The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 16 – To Kava-No or To Kava-Yes: Kavanaugh-ing at the Nation’s Heels
September 8, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is happening in American politics now?
Rick Rosner: Right now, as we speak, we are towards the end of the hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This is a day after the New York Times op-ed from an anonymous Trump staffer came out accusing him of being crazy and incompetent.
Two days after excerpts from the Bob Woodward book of Trump being crazy and incompetent came out. The Trumps are complicit in not going after Trump’s White House. Because they are getting some of what they want, which is tax cuts.
It is a Supreme Court justice who would get rid of Roe v. Wade. It is the abortion precedence that lets women get abortions. Anyway, it feels like a moment of national peril. There is no accountability for corrupt and crazy national level politics.
It feels, to me, worse than 9/11. The fate of America is jeopardy because 19 terrorists crashed 4 planes. It was a brutal attack and horrific. But it didn’t threaten the overall political structure of the country.
You could argue where we are now, politically, in part comes from those attacks. But those attacks didn’t threaten to topple the government of America. If you look at other moments, as you work your way back into moments of national peril, the Watergate crisis in 1974.
I was 13/14. Things felt weird. But they didn’t feel like the country was in jeopardy. If you go to the Cuban missile crisis as part of the Cold War, it felt as if we might have a nuclear war. That feels like an extended moment of national peril.
Is it better or worse than our current moment? It is hard to tell. WWII with the Pearl Harbor attack. I would think within a few months after the attack, when we started winning; things didn’t start out great for us, but it became more apparent and turned out that we had the might to prevail in that war.
If you go back to the Depression, where people fear that there might be a socialist revolution in the country, WWI, it didn’t feel that perilous to the US. Our participation was largely voluntary, making the world safe for democracy.
You could make the argument that this is a moment of greatest national peril since the Civil War. The Civil War definitely endangered the union. I am not sure anything since has really endangered the political structure of the United States that we’re used to and have benefitted from for centuries, which leads us to the question of people reasonably asking, “Do I want to continue living in America?”
It is not too soon to ask the question. It might be too soon to be pulling the trigger. There were trends in Germany of rising fascism, anti-semitism, from the beginning of the Depression onward.
The Depression was worse in Germany than in America; it was plenty bad here. With Hitler coming into power in 1933 and vying for power earlier than that, you had plenty of people, hundreds of thousands, asking if it was time to get the fuck out of Germany in the early 30s.
Then they were asking with more urgency in 1936/37 with kristallnacht, which was 1937, I think. People who didn’t ask the question soon enough, didn’t get out soon enough, got slaughtered. The later you left, the more assets you had to turn over to the Nazis.
If you were a late leaver in 1938, you got out of Germany with, maybe, nothing or didn’t get out, if you were a Jew or some other persecuted minority. I don’t know if I would put the situation in America at 1934 or even 1933. But it is definitely 1932 in 2018 in America.
It is time to ask, “Is leaving a real possibility? And how do you do it?” You can make it a more general question related to the quality of life, which includes the length of life. Even if America’s politics get fixed, we are still a nation seeded with 400 million guns.
It is still more probable to get shot in America than any other developed country. Our medical system is still not going to be the best in the world. Our life expectancy is still going to be lower than a lot of other developed countries.
There are plenty of countries where you can live an ultra-modern, ultra-hip lifestyle should you choose to do it. But there are a lot of countries where the average level of technology for its citizens is much more advanced with a population more pro-science and pro-technology.
Estonia is trying to turn itself into the most modern, high-tech nation. There are places in America where your dollars will go further. You can buy a really nice house in an Oklahoma panhandle for under $1,000.
There are plenty of questions you can ask yourself, which people do not usually ask, that pertain to whether you should consider moving out of America or not. One of them is if you want to live longer.
But once you asked the question and would consider moving elsewhere, then you have to look at if it is possible. My wife and I have done a little bit of looking. We are in the very, very preliminary stages.
Off the top of my head based on sloppy research, there are plenty of countries where you can move to and get residency status as an investor if you are willing to bring half of a million bucks with you (and are willing to invest that money in an enterprise in that country).
The US has a deal like that. If you are from China and want it, it takes about a million bucks to get US residency through investment. It is a special visa. I would guess that most countries that you would want to live in and a lot that you might not want to live in would offer that kind of deal if you are willing to invest money.
It doesn’t mean giving them money, necessarily; it means risking losing money in an investment or enterprise. If you start a business in a country with a minimum investment of half of a million bucks, they will offer residency, e.g., maybe Romania.
Some countries offer citizenship based on the ancestry. If you have parents or grandparents or great-grandparents from certain countries, but I have not researched this for all countries in the world, then you may be able to jump through some hoops and gain citizenship in a country based on your ancestry.
If you get citizenship from a country in the EU, then that means you’re a citizen of the entire EU. It makes you a citizen of like 20 different countries. There is also the idea of millions of people doing this in America – moving to a country temporarily and then overstaying your visa. I have not looked into this.
I would assume this is something people do not only in America. I do not know how long you could stay in, by simply sneaking around – or hiring a lawyer and working to get residency or citizenship once you’re there.
But I assume that is a strategy some people follow. All this being said. America in 2018 is vastly different from Germany in 1932. For one thing, we have more than 5 times the population of Germany in 1932.
We have more than ten times the land area. It might be more like 20 times. There are more places to hide. We also have the terrible example of what happened in Germany in WWII. It serves as a partial inoculation against fascism.
Because we have seen what can happen. But it is not an unreasonable question to ask. It is not an impossible thing to move to another country.
One more thing, there is also the brave thing of sticking around in America and working to fix it. It is also slightly different from Germany 1932 because people didn’t know exactly what they were trying to avoid or fix. We have a clearer idea.
We do not know exactly what the future holds, but we do not want to turn into Germany 1938/40/42.
Jacobsen: The end.
Rosner: Thank you.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
 Four format points for the session article:
- Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
- Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
- Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
- This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.
For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:
- American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from http://www.lib.sfu.ca/system/files/28281/APA6CitationGuideSFUv3.pdf.
- Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from http://www.msvu.ca/site/media/msvu/Transcription%20Guide.pdf.
License and Copyright
In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com and www.rickrosner.org.
© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.