My friend and colleague on this blog recently wrote a touching story of an immigrant cab driver who was not only the epitome of the “American Dream” but also, somewhat surprisingly, a very staunch Reagan Republican. Is there nothing more American than an immigrant coming to this country, starting his own business (a taxicab), being entrepreneurial, and making a living in this land of opportunity? It was refreshing to hear some gratitude for what this nation has to offer.
What I am writing about though is a response to Corben’s remark that he would not choose to live anywhere else in the world but the United States of America. I must, unfortunately, disagree with this sentiment, not least because I am currently living in another country.
I am attending university in Canterbury, England, at the moment. England is an odd duck in the world. The former global hegemon with one of the largest empires in World History, it is now an ageing, slowly crumbling quasi-socialist country racked with debt and separatist movements. England has, to their credit, never gone as far down the socialist road as their European neighbors have, and the fact that “Great” Britain never bought into the Euro is one of the few things keeping their economy afloat (the British Pound being the single strongest currency in the world). Nevertheless, the UK could certainly not be called a haven of liberty and a keeper of freedom; one needs only read about their gun laws to dispel that notion. All that being said, I have a deep-seated love for England, my ancestral homeland and practically a floating history museum in the North Atlantic. Not to mention it’s where The Beatles came from.
The truth of the matter is though: no matter how much I love England, I cannot envision myself living here permanently. I might be here for a while, but the United States, California in particular, is my true homeland. I will of course return someday, but not before I see the rest of the world.
I am much too curious a person to content myself with living in a single country my entire life, even one as big as the US. It is my theory that to truly appreciate what the US has, one must see what the rest of the world doesn’t have. I want to study what life is like in other parts of the world, which is partially why I am even now living in the UK. In particular, I want to see European Socialism up close and personal during its time of crisis.
I would also like exposure to the Far East; Singapore holds particular interest to me. America, despite what Progressives would have you believe, is actually a fairly liberal (as in tolerant) place, and we are one of the few countries that has been able to balance both social liberalism and economic freedom. Singapore is all about hardcore economic freedom but is nearly fascist in its social policy (if you’re caught spitting gum, you will spend a night in jail and be fined a day’s wages, for instance). Singapore also has a significant Muslim minority, so I would quite like to see how Muslims can peacefully coexist with other religions in a multiethnic country.
And then, when I am tired of wandering, I do think I will return home to America. I will be rich in experiences, if not rich in finances. Call me a naïve young person, but I really do think I will do these things. As Winston Churchill said: “I am an optimist. There’s no point in being anything else.”