I don't mean in the abstract "why if Bush wins this election I'm moving to (insert foreign country I can't afford to live in here)" sense, but in the specific "noting when my lease is up and looking at the want ads in Toronto" sense.
Why? Because in a more profound way than I have ever felt, I don't really feel like I'm wanted here. And this is a strange feeling to get, because I've been far outside the American mainstream for as long as I've been an adult. I always sort of feel not wanted. But for over a year now, I've felt rather severely not wanted: so disenfranchised from the terms of the national discourse, so deeply removed from any sense that the things I care about and the paths I think we, as a country and a culture, should be following will be considered, that I wonder what's even keeping me here. I was born here by accident; why stay here when I'm no more in step with the national values than they are with me?
Maybe because I'm a news junkie. Maybe it's because I'm way too immersed in the natterings of the ultra-orthodox punditocracy. Maybe I'm just getting hysterically dramatic, like people do in moments of crisis (this latter possibility seems the most likely). But contemplating on the one hand my fellow Arabs who would be happy to see me choke on blood because I happen to have been born in America, and on the other hand my fellow Americans who think of me as morally equivalent to Stalin because I don't support the systemized slaughter of Arabs, I can't help but wonder why I don't get a shitty job in Christchurch or Winnipeg instead of keeping my shitty job here.
This is all melodramatic vaporing, I know. I probably won't go anywhere; I'm lazy, I'm broke, and for some reason, I like where I live. And I probably won't be lucky enough to get out before both sides start making things explode. But some days, I tell you. Some days. The world weighs heavy on me at times, considering that I don't have any real problems.