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I’m done with this place.

by Nicholas Barnard on November 22nd, 2022

I’m done with this place.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I so want to be done with the United States and Seattle.

This has been percolating in my head for quite a while, that I’m not even sure what development to hang it on, so pinpointing when exactly this happened is messy, but it became clear when the Dobbs v. Jackson decision was issued. I was especially annoyed with Clarence Thomas’s incendiary and hypocritical passage that stated that the right to same-sex marriage should not flow from the constitution, while ignoring his own right to an interracial marriage that does flow from the constitution.

But it goes further than just the Supreme Court’s ruling or even the Democrats’ anemic response to an expected development. (If the draft decision wasn’t leaked, there would be a little more leeway, but it was, and there were many weeks to prepare for this ruling. The Democrats stupidly got caught flat footed.) Initially when Roe happened, it seemed as if there was an unspoken collective resignation on the part of progressive people. Internally many of us knew that this was the logical conclusion after decades of a steady progression people that want something much closer to The Handmaid’s Tale than to Star Trek. The anti-freedom party that has taken over the Republican Party has been working at this for decades. Partly by moving the Overton window, by openly stealing open judicial positions, and by ensuring that US Citizens believe their government is incompetent by underfunding it, so that it is incompetent.

Anyone who has said “If you don’t like this country, then leave!” has never actually looked at moving to another country. I started more seriously looking at my options this past summer. I actually put a bit of effort into finding guys in Canada to date, with the goal of marrying one Canadian and moving there. (Not exactly the most practical plan, but I was working with the tools I had!) I also briefly looked into what professions were in demand and would allow me to move to Canada. I even thought about retraining into one of those professions, but that is a bit of a black box, especially since Canada scores on more than just the job that you can do. (They include age among other things, which lowers my score that determines if I can emigrate.)

Then in late August, I learned that Italy has citizenship by descent without a limitation on generations. Two of my great-grandparents were born in Italy, so I am an undocumented Italian Citizen. Its actually better than emigrating based on a job or marriage, since I’ll have all the rights and responsibilities of any other Italian citizen, which means I can live and work elsewhere in the EU, outside of Italy.

When I learned that this was an option, I then made the decision to move to the Netherlands and I found that my perspectives changed significantly. Instead of quietly resigning myself to gun violence, excessive economic inequality, living in a car dependent hellscape, I’ve been able to look at those things and say, thats horrible, but in a few years I won’t have to deal with this. Which strangely has made me feel even more uncomfortable here. I guess that generally, it isn’t productive to constantly be at odds with the place you live in, especially when there is no other option. This shift has been interesting to watch within myself, and I’m going to write about it more here.

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