As Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady might have observed, “well, isn’t that special?” Her snarky and moralizing posture won hordes of fans and pointed to the judgmental nature of many of the imagined religious old guard. Dana Carvey, playing the character in drag, succeeded in securing a load of catchphrases and merchandising money along the way. But even as we enjoy a laugh firmly based in our own superiority over the silly and preening nature of the Church Lady, are we missing our own progressive, but equally judgmental, posture?
Some 3,500 people surrendered their U.S. citizenship last year – a record beating even the previous year’s highest-ever number. Those asked routinely cited the considerable expansion of government and taxation as the reason for their decision to depart. Hmmm. In the meantime, U.S. companies are eyeing the relocation of their corporate operations to some foreign land as they intentionally seek a more attractive regulatory and financial environment in which to remain internationally competitive (a practice called inversion). Hmmm, again.
Bitter with the embarrassing departures, Mr. Obama has been joined by a number of moralizing church ladies in scolding the erstwhile once Americans as somehow anti-American. Aren’t they behaving in an anti-American fashion by definition? “God bless America, but another choice is better for me.” Regardless of the motivation behind the move, the political aristocracy feels compelled to criticize the moves as immoral. As was the case at the founding of this nation some nearly 250 years ago, folks will gravitate to places where they see the greatest opportunity and away from those they see in decline. Can we blame them?
Should our attention be focused upon the reasons cited for the departure instead of raging at the audacity of their free will? Are we losing our best and brightest? Do we care? Should we?