COLUMN: Trump one year later; what are you doing?

It’s been a year now since Donald Trump officially took over the White House, and people far and wide have been lamenting 2017 as one of the worst in U.S. history.

From a humanitarian perspective, the United States has regressed to the point of embarrassment. Trump’s misogynism, his racist outbursts, and his lack of empathy towards those in times of need (particularly those who aren’t Caucasian) is as “unpresidential” as anything most of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes.

But what can we, as Canadians, do about it?

We can certainly complain about it. Rarely does a day go by on my personal Facebook feed without seeing someone in my circle of friends rant about No. 45’s latest tweet, or most recent gaffe. Of course, The Donald offers plenty of fodder in that regard.

But, other than ranting, is there anything tangible we can do?

My wife and I think so.

Erica and I have made a pact to stay out of the United States for as long as Donald Trump is president. Whether that’s another three years, or, heaven forbid, another seven, we vow to keep to this side of the border.

You could say we’ve built our own wall.

There have already been some adjustments to be made as a result of our commitment. We were planning to travel to Bend, Oregon, in 2018, for a reunion of high school friends. Bend was selected because one of my long-time friends now lives there, with his wife.

There were supposed to be four couples at this reunion. Now there are three.

We estimate that we would have spent in the neighbourhood of $2,000 during the two-week trip.

Money is the biggest concern to a capitalist country like the United States. It’s all about the Benjamins down there. If that wasn’t clear prior to the 2016 election, it was made abundantly clear during the election campaign of both parties – perhaps even more so in Hillary Clinton’s corner. (Would Bernie Sanders have won the support of the Democratic Party, had he been a multi-millionaire?)

Need more proof that money is the be-all-and-end-all south of the 49th? Listen to Trump supporters. Their biggest boast is how the U.S. economy is recovering – some would say booming – since The Donald took over (even though critics and economists alike point out that Trump should not take nearly as much credit for that turnaround as he has been).

And if money is their biggest concern, stop giving them yours.

Now, I realize that our $2,000 is not going to make a sniff of difference to the United States. But here’s the thing: what if we all did it? What if everyone who has taken the time to gripe about the United States on Facebook in the past year actually stopped going there?

The number of Canadians who visit the United States each year is staggering.

According to Stats Canada, – more than 19 million Canadians visited the United States in 2016, spending just shy of $19 billion.

Yes, a good portion of those trips would have been business excursions. So let’s break it down even further, by looking at the most likely vacation-oriented trips taken.

Looking at the statistics for only the states of Florida, Nevada, California and Hawaii, 7.35 million Canadians spent $9.8 billion in 2016.

Sadly, many of my friends complaining about Trump are among those statistics.

Well, not us.

In fact, that could be the name of the movement. Not Us.

Not the U.S.

#NOTUS.

It even works as a clever pun on the acronym for the President of the United States: POTUS.

Imagine if even two per cent of Canadians pledged to stay away from the United States for the next three years.

That would account for more than a $1 billion hit to the U.S. economy over the next three years.

Ten per cent? That would be nearly $2 billion a year!

A pipe dream? Yes, I know it is. But isn’t that how most great things start?

Sure. Call me a snowflake. I can handle that. After all, every avalanche starts with a single snowflake.

Join us.

#NOTUS

Terry Farrell is the editor of the Comox Valley Record

Just Posted

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

CVRD to decide on opening meetings with recognition of Indigenous territory

The board of directors will vote on the recommendation on Feb. 27

Salty situation for dog walkers at Millard Creek

The City of Courtenay is hoping to quickly resolve an icy situation… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Railway discussions continue

Passenger service ceased since 2011

Questions raised over B.C. NDP’s childcare budget plan

Advocates concerned how to fill 22,000 new spaces for early childhood educators

B.C. family first to receive reimbursement for life-altering arthritis drug

Effective medication used to treat rare form of juvenile arthritis costs $19,000 a month

VIDEO: Island family builds eight-foot igloo in front of home

Sunday snowfall on the mid-Island leads to all-day family activity

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

IIO: Kamloops RCMP did not have to report shooting

The IIO is not investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kamloops in 2017

Most Read