Probably Not the Last Political Question

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I can’t take it any more. This world is crazy with hatred. I used to
think House of Cards was evil and cynical politics. But having just
survived living in a primary state, reality has overtaken fiction. The
Underwoods seem tame compared to the candidates, very few of
whom seem either “frank” or “clear” (cynical puns it took this son of
an English teacher four seasons to get!). It has set neighbor against
neighbors, kids against parents, and divided my synagogue like a civil
war. I’m not sure I can make it through the rest of the year without
going nuts or hurting someone. I’m torn between fleeing the country
for the next six months and working for my candidate, though that
may be futile given the way the system is rigged. I’m also cautious
about being too vocal, in case the wrong candidate wins, and I end up
on a list of “undesirables” to be persecuted later. To add to the irony, I
am descended from Holocaust survivors, who had to be visionary
enough to get out of Germany in the 1930s. I don’t think, and I
certainly pray, that America is not at a brink that extreme, but I am
sick with worry and despair. I’m willing to write a check either way. Do
I have to put my body on the line too?

Probably Not the Last Political Question

Dear Not Last:

If you have the means and choice to live abroad for six months, you
are way ahead of most Americans. That suggests you are both retired
and in the top 10% if not 1%. Hooray for you and for your family,
which, like many immigrants, faced horrific odds to survive the 1930s,
let alone produce wealthy descendants. I’m glad you’re willing to use
your resources for the common good, assuming, of course, that I
agree with you about which candidate that is, sigh. We’re all living in
an increasingly polarized political reality. But sadly, that’s not new.
Just louder.

If you listen to the pundits you hear we are in a battle for the soul of
America. My advice to everyone this year is to work hard for your
candidate. So stay and do your part to keep America whole. Although
I’d regret it if we disagreed, my advice would remain the same. The
key is to remain civil and to respect everyone else’s right to have an
opinion. You can try and convince them towards your candidate. But
even if s/he doesn’t win, don’t flee. Keep working to keep the system
healthy and your fellow citizens engage in democracy. 1930’s Germany
is a telling analogy. Don’t pack your bags. Roll up your sleeves.