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14 November 2012 @ 08:57 am
Crazy reactions to losing an election  
It's always a hard thing when your side loses an election. Some people take it in stride, hope the opposing side won't do anything too bad and plan to do better in the next election. Other people however go a bit crazy and make overwrought outbursts about what they're going to do to fix things. (Normally of course after awhile of venting this blowhard phase wears itself out and they settle down to wait for the next election just like everyone else, which is why i'm just amused rather than pissed off.)

Crazy overreacting liberal response to losing an election: "Screw this! I'm moving to [Canada/Europe/Wherever]!"

Crazy overreacting conservative response to losing an election: "Screw this! Let's secede from the United States!"

Note that the liberal solution, though not something actually recommended that you do on a whim, is something that millions of people have done in the past for various reasons, a large percentage of which have done reasonably well in their lives afterward.

The conservative solution is something that has been tried exactly once before. It did not go well.

Also note that the liberal plan is to be independent and take action to fix things for yourself, whereas the conservative plan is to get together as a group and force your preferred government on everyone else in the state against their will. There's something a bit backwards there, at least going by the usual stereotypes conservatives seem to hold...
Current Mood: amusedamused
Kirin: kirinkirinn on November 14th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Agree with most of that, though I feel compelled to say there are certainly some situations in which leaving based on a single election's result isn't crazy. Like, say, if you're planning an imminent cross-border marriage and it suddenly becomes way more likely that your marriage won't be recognized where you are for at least another X years.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on November 14th, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
I think there's a significant difference between moving because policies have been put in place that you disagree with, and deciding to move immediately after an election because the person you didn't like won.

Certainly if a person you don't like wins you should keep an eye on things to see if such policies actually do get put in place, but presumably you were doing that anyways, right?

Realistically, Bush was not as "bad" as liberals feared and not as "good" as conservatives hoped, and likewise Obama was not and most likely will continue to be not as "bad" as conservatives fear and not as "good" as liberals hope. Not that they weren't respectively "bad" and "good", just that candidates promise a lot during the campaign, and the hopes/fears right after the election tend to be keyed in on that.

Presidents don't actually have as much power as they act like during the campaign, don't always have the political capital to follow through on a lot of the they things they theoretically do have the power to do, and don't even intend to do some of the things they promised.
Kirin: kirinkirinn on November 14th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
It's true that Presidents have less power that a lot of people give them credit for, and that everyone over-promises during campaigns, and *vastly* over-promises to their base during primaries. But administrations still have a pretty significant influence on the direction things go, through veto threats, the bully pulpit, and the vast swath of appointed positions that swing to match whoever's in power - added up I think that even in the face of inexorable social change, friendly or hostile administrations can speed up or delay change on an issue by years. And it's a lot better/worse when it looks like they may get to appoint multiple Supreme Court justices, which can affect the pace of change over *decades*.

So while our system of checks and balances means it's rarely the case that you need to get out of dodge right by January 20, I'm sure there are cases where it's possible to see writing on the wall that says your life here is very likely to be less comfortable than you'd like for the better part of the next decade, and maybe that's a pretty good reason to up and move.
Amber: pussbootmaggiedacatt on November 17th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
Realistically, Bush was not as "bad" as liberals feared

Really? I mean, there's no way of knowing how things would have gone with Gore in office, but 9/11, mismanagement of Katrina, and the implosion of the economy are pretty horrible things that happened on his watch, and which could have been avoided or at least had less disastrous consequences with different choices. Realistically, I think Bush was the worst president EVAR and was worse than liberals feared.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on November 21st, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
I didn't say he wasn't bad, just not _as_ bad as liberals feared, especially right after the mid-term elections. One of the more crazy suppositions was that since he "cheated" in the 2000 election via the supreme court that he would have no compunctions against trying to get around the constitutional two terms limit, even if it meant declaring a police state.

Crazy, yes, but some people seemed to believe it. Just like there are some crazy conservatives who think Obama is going to bring the UN into the US as a police force to take everyone's guns away.

You can do some pretty bad stuff while still not coming near people's worst imagined fears right after an election.