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You’re Free to Leave the Asylum

Escape to Mexico

An American passport can get you into 174 countries around the world. In many of those countries it’s possible to become a legal resident—or just keep renewing a tourist visa.

There’s no rule saying you have to stay in the country of your birth year after year.

Imagine you woke up after a multi-year slumber and turned on CNN during the U.S. primary season of mid-2016. You might not find it surprising that an ignorant bigot and a right-wing gun-loving Bible thumper are the leading candidates for president of the United States on the conservative side of the eventual ballot.

Then imagine you woke up after the election. You probably would be surprised to find the clown you saw on stage pulled off the win. You probably would find it hard to believe that the guy who has gotten the most primary delegate votes overall The guy who got the most electoral college votes (but somehow won without getting the popular vote) seems like a joke. He has spray-on-tan skin, an orange dyed comb-over, has been through multiple divorces, and has filed for bankruptcy six times. That’s before we even get to the complete lack of knowledge about what goes on outside our borders and an open support of torture techniques prohibited by international law. We could talk about him for days, or if you’re an American 24-hour news network, for at least a year non-stop.

Escaping America

Now that we’re seven months in an even his business community advisors have given up on him, what does this say about the volume of dense people that didn’t see this disaster coming when they voted? Who knew there were that many hiding under the rocks, with such a poor sense of character judgment? It’s like Idiocracy come to life, 10 years after its release. Instead of a pro wrestler, they voted for a reality TV star.

Who knows how much worse things will get, but I’m not too worried because I have a passport.

I can go to Mexico for six months just on a tourist visa, then move on to somewhere else and do it again, or come back there for another six months. I could go spend a year in India, or Peru, or Cambodia, or Albania. With a few visa runs I could do that in dozens of other countries or just keep moving.

cheap living abroadThe last big expatriate exodus was when Bush Jr. got reelected—I sure did meet a lot of those escapees in my travels. Some came back when the tides turned and the economy improved under a new leader. Others like the slower pace and better spending power on the other side and made it permanent.

Will we see a replay?

Who knows.

But if you’re having thoughts of escape, I’ve got a book for you. And some coaching if you’d like. After all, if you’re going to escape from a scary situation, why not turn it to your advantage as well? Go to one of the cheapest countries to live in and you’ve suddenly got…A Better Life for Half the Price.

When you get there, turn off the TV, mix a cocktail with fresh-squeezed juice, and take a nap in a hammock. Then take a nice walk and do it again the next day.

Soon you might forget that you were once stressing about this and you’ll react as an anchor on CNBC said this week when asked about “Trump risk” in the market. “Wall Street has written off our president as a non-factor. They will forge on assuming he won’t get anything done.”

Anywhere you go they’ll be laughing now when anyone says the orange one’s name, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on and be part of the joke.

[Editor’s note: This post originally ran in a slightly different form during the Republican primaries. It has since been amended to reflect the final election results. Thus some of the comments precede the new publication date.]

Chuck Smith

Sunday 20th of August 2017

Actually, maybe it's closer to Idiocracy than you suggested: they voted for a reality TV star *and* a "pro" wrestler:

Tim Leffel

Monday 21st of August 2017

Yeah, that's true Chuck. Love that movie.


Sunday 20th of August 2017

The title of this post is so funny. ;)


Saturday 19th of August 2017

Wow, this post speaks to me like nothing I've read in a long time. I vote, I call my congressman, I go to rallies, I stay informed. But what finally made me feel liberated was to say, "I don't have to put up with this if I don't want to" and I moved.

I now spend 1/5 what I used to for health care and most of my other expenses are 1/3 of what they used to be when I was an educated woman trying to deal with the proudly ignorant rednecks surrounding my city of Charlotte. Most people have built a prison for themselves that they can't escape. I could escape and did. I'm in Cuenca, partly because I already knew people living there, but I think anywhere I would have gone would have been an improvement in safety, health, money, and the lack fo 24/7 madness on the TV.

Wade K.

Tuesday 22nd of August 2017

So basically anyone who's not a Democrat is a racist? I didn't post anything that wasn't true. And this controlling the message by squelching other opinions is exactly what's taking this country down a very slippery slope to a place we don't ever want to be.

Wade K.

Friday 18th of August 2017

Trump wasn't my choice for the Republican nominee but what is going on with the Press is unprecedented in our history. Much of what people think of Trump has been molded by the Press. And granted Trump isn't a sympathetic character but the whole Russian narrative, the racism issue from Charlottesville is all an attempt to bring his presidency down. Why? We obviously they don't agree with his stance on immigration or his attempting to curb spending, among other issues. HE didn't win the election fraudulently, he campaigned vigorously in states that Clinton took for granted. They both knew going in, as well as the Press and just about anyone familiar, is that what matters is winning the Electoral College. Clinton should have assured people in the Rust Belt she'd work to bring them jobs. She didn't, and it cost her the election. Yet Democrats just can't believe she lost to who they consider a buffoon. Next time put up a candidate who doesn't have trust issues and who's more politically savvy. The reason you have someone in the Oval Office you hate so much is you expected a deeply flawed candidate who made tactical errors to easily beat someone you felt was beneath you. The same someone who got awarded along with Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks for his efforts in advancing minority rights. The same one who used to hobnob with Bill and Hillary. But he's a Republican now and must be destroyed. The histrionics and hypocrisy is enough to make me leave the U.S.. Our country has turned into a basket case and EVERYONE, not just the Right, are to blame.


Saturday 19th of August 2017

All the press is doing is broadcasting and commenting on his unhinged rants and his tweets. They could do that without any analysis whatsoever and make him look like a buffoon. As most Republicans are now saying, his wounds are self-inflicted.

Robert Becker

Thursday 17th of August 2017

Hi Everyone:

I don't usually leave comments. I just mostly read about all the different things that people say and laugh to myself when the "ignorant" people voice their opinions! Everyone is obviously entitled to their own opinion, but unlike D. Rump, it would be wise to get ALL the CORRECT facts and not make immature ASSumptions!!

I am in my mid 50's older than a lot of people who read this and younger than others. However, I can say that I have seen A LOT of changes (unfortunately) for the worse in our country (USA). EVERYTHING is about politics and who would stand to gain the most power, influence, control, and money! The rest of the country be damned! It's terrible what's going on in the US right now! So much hatred and violence!! I can DEFINITELY see movies like V for Vendetta and especially, The Purge coming to fruition as that's exactly where we are headed as a nation!

I left the US (for the second time) last Septemeber and moved to Asia and NEVER regretted it!! I have met so many wonderful people (and some idiots) and the cost of living, the environment, and the general way of life isn't as high or as hectic as in the US. Is it perfect? No place is. The whole world has lost its mind! The best we can do is find a place to settle down and live your life as best and as comfortably as you can! But, as an American citizen, the long reach of our (corrupt) government can be felt anywhere we go, ESPECIALLY with the FACTA/GACTA laws that screw you over for deciding to reside and work overseas! THERE IS NO ESCAPE!!!

For me personally, I just chill out, for the most part, read the occasional stories of stupidity and utter arrogance that D. Rump and his posse of idiots who run unchallenged ruin and destroy what's left of a once proud nation. But, as the old saying goes, let history be the judge!!