This afternoon, while doing some totally unrelated research, I ran across a web site called MoveOut USA. The MoveOut crew describes its site as “a web portal for people who are considering leaving the USA now that George W. Bush has won the 2004 presidential election.”
At first shot, this seems like a swell idea. I mean, what good American liberal hasn’t at least briefly entertained the idea of taking refuge in a country that has a more enlightened government than what the Republicans have given America? The thought has crossed my mind many times.
The thought has crossed my mind, but I have quickly dismissed it. As I read through MoveOut USA, I can’t help but think that the Republicans must be wild with excitement about the idea of tens of thousands of liberal voters leaving the United States for good. My memory goes back to all the times that, in response to articles I’ve written critiquing Republican policies, Republicans have written to me saying, “If you don’t like what Bush is doing, why don’t you just leave?”
Under the recent Republican nationalist agenda it’s becoming difficult for serious liberals to live in the United States. Nonetheless, those liberals who are emigrating are in fact doing the Republican nationalists a big favor. The Republicans want liberals to leave the United States, so that the Republican Party can continue to control the federal government.
So, I’m suspicious of MoveOut USA. As I look at the MoveOut USA web site, I see some very odd things that indicate that the people who designed the web site may in fact be Republicans hoping to egg gullible liberals into leaving the country.
First, the MoveOut USA people cannot seem to describe liberal dissent without holding their noses. They write, “Many people who are affiliated with left-leaning elements of various political parties feel they have suffered greatly during the past four years of the Bush administration.” So, we’re told, we may feel that America has suffered greatly under Bush, but the MoveOut USA people aren’t willing to say so themselves.
Then there’s the strange list of countries that MoveOut USA presents to liberals as possible targets for emigration. The main page with the list features only one criteria: m number of state-mandated vacation days.” This is a strange area to provide sole focus on. The liberals that I know aren’t looking for longer vacations, they’re looking for a government with a genuine dedication to liberty, a culture that is less militaristic, and a society that gives more opportunities to all people, regardless of the amount of wealth that they are born into. The idea that liberals would emigrate in search of nothing more than long vacations seems to be a particularly Republican perception.
The same page that tells us about long “state-mandated” vacations also has a peculiar map. On this map, the continents are given different colors. What’s odd is that Mexico, and all of Central America, are colored as part of South America. Now, perhaps you can argue that Panama is a South American nation, but what kind of person would assign Mexico to South America? A person who just doesn’t like Mexicans, that’s who. Liberals don’t think that way. Republicans often do.
Then there’s the name of the web site itself, a clear knockoff of the name of one of the most powerful liberal organizations in all America: MoveOn. Given the good work of MoveOn in frustrating Republican attempts to scuttle the Bill of Rights and go to war with no accountability, it would be an understandable reaction to try to subtly satirize the MoveOn name with a new website called MoveOut.
Finally, there’s the suspicious way in which the owners of the MoveOut USA web site have paid an extra fee to make their registration of their web site’s domain name private. This ensures that the organization or individual behind MoveOn USA will remain secret to the public at large.
For all these reasons, I conclude that the MoveOut USA web site is at best an opportunistic attempt to gain attention and at worst a Republican-sponsored web site to encourage liberal voters to leave the United States of America. The second possibility is especially disturbing given the fact that the web site asks visitors to provide private information in order to “register” for the site’s ill-described services.
So, I’ll not be providing a direct link in this article to the MoveOut USA web site. It should be easy enough for you to find. The owners have paid to advertise their site in the “sponsored links” section of Google – a reassuring sign that the web site is not enjoying a groundswell of popular attention.