Today, in the day and age of political controversy and “I’m right and you’re wrong” discussions, all too many people tend to make arguments where they do not clearly discern both sides of the argument.
Why both fact-checking yourself when you could instead use arguments that do not require you to look critically at both sides of the argument? With that in mind, let’s take a look at a disturbing and odd argument that is growing more and more in popularity as this year’s election in the United States is going on.
What is the MOST COMMON phrase that you will hear around election time every 4 years in the US? If you guessed the phrase “If such-and-such a candidate wins the election, I’m gonna move to Canada!” then you are correct! Almost every time there is an election, there are boundless quantities of gloom-and-doom voters who are CERTAIN that the election of a certain candidate du jour will bring about the apocalypse and the end of all things as we know it. And where best to weather the end of all things? Canada, of course! But what people DON’T see is that that is the very argument that some people are making, and from a much more serious perspective.
Think about how selfish that argument is for a minute. That person who plans to flee to Canada (a refugee, if you will?) is planning to run away like a spoiled child because the person that they wanted to win did not, and now that person is under the impression that this new evil candidate will ruin America as we know it, making into a new gulag. First of all, it is ridiculous to believe that a single person could ruin America. The President does not have even close to the amount of power that most people believe; he or she is less than 1/3 of the power in the nation. Hitler will not rise again, and the end of all things will not happen if a bad president comes into power. There is no reason to be afraid on that could happen. There is a much more disturbing argument, however.
Many people in the United States have not been very receptive to the state of Syrian refugees in the country. Many people have supported measures that would kick these immigrants to the curb. “The young men are of fighting age!” so many people say. “Why aren’t they in their OWN country, making it better? Why would they come HERE? Cowards! Running away!”
See the problem now?
The Syrian people have run away from a war-torn area, a place where their lives are at risk; they could ACTUALLY die if they stayed there for too long. They young men who do not want to fight? Nothing obligates them to die for a corrupt government who does not care if they live or die. People in America want to run away from someone who could raise taxes a bit, MAKE them buy healthcare (oh the horror!!) or give working women access to birth control through insurance. It is hard to believe someone could be so self-consumed to think that they can run away to Canada and automatically assume that the Canadians WANT them there, while holding in the other hand the belief that “those Syrians aren’t welcome in MY country!”
Americans don’t own the world. I speak as one. We are not owed the right to be welcome in any country in the world.
If we welcomed the Syrian refugees with open arms and wanted them to be free of their oppression, THEN we can talk about the desire to run away. It’s still self-consumed and petty, but at least then it’s not hypocritical.
I know that most people mean that statement as a joke. The statement “I’m gonna move to Canada if he/she wins!” is usually uttered by people who have no intention of even moving off of their couch, as that would require them to stop passing judgement on pressed people for a few minutes, and THAT would be FAR too inconvenient. However, it is a telling fact that Google Trends reported a sharp increase in the search term “How Do I Move To Canada?” after Trump roundly won Super Tuesday. But it’s hard to believe that in today’s day and age people can STILL make that declaration, even in jest, while trying to refuse people the privilege of entering the country we live in is a shocking declaration of how far we still have to go as a people.
Americans, unless you are a Native American (and that is a discussion on oppression for a whole other day) you were an immigrant or refugee of some type. The people that came to the US Colonies often did not come because the Colonies were so great; they came because they were trying to make a better life. The Irish sold themselves into slavery to get here. Do the Syrian people really deserve less? The collection of culture is what made the US have the great heritage and history that it does; we have combined cultures like few nations have in history. To shut out other cultures hurts our national heritage, and starves the diversity this country flourishes on. Let’s not move to Canada unless you just like it there; and let’s make sure that we give people the chance to make a life here, just like our ancestors did.
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