Saying – American

vote with one’s feet

– you don’t like something, so leave

My informant said that she first heard the term while reading a political blog about the current White House administration. The term was used as a pun, both as a critique of America’s dependence on fossil fuels. The writer scorned automobiles and advocated using bikes or public transport as an improved mode of transportation. The writer also wanted  mock of the current political situation by saying that he was going to move to Canada. The writer would be criticizing the American government by moving to another country, thus voting with one’s feet.

Another instance of voting with one’s feet would be people that take action against social injustice.  Protesting can be seen as voting with one’s feet and trying to make a difference by action rather than simply writing letters, because unfortunately it sometimes takes greater measures to get the attention of the media and political officials.  People like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. were not really encouraged  to voice their opinion, so instead they chose to take action.

I asked the informant whether she would ever use the saying in colloquial speech. She said that the saying was effective in this particular instance, but since usage of the term is not widespread by any definition, she remarked that using this phrase would attract too much attention to herself.