Friday, July 6, 2012

I still can't find Republicans abroad.

About seven months ago I wrote a post entitled No Republicans in Europe? and wondered why I couldn't find Republicans here. It's not to say that there aren't any Republicans abroad, it's that I generally couldn't find many who weren't over here on a work assignment. A Republican who moves abroad to discover the world is a rare creature indeed. I've met two (that I know of) in six years in Europe.

As it turns out, the groups Republicans Abroad (RA) and Democrats Abroad (DA) are both on Facebook. Apparently, RA was on there almost a year before the DA page. As of this writing, RA has 316 likes with 17 "talking about this" and DA has 14,619 likes with 2,680 "talking about this".  While hardly scientific, the Democrats Abroad group which started later than the Republicans Abroad group has almost 50 times as many members. The DA page is active with lively discussion. The RA page has tumbleweeds.

More to the point, an early post to the RA Facebook page has this interesting post:

No, I am not surprised.

I've actually wondered if Republicans Abroad really exists or if it's just a front organization trying to make the Republicans not look like a bunch of head-in-the-sand isolationists. Here's the Democrats Abroad sign up page. I am not a Democrat, but I joined anyway. The email is sometimes interesting and often useful (particularly when I am alerted to some new tax punishment the US is handing down to expats). The sign up process is simply filling out a form and clicking submit. It's quick, easy, and free.

Here's the Republicans Abroad sign up page, reproduced here in all its glory:


Please Print and fill in the following form:

How Were You Introduced to RA_______________________________________

Name of Spouse__________________
Home Address_____________________________________________________
Country __________________________________________________________
Home Telephone:________________
Email address:_____________________
Office Address ____________________________________________________
Office Telephone: ______________________ Office Fax: ___________________
Please Send Info to (Tick one) ______ Home ________ Office
City and State of Last Registered Voting District __________________________
Spouse – City and State__________________________________________
I am a US Citizen _______ Yes ____________No
Membership Categories
Presidential $ 5000 ________ Envoy $250___________
Ambassador $1000 _________ Sponsor $100____________
Diplomat $500 __________ International $50__________
I Am Willing to Help Republicans Abroad With:
Membership_____ Fundraising Special Events______
Mailings_____ Newsletters/Websites___ Voter Registration _____
State Liaison ___ Public Events ________ College Liaison _______
Credit Card Number____________________________ Card type amex/visa/mastercard
Expiry Date_____________
Please print and send this form, along with your Cheque in US Dollars Made Payable to:
Republicans Abroad International, 2445 M Street, NW, Suite 3103, Washington, DC 20037

Is this thing a joke? The minimum you can pay is $50? And what's that for? A month? A year? Lifetime? And you have to print out the form and mail it? This is positively hostile to getting people to sign up. That might be the point.

I see there's a small amount of activity on the French RA page and I wish I could have attended that dinner they mentioned. It would be interesting to find out if Republicans in Europe are anti-science and global warming deniers as their counterparts back in the US.


  1. Pretty pricey isn't it?

    Of the Americans I know in France (not a representative sample, mind you, but I do get around to some interesting places :-) I'd say the split is around 50-50. Really. Lot of the retiree and small business owners/consultants tend to swing conservative. I'm one of those conservatives and I do tend to vote Republican in the US. No, I'm not anti-science or a global warming denier but then most of my Republican friends in the U.S. aren't those things either.

    Why is it so hard to find Republicans in Europe? Well, I'd say that the vast majority of Americans I've met on this continent aren't really "joiners". Most of my compatriots here aren't hooked into any organization. They are NOT members of AARO, ACA, Democrats/Repubs abroad, they don't go to the American church here or visit the American library or other such things. Mostly, they just want to be left alone. :-)

    My .02.

    1. I find it surprising that you have found such a split. Not only have I noted very few Republicans, I've asked many other Americans in Europe about this and they say the same thing. Why your experience has been so unique, I can't say, but it certainly seems to be an outlier.

      That being said, the one thing I can't seem to find anywhere are actual studies that track US expatriates political affiliation. Have you seen any?

    2. Haven't found a darn thing, Curtis, and I did look. Arun over at Arun with a View was asking similar questions.

      Just for fun - do you know the story behind winning the vote for Americans Abroad many decades ago? It was a Republican, Barry Goldwater, who convinced the president. Gerald Ford, to sign into law, the Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act in 1976. Goldwater's message to the White House was “Listen, you damned fools, there are more Republicans in Paris than there are in Detroit, and Ford doesn’t want to be the first president since the Reconstruction to veto a voting-rights bill." Personally, I think this is still true....:-)

    3. Victoria, that's a lovely story.

      If it was true that there were more Republicans in Paris than Detroit, then does this make Goldwater one of the last politicians to pass a law about expats that was based on actual information? :)

  2. In a expat fair in Amsterdam, last year I think, there were booths for the Republican party and for the Democrats.

    I was surprised to see US political parties' booths in Amsterdam, but I didn't notice any of them getting more attendance than the other.

    But yes, they were in opposite sides of the fair, as far way from each other as possible.

  3. I think it's about what your circle is. In my time in London my work circle was most certainly a left leaning bunch. However, the private school circle was the polar opposite. I'd have to guess that was far > 50% registered republican

    1. Thanks entirely possible, Mark. You've mentioned this before, in relation to bankers, I believe. So this makes twice now that you imply that the Republicans are the ones with plenty of money. I'll leave it to others to guess what that might imply :)

    2. I forgot to point out that this again suggests an obvious question: are the people involved people who moved over to Europe because they accepted a transfer with their company? Those who do that are (from what I have read) generally more likely to be there temporarily and definitely fit a different demographic from those moving to another country with the specific intent of experiencing another culture. Take me, for example. I could get a very large pay raise if I were to move to San Francisco, New York, or several other places in the US. Instead, I made a choice to experience different cultures.

    3. Was banking and consular staff, so IMHO not only a money issue. Regardless of money it's a pretty big commitment to pick up and move your entire family to another country. If anything those of us who've actually moved overseas with spouse, children, animals, cars and sold houses - requiring at least 1 40' container, are fairly committed. You have to want to do it and it is not for everyone

  4. There is another group worth mentioning here: retired U.S. military. I saw this more in Asia than in Europe. Servicemen who married Japanese, Korean, Philippino ladies and who decided to settle down in the wife's country as opposed to coming back to the States. Knew quite a few of them in Japan - the fellow who runs Good Day books in Tokyo is, I believe, ex-Navy, Same for my dentist, Tom Ward. Another fellow who was in my MBA class at Temple University Japan graduated and then he sent me an email saying he was going stateside to run a political campaign for a local Republican in Connecticut. Just before I left he held a going away party for me at one of the military clubs in Tokyo (oh do I have some great stories about that evening). Robert Kaplan in his book, also mention an ex-serviceman living in Thailand who has became an important liaison between the U.S. and Thai militaries. I've heard similar stories about large numbers of ex-servicemen living in South America though I don't have any hard data about them.

    And, yes, for the most part the guys I know are pretty staunch conservatives.

  5. I live and worked in the US 30 years. Became a dual citizen. At age 70 I came back to my country of origin. My life has become a nightmare trying to comply with the US Treasury and IRS. Looking back, becoming an US citizen was a trap.