I’ve decided that it’s time to lay out all the reasons I’m moving to Denmark.
The good stuff! This is part of it. Not the biggest part, though it is the stuff I’ve generally focused on when talking to people.
Gosh, Denmark is nice. Isn’t Denmark nice? It is. They really like bicycles, the people are super nice, I have many Danish friends already! Seriously. I have a more active social calendar for Denmark than Ohio already.
And Copenhagen? Super nice. Seriously! It is conspicuous as one of the nicest cities in the world. It’s quiet, has next to no traffic, low pollution, low crime, and almost no homelessness (particularly compared to a similar-sized US city.) It is also a physically beautiful city, combining Renaissance, Enlightenment, and modern architecture in a way that is distinctly Scandinavian.
Where our apartment is? Oh. Em. Gee. It’s across the street from everything, it’s got a nice view, it’s a seven-minute bike ride from my wife’s job. It’s close to stores, restaurants, bakeries, public transportation, and near the center of Copenhagen’s dense bicycle network.
Not for nothing, Denmark also has plans for the future. About half of all electricity in Denmark is already generated by wind and they’re in the midst of building the largest wind farm the world has ever seen. Denmark has plans to become an energy superpower based on wind. And perhaps because it’s a low-lying country that is, essentially, all coastline, they are planning for stuff like, y’know, rising sea levels.
Denmark is swell. That’s a big reason.
But let’s talk about America.
Today, as I write this, the human turds known as the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided that abortion wasn’t protected.
Evil and unjust, but there it is. The US decided to say “fuck women’s rights” because of fundamentalist religious bullshit. And the decision has a lot of follow-on consequences. After all, there was a rationale behind it, and that rationale weakens protections all kinds of human rights issues in the US. It doesn’t take a genius to see that they’re coming after trans rights next, and then other queer people (especially homosexuals.)
Because, let me be clear, religion is the basis of this decision. Or, more exactly, a particular religious interpretation. Fundamentalist Christians (including Catholics, let’s not get pedantic here about what is a “real” Christian) have been working tirelessly on this for generations. Despite the SCOTUS legalese, this decision is theological more than legal.
So, expect more theologically driven decisions.
Yesterday, that same Supreme Court overturned New York’s attempt to make it harder for people to carry pistols with them at all times. They did this with an appeal to race, saying that concealed carry laws endanger people of color.
Oh, fuck you, SCOTUS. The sheer gall of the “reasons” are so ridiculous and evil. And of course, they trotted out the black conservative justice, because then if you say that the decision is fucking racist as hell, the conservatives will accuse you of racism. “But Clarence Thomas wrote the decision! It can’t be racist!” They’ll do that. Probably already are.
But not to be outdone, Sammy Alito said that the liberal justices that opposed the decision were in the wrong because it’s all about PRINCIPLES. It’s not about dead kids or assholes shooting up schools and it is wrong to bring up the consequences of concealed weapons because of PRINCIPLES.
The conservative playbook is not deep, but multifunctional. This is the same line of “reasoning” that was used by Southern states prior to the Civil War. “No, no, it’s not about slavery but states’ rights.”
Also, this is why Republicans voted for some gun control laws. They know SCOTUS won’t actually let anyone enforce any of those laws! After all, gun control laws inevitably make it harder for black people to own guns, and more guns are clearly the solution to gun violence. That everyone is armed at all times. What could go wrong?
More generally, the Supreme Court of the United States is the de facto ruler of the country. Decades of governmental gridlock have made it the only branch able to do anything… and clearly, they will.
Six of the justices are radical, fundamentalist conservatives. Six. The odds of this number going down in the near future are next to nil because…
Recently, I read a story about how more Americans would vote for Trump than Biden if the election was held today.
What the fuck? Seriously? How did this guy get elected even one goddamn time? Before he was ever in office, we all knew he was a criminally corrupt sexual predator! And now? Yeah, I know inflation sucks, and I’m no fan of Biden, but Trump is a goddamn traitor!
Because, y’know, it was evident from January 6th that Trump was telling his armed followers to stop the certification of the election. And it is now equally clear that Trump worked for months to overthrow what remains of our democratically elected government. He leaned on state officials, met with lawyers, tried to get the VP to overturn the results… and when that didn’t work, Trump told his goons to go fuck up the Capitol Building to stop the election’s certification. Which is fucking treason.
Think that over a minute. More than half of Americans, as calculated by professional pollsters, would rather have a fucking traitor in the Oval Office than a person who (despite all his many, many flaws) is not a traitor.
Or what about the whole thing where the US is a police state.
Look, we have more than two million Americans in prisons and jails. In what universe can you have more people in prison – both overall and per capita, meaning that we have more people in prisons and jails than places like Iran and China! – than any other country and not be a police state? Furthermore, since most of those people are, for some reason, people of color, we have a very racist police state.
It’s not just imprisonment. Like, US cops kill about 1000 Americans a year. Straight up kill ‘em. Since the federal government doesn’t compile statistics about stuff like police killings or other abuse – which is pretty f’n corrupt on its own – we have no clear picture of the scale of non-lethal police violence. Where people are “only” beaten, electrocuted, gassed, or non-fatally shot. All the evidence suggests that the police are also very active in non-lethal forms of violence, too, though.
So, not just that far, far too many Americans are locked up, but also the cops are beating up, gassing, electrocuting, and torturing people all the time.
But, y’know, if Americans want to change it, it’s fine for teenagers from other states to buy assault rifles and shoot protestors, even if they’re underaged to do so. Because, in all, Americans are okay with the cops being this way…
Which, to stop belaboring the point, is the point. On the whole, Americans are fine with this state of affairs. Getting here was a result of generations of decisions. Sure, not too many people knew that when they elected Reagan that this is where this would go… but at every step the United States has chosen, and continues to choose, this kind of happy horseshit.
I mean, Trump was elected. Even though everyone knew that he would pick at least one SCOTUS judge, he was elected. Even though we all knew he was deeply corrupt and a sexual predator, he was elected.
America chose the Contract with America, the Tea Party, and FOX News. Whenever an actual progressive moment tries to get off the ground – like with Ralph Nader and the Green Party or Bernie Sanders as a democratic socialist – it goes nowhere. But the reactionary fundamentalist movements have legs for decades. When one fades, it is because it is no longer reactionary or fundamentalist enough. Contract with America was superceded by the Tea Party which is now wholly absorbed into Trumpism. As the Republican Party has marched to the right, and then to the right again, and again, Americans have not been able to make a progressive moment stick. Not since the 1960s, anyway.
I leave it to the reader to decide with whom I am more disgusted: the reactionary fundamentalists or the incompetent indifference of US liberalism.
For many years, I believed that this had to be the bottom. Reagan had to be the bottom after Iran-Contra. Surely, this would be what it took to get Americans to see that Reaganism was corrupt and it was time to trust the progressives! Then after Dubya, I was, like, “Hey, the mask is off. Certainly everyone can see the ugliness of these reactionary assholes now!”
But now we’ve got Trumpism. The nakedness of the reactionary and fundamentalist power grab is more clear than ever before. Trump is, as I said, a fucking traitor…
Except, mostly America doesn’t mind. Even the January 6th investigations aren’t saying that he’s a traitor. Sometimes people mumble something about obstruction, but if Trump isn’t arrested with the scale of evidence to support his treason now, why should anyone think it will happen later? Certainly the AG of the USA is calming us down. Garland is, like, “Well, if I arrested Trump, it would appear like political retaliation.”
Merrick, grow a fucking spine. Donald Trump is a traitor. But, gosh, it might look bad if Trump was arrested.
On the other hand, if you’re poor and especially if you’ve got darker skin, the cops are all over that! They might not even bother taking you to jail. They might just deliver some street justice and if you die? Hey, shit happens. But how dare you suggest that a traitor be arrested! What a fuckin’ monster you’d be for that.
Which is what makes me despair for the future of the United States. Not that bad shit is happening. That happens everywhere. But that we have chosen, and are continuing to choose, in ways that are moving to something quite like fascism.
So, yeah, when this became evident to me, I suggested to my lovely and talented wife that we should go somewhere else.
And during none of this have I mentioned American beliefs about climate change. Which is actually an even bigger problem than all the rest about which the nation chooses to ignore. Even as the whole country is on fire.
But at this point, you could imagine what I would say about our country choosing climate change, right?
In conclusion, yeah, America is that bad. The people – such as myself – who warned against the worst are now in the position of its watching the fascist train roll into the station. I’m watching Yeats’s “The Second Coming” happening and I don’t want to be here when that rough beast gets to Jerusalem to give birth, if you know what I’m saying. (And if you don’t know what I’m saying, read “The Second Coming,” you barbarian.)
Good luck with that, America.
 Many of these are true of my wife, but I’m not speaking for her. This is all me, bab-ee.