My New Year’s Resolution? Move to Canada


peapod
#1
I don’t recognize my America any more. But be careful broadcasting your feelings.

It didn’t happen overnight. I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the political and social values of America ever since the ascension of King George the Unelected back in 2000. Somewhere in the wee hours of November 3rd, 2004, I realized that America was no longer the country that I have loved and believed in all my life. I don’t know how to explain it. The voters in this country seem to be suffering from sort of mass delusion.

This time, George W. Bush was actually elected by a majority of the voters. Here is a man who has failed miserably at everything he has ever done. That is not my opinion. It is established fact. Here is a man who has lied shamelessly over and over again to the American public. That is not my opinion. It is established fact. Here is a man who has managed to make America hated by half the world and held in contempt by the other half. That is not my opinion. It is established fact.

I don’t want to be tarred with that brush. I have consistently opposed the policies that have resulted in this sad state of affairs. It makes me very uncomfortable to call myself an American.

My family came to this country in the early 1600s. My direct ancestor wrote the words to the American national anthem. I am a Vietnam veteran, a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Until this last election, I couldn’t imagine anything that would make me leave the land I love so much.

Back to Old Testament

Rather than trying to understand why we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, we have sought to exact an Old Testament vengeance. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave us all blind and toothless. Instead of making America safer, the Bush administration has created a whole new generation of terrorists even more bent on the destruction of this country. I don’t know of a single American who feels safer today than they did before Sept. 11.

This is the predictable result of an administration that cynically played on the fears of Americans in order to get elected. Manipulating the electorate by using fear is so shamefully un-American that I felt I could no longer live with what we have become.

Anyone who thinks that this decision was taken lightly simply doesn’t understand the situation. This isn’t about petulance over having been outvoted. This is about being unable to accept what I see as a betrayal of the values America’s founders stood for. It is not comfortable for me to be identified with a country that does not reflect my political and social values. Canada reflects those values, so I made my choice.

Going public

When I expressed those sentiments to my Canadian friend Dave Pollard, he encouraged me to post them on the Moving to Canada, Eh? Weblog. Little did I know what an impact that would have.

Somehow, CBC picked up on my comments and contacted me. They asked if I would be willing to go live on The National and explain myself. Knowing that it would not be seen by most Americans, I agreed. So I got my first few minutes of fame on The National on November 29. It was an honor to participate in that program.

As a journalist who got his start in television, I knew that it would not be an in-depth examination of the issues. Television, by its very nature, is superficial. CBC is not as guilty of this as its American counterparts, but it is still guilty. I had about two minutes to explain what is taking me much longer in print. Despite the limitations, I got nothing but positive feedback from my many Canadian friends and from the few Americans who saw the broadcast.

There were other repercussions, however. I live in a very quiet middle American neighborhood. Norman Rockwell would have painted this street if he was still alive. Having a CBC satellite truck parked in my driveway for several hours caused more excitement than this neighborhood was ready to handle. There was a lot of gossip, most of which was unfounded. One of my neighbors, upon seeing Canadians in the ‘hood, made a point of hanging out his American flag.

Americans have a notable incapacity for reading and understanding history. When I was growing up, this country discriminated against African Americans. I am proud to have marched for civil rights in my younger days. Now, gays, lesbians and transgenders are the new ******s. Americans seem to have some deep seated need to feel superior to someone. When I was growing up, it was blacks. Now it is those who do not fit into our narrow definitions of gender.

In the recent election, 11 states voted to outlaw gay marriage. Canada’s Supreme Court just voted to legalize gay marriage. Which country represents freedom and tolerance? Which country puts human rights above religious belief?

What NBC did with me

Back to the media circus. Some researcher at NBC saw my appearance on CBC and asked if I would be willing to speak my piece on their nightly newscast. This represented a serious dilemma for me. I am editor of a monthly business magazine. Obviously, a wild-eyed radical. I have gone to extreme lengths not to let my political beliefs affect how I report the news.

If you know anything about American business, you will realize that the majority of my readers are conservative Republicans. I explained this to NBC and said that I didn’t want to compromise my journalistic credibility by expressing my political beliefs on the air. They said they understood and agreed to call me Charles Key in their piece.

Small favor. I suggested they call me by that name because it is my first name. I hate the name and never use it. I go by Christopher, my middle name. I doubt that it will do much to hide my identity from my readers. So be it. I may have burned my bridges. NBC’s piece aired last Friday. They fixated on my relationship to my ancestor who wrote the national anthem. It was even more superficial than the CBC piece.

The NBC correspondent asked me if I somehow felt like a traitor to my nation. I responded that if I am a traitor, so were the founding fathers of America. They left a political system that they could no longer believe in and founded a nation based on different values. They were traitors to the British Empire.

If I am a traitor to the American Empire, I can live with that. Fortunately, I don’t have to create another country that reflects my values. There’s a perfectly good one just 30 miles away.

Christopher Key is a journalist living in Bellingham, Washington.
 
missile
#2
Although it was prominent over 50 years ago,the basic elements of McCarthyism are still part of American life Hoping the journalist does emigrate here.
 
LaoWai
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

If I am a traitor to the American Empire, I can live with that. Fortunately, I don’t have to create another country that reflects my values. There’s a perfectly good one just 30 miles away.

Christopher Key is a journalist living in Bellingham, Washington.

Coward.

America is going to hell, and instead of staying and fighting for all it stands for, you want to flee.

If you really value your country and wish to protect it from all enemies who wish to destroy it ("foreign and Domestic"), stand and fight!

Cowards immigrate to Canada.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X didn't immigrate. They spoke out.

Cindy Sheehan is a warrior.

You are a coward.
 
mrmom2
#4
Well you've finaaly posted something i can agree with LaoWai
 
Reverend Blair
#5
It isn't cowardice, LaoWai, it's disgust. We've gained many citizens in this county because of the actions of their governments, Key will just be one more.
 
Ocean Breeze
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by LaoWai

Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

If I am a traitor to the American Empire, I can live with that. Fortunately, I don’t have to create another country that reflects my values. There’s a perfectly good one just 30 miles away.

Christopher Key is a journalist living in Bellingham, Washington.

Coward.

America is going to hell, and instead of staying and fighting for all it stands for, you want to flee.

If you really value your country and wish to protect it from all enemies who wish to destroy it ("foreign and Domestic"), stand and fight!

Cowards immigrate to Canada.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X didn't immigrate. They spoke out.

Cindy Sheehan is a warrior.

You are a coward.

Much as I cannot stand the word "coward"..(and traitor -the way the US uses it )....have to agree to the principle of what you are saying. Running away when things get down and ugly certainly counters " the land of the "BRAVE".....and all that BS.....that is repeated with such fervor in the US. Maybe "Americans "ain't so "brave " after all.........and simply hide behind their military which they keep building up into extravagant proportions.

Maybe the USers will finally cut back on BRAGGING about how ****ing "great" they/and their country is. Gets nauseating after overdosing on it for years. A dose of humility might be in order.
 
GL Schmitt
#7
I don't like hearing the word "Coward!" bandied against people whom the judges have never met.

"Stay and fight!" sounds like a good red-blooded response, as does "How bad can it be?" But when a country makes a sudden drastic change of course, one can find oneself as a stranger in a strange land without moving a step.

In German, in January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor, in February the Reichstag Fire Decree followed and in March the Enabling Act turned that country from what was ostensibly a democratic country into a dictatorship.

By the end of the twelve-year Nazi rule, the question most asked of its victims was, “Why did they not leave when they had the chance?”

This is not to claim that America of today is like Germany of 1933, although some comparisons can be drawn.

What I am clumsily trying to intimate, is this.

Whether one stays to fight that which far too few others perceive as an approaching evil, or whether one turns away from fighting uselessly, should always be left in the hands of the person with his life on the line. Not offered as bystandorial advice from people who are ill-equipt to judge that person’s situation.

This was my opinion when Canada welcomed (?) American draft dodgers during the Vietnam War era, and it remains my opinion today.

If you immigrate to Canada, Christopher: “Welcome!”

If you remain to fight on: “Good luck!”
 
Summer
#8
Now wait a minute, folks.

Both the U.S. and Canada have populations that include an enormous number of people who are descended from immigrants. Immigrants who came to these countries because they felt that their lives would be more satisfying there than in the land of their birth. For some of them, the impetus was economic. For others, perhaps it was due to the pressure of being a religious or ethnic minority in their homeland. For still others, it was a matter of discomfort with the political situation or system of their nation of origin. I doubt for example that any of you would have quibbled over someone who fled 1930's Germany or Soviet-era Russia to live in the U.S. or Canada, would you?

And don't forget that probably most of us on this forum have ancestors who left some other part of the world to come to Canada or the U.S. To denigrate those who would leave their homeland and seek a better life for whatever reason rather than remaining and attempting to make the best of it or to change what may seem unlikely to change from an individual standpoint is to spit on one's own ancestors and their choices.

I was born and raised in the U.S., as were my parents before me. But my grandmother and six of my great-grandparents were immigrants to this land. They all came here because they felt that they, and their children, would be better off in the U.S. than in Europe. The reasons ranged from economic conditions to political views, but the important part is that in the end these individuals reserved the right to vote with their feet and go where they genuinely felt they would get the best sort of life for themselves. I am deeply grateful for their decision, without which I would not have been born.

Having said that, I now would like to make it clear that I reserve to myself the same right and freedom of which my ancestors availed themselves - namely, the right to choose where I would like to live. Since I'm not terribly happy with the U.S. any longer for a variety of cultural, economic and political reasons, there's no real motivation for me to remain here. Like my forebears, I see a place where I feel I would fit in better and would be more satisfied, and I feel there should be no shame for me or for anyone in emigrating to that place. For me, the choice is Canada, a country which I have visited uncounted times since earliest childhood growing up near the border, and for which I feel a deep respect and affinity.

No, this doesn't make me a coward, anymore than the decision to leave Europe made my ancestors - or yours - cowards. It makes me someone who has taken the reins of her own destiny at whatever cost may be incurred.

It's called "personal freedom".
 
wannabecanadian
#9
Here here, Summer!

With all that's going on in the US, most of which isn't being honestly talked about in the news or by the watercooler, there are a lot of Americans who are feeling left out, disconnected from a country they used to know and feel comfortable in. I am one of those people who can no longer relate to the environment of my country, and who feels like a stranger at home. If you haven't experienced it before, please don't judge it. We don't generally judge those who want to immigrate from impoverished nations, or from countries which have little to offer or which hold their own citizens hostage under strict codes of religion or backwards facing politics . We are not used to thinking about the US in these terms, and people still apologize when they compare Bush to Hitler, or when they joke that ours has become a totalitarian government. I'm not so sure these accusations are that far off base.

My mother immigrated to the US from Germany, having been born during the war and growing up with the destruction and hopelessness in the aftermath. Does she view me as a traitor for seeking a better life for my own family? She is in fact so disgusted with the policies and lies of the "land of freedom" she chose some 50 years ago, she'd make the move north herself if she were able.

In fact, I do not see myself as a Bush refugee, as I'd made the decision years ago to immigrate to Canada. However, given the state of the country--and the direction it is headed--more and more Americans are going to feel disconnected here, and a few of them are going to search for a place they feel represented in. As Summer pointed out, most of us (or our ancestors) came to North America from somewhere else, and that's what has made Canada the wonderful, diverse country it is today.
 
PoisonPete2
#10
People make personal decisions about where they want to live, and under what Laws. It may be as fundemental as: loosing the chains of slavery, fleeing religious repression, seeking safety from bombs, rape, torture, or endless detention; or as philisophical as being out of step with your society, opposing political decisions, or avoiding military service; or as esoteric as wanting to feel a sea of changes, needing a change of scene, or answering the call of the wild.

It is just incredibly freeing to be able to move to Canada.

My people moved here some 10,000 years ago and have since, stood on the shore in welcome of new arrivals.

It would be good if you could leave your disputes and prejudice behind. Celebrate who you are in the context of where you are. And please DON'T LITTER!
 
peapod
#11
Ditto on the here here summer. Totally refreshing some of these yanks :P
 
Summer
#12


I get told all the time by my Canadian friends that I "think like a Canadian", so I anticipate feeling much more at home once we move there. Can't wait.....
 
Finder
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Summer



I get told all the time by my Canadian friends that I "think like a Canadian", so I anticipate feeling much more at home once we move there. Can't wait.....

49% of the USA thinks like Canadians. Then Again you could say 51% of the USA thinks like Albertian's. lol.
 
Summer
#14
Nah.... not voting for Bush isn't thinking like a Canadian. It's just thinking, period.
 
Ocean Breeze
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Summer

Nah.... not voting for Bush isn't thinking like a Canadian. It's just thinking, period.

 

Similar Threads

10
looking to move to canada from uk
by pinkprincess123 | Jan 26th, 2010
88
Where to move to in Canada
by sensualspirit | May 19th, 2009
no new posts