I used to try to remember all the good things our country offers whenever something seemed to be going wrong at home. There was a long list of advantages to living in the US as recently as the 80s. Then came the anti-war crowd with the corrupt Clintons in the lead. Nowadays, the only remaining benefits I can think of are those of a material nature, not civic or spiritual. There once was the superlative if expensive medical system; watch for a quick slide in quality and quantity now that the social engineers are at the helm. If England’s hospitals are permeated with mold and Russians wait in long lines for a few minutes with a half-trained doctor – where will our country end up? Even the material side of America’s attraction is getting seedy: look at our outdated infrastructure, which is going to get worse as the State’s grasp grows. We enjoy less and less unfettered exercise of fundamental freedoms. Whole lists of words and ideas have been declared criminal, and the Constitution can only be handed out on one US campus in in an isolated spot designated for wackos. Freedom of religion is routinely violated and in our military priests and ministers are told not to offer any service or counsel during the government shut-down or face arrest. Since when can the State tell the Church how and when to celebrate their worship of God? Since now. It was breath-taking when the USG announced it was appointing an envoy for religious tolerance who would look out for religious freedom in Central America. I’ll say this, it takes a lot of nerve to do that even as you are wiping the words of the Bible off State buildings throughout the US and forcing the religious to violate freedom of conscience. Meanwhile the political machine from Chicago puts down roots throughout the government bureaucracy, which has been turned against persons and groups of persons for their political views. We used to feel we had legal rights against people who defrauded and misused the USG. Who answers today? Nobody and most certainly not the policy-makers who set everything in motion.

How about the idea that we are all created equal? Such an idea is out the window. In its place is the view that we are all equal, no matter what the facts. If one sports team is too good, and wins by too large a margin, we change the score or penalize the successful side. It’s only fair. How about our excellent public education? Schools today don’t insist on performance standards. Everybody is good even if they only show up and play with their smart phones during class. The State has made clear its interest in taking over our children’s minds altogether with the Common Core nonsense and its insistence on making pre-school mandatory. There are stirrings from those who want to make home-schooling frowned-upon and then prohibited as it is in Germany and other European countries. US society’s fringe elements and deviants dominate the culture, twisting our future with the overt mis-sexualization of children from an early age and easy drugs for that feel-good society. Don’t insist that younger people show respect to elders. In today’s schools, it is not uncommon to see kids calling the principal by his first name. I saw a news blip about a school in New York or somewhere up East where there are no rules whatsoever. That sounds like anarchy, a concept the Democrats find ghastly in real life but encourage as a mind-set among our hedonistic young. History has been re-written and buried, so our students in the main leave schools knowing nothing useful at all. They don’t know enough history to avoid repeating it. A woman who works at the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which cares for George Washington’s estate, said that there are millions of kids who don’t know who George Washington was. He’s just a name.

Even “good service” in private establishments is no longer the rule. Every time I call for any computer service, the other end barely speaks English. Here’s an apt joke: Microsoft is in Pakistan, interviewing for a tech rep. As a test of the applicant’s English, he is asked to use the colors green, pink and yellow in a sentence. The young man thinks for a few seconds and replies, “the phone rings, green, green; I pink it up; and I say yellow.” I’m sure I spoke to that fellow just this past week. At least he was an animate being. How many times do you call somewhere and get to a human voice? How many messages are left unanswered? In this respect, too, we have become more like Europe, where being a waiter is a life’s profession and sales service is indifferent.

I have traveled quite a bit through Europe, East and West. I’ve lived in Latin America. They all had their assets and their attractions, most of them relating to the human connections that are much stronger there than in the US, but I always thought America would be the place I call home. Now I’m wondering if what keeps me here isn’t mere inertia. It’s such a bother to pack up and go. There are those drawbacks that still exist, particularly infrastructure. But then I recall that even in the touristy Guanacaste region of Costa Rica the government is encouraging the establishment of a hub of medical tourism and attracting all those a-list doctors who are eager to leave the dust of the USA behind them. You won’t be told you can’t have the treatment because it costs too much or offers too little tangible value. The natives are friendly; it’s easy to get residency and then citizenship. And that would mean no US taxation imposed by millions of voters who don’t pay taxes. Life has a different and friendlier tempo.

If I stay in the US it will have to be for sounder reasons than the easiness of doing nothing. That is the same dynamic that keeps this dysfunctional monster called the US political system stumbling along – ignorance, inertia and indifference rule the mob, and the same old crowd of Establishment pols continues to ignore and treat us with indifference in return. There has to be an end to that cycle or we are headed down a very unhappy road. If the Socialists/Dems win the next US presidential elections then it would be time for me to start making travel reservations.

On the other hand, it seems to me that the political pendulum is swinging back to the right. It usually does after an 8-year stint with the same bunch of power-mongers and this gang has been particularly abusive and dictatorial. I think we will all know by the results of 2014 which way we’re headed. In any case, I’m keeping my options open and looking for escape hatches. I think there are a lot of others doing so, too. Perhaps we’ll start a reverse migration to Latin America and start marching in the streets demanding our rights. Wouldn’t that be something?