I REALLY HOPE you’ve been following the Nate Silver 538 blog, because you’ll have had time to research your exit plan. For months you would’ve known that the odds of your presidential candidate winning the electoral college vote was under 30%. But if you’ve been relying on cable news’ polling and think they’re “still neck and neck at 48%” this travel advice might help you.
Before I suggest where to go, we need to ascertain what kind of Romney voter you are. So let’s get this straight — are you a small business owner or a “SMALL BUSINESS” owner? This article discusses travel strategies for Ma & Pa Hardware Stores. If you’re a Ma & Pa Hedge Fund, the world is your oyster. You don’t need my help.
But what if you aren’t a millionaire or a billionaire? What if you’re just a hard-working, tax-paying, church-going, American Mitt Romney supporter? Where should you go after Barack (Hussein) Obama reascends the throne?
Well in all earnestness, I really think you should take some time to travel — and not back to Destin, Florida or Lake Havasu. Go somewhere outside the United States. You should travel around the world. It’s not even that difficult to quit your job and go on a solo trip, or to travel with your kids. Just head to the post office, get that passport, and explore the world. This trip is about freedom and independence, so stay away from resorts and cruise lines (and other Americans), and experience the local culture.
Travel to socialist Scandinavia and discover that things are actually a little bit better there. Higher education is affordable, healthcare is free, mas and pas get time off to be with their kid, new businesses get economic development grants. You might pay a higher tax rate, but it’s kind of like an admission fee for all these great benefits. Maybe you’ll find that there’s more to humanity than that rugged individualism you thought you were supposed to espouse.
After a few months in the Global North, head to some of the poorest nations in the world (and please don’t come as a missionary — you’re not here to spread your beliefs!) In Burundi or Haiti or Malawi or Bangladesh, you’ll witness a poverty you’ve never seen before. You might start to think about how privileged you are to live in a country with access to clean drinking water, stable democracy, and Hometown Buffet. You’ll think about how that cheap t-shirt you bought from Wal-Mart was made by people in a Bangladeshi sweatshop working for pennies, and how it really wasn’t such a great deal, because now you see how interconnected our world is.
And after a few months on the road, having had a diversity of experiences, you’ll return to the United States as a citizen of the world. You’ll come back knowing that Mitt Romney’s vision for America never included the full social benefits of being a wealthy nation, nor considered that our wealth is predicated on the poverty of the developing world.
And that Obama’s America might not be perfect, but now you have four more years to hound him to make it better.
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Josh is a writer from Los Angeles. He has lived in Mexico City, New York, and Berlin with extensive jaunts to Latin America and Europe.