The Conservative's Canada
Where can Republicans threaten to move if Obama wins?
My former colleague Michael Barone points out that for those who prioritize gun ownership rights, Switzerland is the place to be, while Singapore and Hong Kong have very market-friendly economies. (Like everyone I talked to, Barone emphasized that he didn't think conservatives would ever seriously consider leaving the United States.) Others suggested that Germany, under the leadership of Angela Merkel, might start looking more attractive to conservatives if the United States continues its leftward trend. And, of course, the one place conservatives could feel comfortable over the next four years is Alaska, home to their favorite governor. Unfortunately, it happens to be part of the United States.
There's an easy way to test these options in the field. Look in the mirror and repeat the following phrase: "Screw this! I'm moving to [insert country here]." If you like the sound of it, you just may like the reality of it. Or maybe just saying it will be enough.
Have your own suggestion of where to move? Send it here.
Update, Oct. 13, 2008: Readers have proposed a variety of alternate locations where errant conservatives can find refuge. Here's a few of their top recommendations.
Several readers make a case for Ireland. Abortion is mostly illegal in the country. The political parties are center-right, and the country's corporate tax of 12.5 percent is extremely friendly to industry, including Microsoft and Intel. Native Irishman Marc Bruton says: "As an Irishman living in the U.S. for 12 years (who is currently horrified by McCain/Palin), I have to say there is nowhere more America-like than the country of my birth. They'd love it. … And it has some great golf courses!" The country is largely religious, and English is the second of two official languages. And they have a history of welcoming Republicans. "You can't get too hung up on the JFK connection," advises Paul Sheridan. "Reagan got as big a welcome when he visited in the '80s."
Australia's devotion to laissez-faire economics makes it an attractive target for free-market conservatives, and the fact that they speak English will be attractive to anyone who finds Polish too difficult to pick up. (Several Polish readers wrote in to point out that this will be a major hurdle for Americans.) The conservative Heritage Foundation ranks Australia at No. 4 on its economic freedom index, following Hong Kong, Singapore, and Ireland. (The United States is No. 5.) The open spaces will attract conservatives sick of claustrophobic urban politics. "It has a Wild West mythos analogous to that of the U.S., but unlike our own West, where states like Colorado are becoming increasingly urban and Democratic, the Outback remains sparsely settled and free of large cities," writes Philip, who wanted only his first named printed. "Australia is also the native land of Rupert Murdoch and Mel Gibson." Several others, including newly uncloseted Obama supporter Christopher Buckley, suggested New Zealand as well. ("Fun fact," writes Rob Killion. "New Zealand is probably Australia's Canada.")
From the mailbag: In mavericklike defiance of the fact that Alaska is, as noted, still part of the United States, many readers suggested that disaffected conservatives retreat with Sarah and Todd Palin back to their home state. Estonia won a few nods for its anti-Communist bona fides. Nigeria garnered a surprising number of votes as well from readers who thought libertarian-minded Republicans would benefit from the African nation's lawlessness and penchant for piracy. One suspects these readers were not overly concerned with the welfare of said conservatives.
Slate V: What if Obama loses? Canada beckons.
Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.
Illustration by Rob Donnelly.