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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read