So in lights of last night’s U.S. election, I’ve been seeing a few kinds of reactions on social media:

  1. Have we tried turning America off and turning it back on again?
  2. *velociraptor screech*
  3. People genuinely scared for their lives now that american bigots have seen their bigotry vindicated.
  5. *muffled chants of USA! USA!*
  6. Well, time to pack and move to Canada.

Now, I’m honestly conflicted about this. On the one hand, I don’t believe people should be forced to stay in a country where their human rights are being violated and they are victims of hate crimes (which is likely to happen to women and minorities under a Trump presidency). On the other hand, the angry, vindictive part of me just wants to shove America’s face in this election’s results like you force a dog to smell it’s poop after it shat on the carpet; you made your bed, now lie in it. No one made you elect him.

And I realize that I’m mostly angry at Trump voters, and third-party voters, and people who couldn’t be bothered to vote; but I’m also angry at Americans who think of Canada like a convenient cottage you can just move to when life gets too stressful back home. You hear it all the time: “Gay marriage is legal – we’re moving to Canada!” “Hillary won the nomination – we’re moving to Canada!” “They want to take our guns – we’re moving to Canada!” (Newsflash – marriage equality has been the law in Canada for over 10 years now, and our gun laws are far more restrictive than in most states. But you didn’t consider that, because in your head Canada’s not a sovereign country so much as that friendly neighbour whose couch you can crash on when you’re too drunk to find your own keys.)

So, you know what? If you really want to, move to Canada. Cross the border, get a visa, apply for citizenship, wait a few years, take the oath. You might be able to get a job fairly easily, you might not. Your taxes will be different, and depending on where you want to live you might have to learn French. Oh, and leave your guns at the door – unless you want to go through all the trouble of getting them registered and legally crossing the border. Accept that you have a queen now, and two cute little royal children. Accept that there are two official languages, and weird ethnic and racial tensions that will feel very different to you. Start saying First Nations instead of Indians. Prepare to have neighbours who believe in global warming and evolution. Learn our history (and all the times you tried to invade us). Eat a real poutine. Understand that this is not your country. We are not your back yard; we are not your “reset” button.

If you want to be Canadian? Come on over, you’re more than welcome. But if you just want to turn this country into a mini-United-States, don’t even bother; we can see how that experiment turned out and we don’t want it.

You want to be American? You already made your bed. Go lie in it.