“If you don’t like it, then get out.”

I’m sure we’ve all seen some form of this line uttered during a political argument of some kind. Inevitably, someone will say something like, “Well if you don’t like that America is a Christian country you can just get out of my country.” Or maybe something like, “Well if you think capitalism is so evil, there’s the door, now get out of my country.” You know, this kind of bullshit:

Is this supposed to be an insult? Are my feelings supposed to be hurt by this? Am I suposed to feel badly or demeaned? Because if so, then I’m afraid all of these people uttering these lines are going to be sorely disappointed.

Because the reality is that I would LOVE to leave America.

What? You mean I have to leave a dysfunctional republic where the government doesn’t work and the majority of the population is unhealthy and doesn’t understand basic science, where a majority of people think that the bible supersedes the constitution? Oh heavens, whatever will I do?

Except move to ANY one of these other countries:

  • Australia
  • UK
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • New Zealand
  • You all get the point by now

There are dozens of other countries where I could move to and lead a perfectly happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Where I could enjoy the same freedoms that I enjoy here. And I’m not the only one who feels that way. One third of Americans have no qualms about moving to another country. Buried within that number are a few nuggets: only 14% of Americans are ready to move abroad within the next 5 years, and 55% of Millennials are fine with leaving the country and re-establishing elsewhere. And a whopping 84% of respondents to the survey said that the US could be “made more appealing” as a place to live.

Of course, part of the problem is that it’s hard logistically, economically, and legally to just up and move to another country. It’s expensive and time consuming, so those of us inclined to “just leave” can’t pack up and head out the next day. But the entire “if you don’t like it, leave” mentality is so starkly and falsely superior.

It all rests on “American Exceptionalism.” Because America is the greatest place ever on the face of the planet, living somewhere else is supposed to suck in comparison. “Once they get a taste of how those dumb Europeans do it, they’ll be begging to come back to America!”

2fa51cb884a8dfc12f6a2045bc554719.jpg
Ooh, sick burn, bro. /eyeroll

The problem with the whole premise of “get out of my country” is that it isn’t true–America isn’t an exceptional place. At least not in any good ways. We’re certainly exceptional in that we’re fatter than everyone else and you’re more likely to be discriminated against here. But the rest? Please.

For starters, many other places around the world are much happier than we are. You know where the US ranks in terms of happiness? 15th.

-1x-1 (1)

You want another metric? How about income distribution and economic equality? There’s the GINI index:

400px-2014_Gini_Index_World_Map,_income_inequality_distribution_by_country_per_World_Bank.svg

Wow! Look at where all the green countries are! And then look at which country isn’t green! Shocking.

And now for math and science!

STEM_pisa

We’re waaaaay down on the bottom of the list. Here’s a bit about healthcare spending…

TCFchart

And here’s a little bit about health in general, via Bloomberg:

Health_Ranking_in_Italy_clip_image001 (1)

America was #44! U-S-A! U-S-A!

So let’s recap. We’re not the happiest. We’re not the healthiest. We aren’t the smartest. Remind me again why it’s such a privilege to live here? Because sometimes I really have to wonder. We have states passing laws that allow them to openly discriminate against others. We have congressmen who bring snowballs onto the floor of Congress to “prove” that climate change isn’t real. Donald Trump is a legitimate political candidate. Our infrastructure is falling apart, poisoning people in some cases like Flint Michigan. We have a law that essentially allows people and corporations to buy our government and legislation.

A lot of us would definitely take a hard pass on all of that.

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5 thoughts on ““If you don’t like it, then get out.”

  1. Funny how the x-ians lay claim to so many things that do not belong to them…

    Yes America has many flaws, too many to count. But I still enjoy living here despite the ignorant. But there are days I do long for the possibility of living where people were more open minded and in a place where wealth/intelligence/health/and taxes were better across the board.

    After looking those charts over I should probably look towards my roots. I am of German descent.

  2. Because here you have the greatest opportunity to become rich (provided you start out with privilege, get a lot of help, or get really lucky)! I mean the American dream is still being sold in everybody’s head, but it’s clearly delusional. When people complain about Bernie Sanders, everybody thinks his tax plan is going to somehow adversely impact them even though they don’t make $250,000 or more of taxable income a year. In fact most of those people don’t even know anybody that does, except for maybe their boss. So on what planet do most people live to make them think that they will be one of those lucky people, which is only 3% of the population, to make that much money or more? And the fact is that most of us would be perfectly content living secure middle class lives and really don’t want to make that much money.

    I agree with all you say about different countries having plenty to offer with slight trade offs here and there, but nothing overly concerning. My main concern with that argument has less to do with how unrealistically stupid it is (because other countries aren’t that bad, and that moving is actually a difficult thing to do) but rather it is the “falsely superior” mentality you brought up. Mostly just because it ignores the fact that part of “loving” is not only loving blindly or just the love you feel, but actually doing something, and also recognizing that just because you admit something isn’t perfect already isn’t a sign that you love it any less. I’m not perfect, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love myself, it just means that I want to become a better person. Constructive criticism is a healthy attitude, and has nothing to do with whether you love your country or not, and in fact I think those who are willing to not only point out problems but provide solutions love their country even more.

    1. That’s a good point about constructive criticism. If you want something to be better, you constructively criticize it, and if you want something to be better, chances are it’s because you like it in the first place!

      It seems like the American ego is the most fragile of all. If we aren’t all super duper special, then apparently we’re nothing. Maybe Americans are just drawn to hyperbole. But being realistic and honest about one’s country isn’t “unpatriotic” or whatever

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