversity.  You may be right.  Maybe all I need, in the words of Rachael Maddow (who I admire to no end), is for someone to "talk me down".

I don't know for certain.  But I do know that the way this country seems to be heading right now is something that I could not tolerate if it comes to fruition.  I do hope that something occurs that will head it off, but given things like the recent SCOTUS decision (Citizens United) granting corporations the right to funnel billions of dollars to partisan politics and candidates, I grant that I despair for this republic.

I'm fifty-five years old.  I hope that I've still got a couple of decades of life ahead of me.  Furthermore, I hope I'm wrong about where I believe this country is headed.  I want to be wrong.

I don't want to walk away from my country.  But I will if I feel there is no other way.

My apologies if this diary upsets anyone.  Your comments, supportive or otherwise, will receive my thoughtful consideration.

Originally posted to cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:26 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  tipped for living your life as you see fit. (8+ / 0-)

      As much as I have fantasized about leaving...about living in a place where gays are equal...

      Often I wish I had the wherewithal to just pick up and go.

      Since it's not really a feasible option for me, I stay and fight. Growing weary, but I'll continue to fight for the America I believe is possible.

      Good luck on the ship.

      :-)

      "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

      by ridemybike on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:51:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do what you gotta do (5+ / 0-)

    I stand and fight. I face this shit head on. You will find that you can run but you cannot hide. Don't look back, because something will be gaining on you.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:30:41 AM PST

    •  Do you say the same same to people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, CMYK

      moving into the U.S. ?

      If you strike a match and light a fuse , don't be surprised when something goes boom .

      by indycam on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:36:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would like to (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annalize5, MsWings, CMYK, ridemybike, fairleft2

      "face this shit head on", but I feel impotent to do so.  I've been politically active in progressive causes, but only minimally so due to my very limited resources and abilities.

      No matter what, I will still always love this country, even if it need be from a distance.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:37:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You gotta do what works. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm 54 and too damn stubborn to leave. But I have my moments. Good luck with the cruise ship thing. It works for some people and not for others. My roomate's niece did 9 months on the QM2 as an aesthetician--she found the ship beautiful, but the life boring. But many people love it.

        As for leaving the US, think about it. It's certainly discouraging--I often wonder how we will ever overcome the systemic problems we face. Between the constitutional problems with the US Senate and corporate personhood, and the log-stupidness of the talibangelicals and systemic bigotry (all flavors), some days I just don't know.

        Best of luck.

        "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

        by homogenius on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 01:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I sometimes feel the same way. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    Other times I think commitment in relationships, and the one with where you've lived a long time (not necessarily your country), is a helluvan irreplaceable thing.

    You hit on all the right reasons why we might give up on this country politically. But politics aren't the only thing that attracts us to this place.

  •  Where you make your home is your choice , (9+ / 0-)

    there is no shame in moving to another country .

    If you strike a match and light a fuse , don't be surprised when something goes boom .

    by indycam on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:35:08 AM PST

  •  A cruise ship line? (7+ / 0-)

    You think that's walking away?  That's the belly of the beast. A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again.

    Go somewhere where you can make life better for people.  

    •  Truth is, I probably won't be able to get (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, gooderservice, MsWings

      on with a cruise ship because I don't really have any job experience that is applicable.

      But I love the sea, and working with people, so the job appeals to me.

      I can't drive anymore.  That disqualifies from nearly every local job around here.  I can't even be a janitor without a driver's license.

      That's one reason working for a cruise ship would fit me.  No need for a driver's license when you live on a ship at sea.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:43:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't see any flaming coming your way (7+ / 0-)

    Immigration is a two way street, always has been, always will be. Some come, some leave. Those that come here come with high expectations and that frame of mind keeps them in search of the American dream, the percentage that find it can be debated, but nonetheless the possibility of the dream they had will keep them always in favor of their decision. You've made your decision, your frame of mind and confidence in your choice will sustain you in your search. Re-booting your life is an individual choice and I wish you great success...

    WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM

    by FakeNews on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:38:27 AM PST

  •  Expatrating is one thing, Renouncing is another (6+ / 0-)

    A LOT of people may have to consider the first part if (and even probably WHEN) HCR passes, esp. the Senate version.

    BUT, There is Democrats Abroad.  And being a citizen abroad does give you the right to vote where you were here, or where you intend to return.

    You can still work from across the pond (or wherever) and at the same time be there getting the benefits of sanity and good health care.

    Renouncing may be a bridge too far, think about that one for a good while..

    •  Thank you. "Renounce" would be the absolutely (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, MsWings, juturna, CMYK

      last thing I would ever really do.  I suppose I shouldn't have even included the word, but I did so because I'm not certain about what it would take to gain citizenship in some other country.

      My apologies if I wrote in misunderstanding.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:48:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At 55 You Have to Get In Somewhere Soon (11+ / 0-)

    Getting back later should be fairly easy if things get better, but your window to be allowed in elsewhere won't stay open much longer.

    Same principle may apply to those with kids.

    We made the decision a number of years ago and got a long way down the process, but got trapped at the last minute by a dependent relative they can't take in. By the time that resolves we'll be too old to get in.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:40:32 AM PST

    •  No kids at home. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, MsWings, luckylizard, CMYK

      Divorce to be final soon.

      So I'm single and able to travel and work anywhere.  I hope to take advantage of this.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:50:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  With kids will be complicate things. Right. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, cn4st4datrees, CMYK

      My husband is sending his resume worldwide (I really mean worldwide)including some countries in Asia. But we have a teenager girl. So it does make us to think where exactly we can go and where is the good place or country where our girl can get good education. We are not american citizens, and we are leaving soon once my husband finishes his medical treatment. He doesn't want to go back to Italy either because there the situation is nothing better than here. We are like, everyday, look at the world map, and say, where should we go for the sake of our girl?

      "We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon."   Adenauer, Konrad

      by under the same sky on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:26:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never run. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    Fight for what you believe in.

    There are hundreds of millions - friends, family, and total strangers - in this nation. We need to fight for them.

    Use your voice, use your vote, use your money. Do not surrender this country.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:42:27 AM PST

  •  Do some research on countries first (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees, CMYK

    Before you jump ship look at the prisons of the country you plan on emigrating to.

    •  I have heard that our prison (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fitzov rules, MsWings, cn4st4datrees, CMYK

      sentences are longer than in any other country.

    •  Any country I consider would necessarily (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fitzov rules, MsWings, Losty, CMYK

      be one that does not imprison its citizens for drug use, but rather views drug addiction as a health problem, not a moral (i.e. criminal) failing.

      There are several of those to consider.

      Thank you.  Rest assured, whatever I decide I will do my homework first.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:02:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's actually one of the things I would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fitzov rules

      also suggest, though I would phrase it as 'the legal system and prisons'.

      One of the interesting tidbits about New Zealand, for instance, is that they have (if I've read correctly) indefinite 'preventative' detention for multiple crimes, and what seems to be a much longer statute of limitations, since they seem to have had a spate of trials over the last few years for non-murder related crimes going back to the '70s and '80s.

      I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:15:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in Canada with dual citizenship, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, fumie, MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    of late have had more hope with regard to the US than I have had in a while. The Citizens United decision is definitely a big move in the wrong direction and so is the total paralysis in the US Senate, but I think things look more hopeful than they have since St. Ronnie came to Washington.

    Admittedly, though, the chance for a full recovery to national sanity is still less than 50-50, but there is now a very real possibility which I haven't seen in a very long time. The Clinton years were good in many ways, but his personal failings botched the chance to see through an extended period of undoing militarism and deregulation.  

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:52:35 AM PST

  •  I don't blame you. (7+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I look at this country's myriad disasters and wonder whether it's all just too much to actually repair.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:54:09 AM PST

  •  I suppose walking away mentally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees, CMYK

    would be simpler, at least until you are sure.  I have been where I couldn't stay in touch with what was happening.  Boring.

    I also withdrew from feeding the Republican beast by  not trading with their businesses.    It is hard though, because most businesses are run by republicans and even those who are not are in the stock market.  I stopped investing in the market.

    Now that I focus on it, I am ready to walk away mentally again.  It will be boring, yes, but better than the frustration of watching our government.

    I give up. No news watching or reading and no blogging.  I don't know how long I will last.  Forever sounds good.

    Call me when it is over.

  •  Maddow explains how we can win from SCOTUS fail: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    I ♥ President Barack Obama

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:56:40 AM PST

  •  Be aware that even if you effectively (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    renounce U.S. citizenship, the U.S. Treasury Department will still come after you for income taxes on your global income.  It's like the Hotel California.  It is presumed that any renunciation is for tax purposes.

    And of course mere expatriation doesn't get you off the hook for U.S. taxes either.

    They may not get you in the foreign country, but they can make it impossible for you to ever return.

  •  You will probably find social injustices, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, MsWings, cn4st4datrees

    greed, and idiotic politicians in any country you visit/move to. Moving to another country might initially sound appealing but the reality may not live up to your expectations.  I would stay here and fight for what you believe in.
     
    If you do decide to move it would be my recommendation to thoroughly study your prospective new country and correspond with people who currently live there.  

    Best wishes but I hope you stay here.

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:05:22 AM PST

  •  I almost renounced citizenship and (5+ / 0-)

    emigrated to Canada in 2004, right after the election, and I often regret not going through with it.  We actually had made a deposit on a property in Nova Scotia, but then we discovered it was infested with asbestos from top to bottom, and we punted, moving to a much more rural area inside the U.S.

    You know, if I were to make a list of things that have inclined me toward renouncing U.S. citizenship, it would be an awful long list, much longer than this diary!

  •  I sympathize with your frustration. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cn4st4datrees

    Especially if the ship job is a good one you can count on for a while.  I do have one caution.  A friend I have know forever got disgusted with the US direction in 1968 and left the country for good, working in various other countries over the years.  This person retired from teaching english to native education professionals recently, this person remained in the country resided in for the past 20 years.  This person felt he/she was escaping the 'bad' influences of America that were damaging our country (in this person's view).  Unfortunately, this person obtained employment with the Agency for International Development and worked with them for the majority of those years spent overseas.  I have never asked if he/she knows or heard of this, but I read (in Killing Hope by William Blum) that that group (the AID) also functions as a conduit for CIA money into various countries for whatever purposes the CIA does those kinds of under-the-radar funding.  So for all that person's desire was to not participate in the abuses of the world conducted by the USA, that was what happened anyway.  

    I think Western Civilization seems rather pervasive until you are well away from here.  I always feel sorry for people who come here, having left their own country behind, and I know I would miss this place if I left for good.  Growing up among quibblers, I like the idea of staying here and fighting for us from here, though I don't expect to see any improvement in conditions here without wrenching conflict.  I certainly don't blame anybody for wanting to skip that!  

    Anyway,  I hope you find the pleasanter circumstances you seek in you new endeavor.  And, being away from 'home,' you will get to see how nice most people actually are.  

    2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

    by Silverbird on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:14:44 AM PST

    •  The job I would like best aboard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird

      a cruise ship would be as a "port lecturer".  I'm very accomplished at public speaking, but one problem is that I don't have any actual "job" experience at doing so.  Therefore, I've got to obtain this experience beforehand, or somehow otherwise demonstrate my skills at this to convince a recruiting agency that I'm a candidate for such a position.

      Well, I've still got several months until I finish school, and who knows?  There could be something better that will come along.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:28:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you speak any other languages. (0+ / 0-)

        You may have a chance to get a job in a cruise ship. If you google such kind of jobs, you will find that the language skills is very important for such jobs. Good luck!  

        "We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon."   Adenauer, Konrad

        by under the same sky on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:36:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's our country. Stay, but walk away from them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CMYK

    I don't know what's best for you in the short term, but in the long run, knowledge is power, and as the internet continues to distribute knowledge, it will eventually distribute power as well.  If the bullies have taken over the game so much that we will never get it back, we will be starting another game somewhere, sometime, without them.

    I'm not lying! I'm just being conservative with the truth.

    by Steven wonders on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:37:21 AM PST

  •  I Feel Your Pain, But... (0+ / 0-)
    Unfortunately, all the more desirable countries in the world are CONVULSED with anti-immigration sentiment right now, so I doubt any foreign shores will be taking us castoffs any time soon.

    "Follow those who seek the truth. Beware of those who find it."

    by gnolti on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 12:09:57 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, cruise ship jobs (0+ / 0-)

    are hard to get in the best economy, and emigrating to another country in this poor global economy may be impossible if you're looking for a job.
    I have a friend who is a chef aboard one line and he told me back at Christmas that the economy has really hurt the cruise lines and they are laying off staff, so I wouldn't count on getting a job there in the near future.
    Be realistic about your job prospects (you're much more likely to get a job here than to emigrate to another country and get a job there- often you have to have certain marketable skills before they let you emigrate), and look here in the US. Running away never solved anything.

    Save the Earth! It's the only one that has chocolate.

    by skohayes on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 01:45:43 PM PST

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