As I was driving along Loop 1604 a few days ago, I was passed by one of the ubiquitous vehicles in San Antonio with Mexican license plates. I have also noticed that, during my morning workouts at Lifetime Fitness, most of the women working out communicate in Spanish. These observations suggest to me that news reports of well-to-do Mexicans deserting their country en masse for America are true.
America must be doing something right because it has been, and still is, the destination of choice throughout the world. But there are signs of trouble in paradise.
Back when I was a kid, the phrase, “America – love it or leave it,” was thrown by conservatives at people who were protesting in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam War. In fact, many draft-age kids did leave America for Canada to dodge the draft.
It’s ironic that today it is the conservatives who talk about leaving America. Texas governor Rick Perry has famously suggested, mostly in jest, that Texas may rely on some illusory treaty power to secede from the union if America continues its leftward tilt. And I have a well-connected conservative friend who says the same thing – i.e., when the people looking for government handouts attain majority status in this democracy, it will be time to begin looking for another country that is less of a welfare state. When I ask him to name that country, he says he’s not sure – maybe Australia.
My friend is no more serious than Governor Perry (or Alec Baldwin, who threatened to leave if Bush-43 were elected), but I wish people would be more willing to accept the democratic notion that we have elections to determine the will of the majority and that losing an election is not just cause for wanting America to fail (as Rush Limbaugh comes close to doing).