Dear Americans: Don’t Come to Canada

Note: this op-ed does not reflect the views or political stance of the Center for Development and Strategy. CDS is strictly a non-partisan, non-profit think tank solely dedicated to the thought, research, and discovery of solutions for decision-makers.

By David Harary

I’ve been living in Canada for over a year now. The stereotypes are true – it’s a wonderful country. Canadians are exuberantly welcoming folks and are caring on a very personal level. Furthermore, Canadian politics are rife with politeness and collaborative discussion. This is of course opposite to the quite hostile brand of state affairs found not too far south. Canada is seen as the liberal, utopian step-brother to America.

It’s easy to understand why Canada’s immigration website crashed early Wednesday morning. Donald Trump’s form of politics has been hostile to all things valued by liberals. But in just six months, I’ll be returning to the U.S., and I’m carrying a big stick.

With this incoming administration, it’s going to take a lot more than policymakers to fight critical issues like climate change. And it’s going to take more than activists to fight policymakers. It’s going to take active engagement, discussion, debate, and yes – argument, to prevent drastic negative change from happening. For the last eight years, bureaucrats have spoken softly in private meetings. And what happened? An absolute rejection of science, policy, and resource management by right-wing leaders. This strategy clearly did not work for the democratic party.

We need to pick ourselves back up. From our own ashes, we can rise up by working together with passion and energy. Those who don’t have this fire will have to get out of the way. Ardent dedication to these causes is needed. And that’s why millennials are so important to this fight.

The most important issue in this election was climate change. If we don’t act now on climate, the national security of our children will be at further risk. Food and water will become harder to access and conflict will break out as a result. ISIS, for example, has been able to grow so rapidly because of massive drought in Syria and Iraq. And these security risks are just one of the many effects climate change will have. Our economy is dependent on our environment. And we just voted to trash our planet even more. The irony is that Donald Trump’s platform is built on securitizing America, yet he is ignorant to the the basic science of climate change. Therefore, Americans will need to fight back against this administration in order to secure our basic resources for future generations.

This election will bring a major shift to our nation’s government. It will force us to re-think our strategies in order to fight for the causes we believe in. Because if we don’t, our world will be faced with an increased risk for instability. Collaboration and cooperation has always been a core virtue in democracy. But with a republican-led House, Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court, progressive values will barely have a voice. Especially when it comes to decision-making. We must therefore take a new approach towards affecting change. Simply put, a game plan with sharper teeth.

We need to pick ourselves back up. From our own ashes, we can rise up by working together with passion and energy. Those who don’t have this fire will have to get out of the way. Ardent dedication to these causes is needed. And that’s why millennials are so important to this fight.

We can do this not by deserting to Canada, but by staying in America, where we are needed most. We need to mobilize and argue for our causes stronger than ever. If we sit on the sidelines, we’ll lose even more ground. So let’s fight.

 


David Harary is the Executive Director of the Center for Development and Strategy and a graduate student at the University of Toronto. He has previously worked with NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was listed as a Top 30 Under 30 Leader in Sustainability by Corporate Knights in 2016. David holds a bachelor’s in Economics and Geography and International Trade from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

 

 

  • Alan Holbrook

    I don’t necessarily agree with all your points, but you’re the first voice of reason I’ve heard since the election who obviously understands how a democracy works. Don’t rant about the machine, work to change the machine. That’s why in many countries the party out of power is called the ‘loyal opposition’. And it might also help to recall that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were just about as far apart politically as they could be,but they were very good friends.

    • Todd Katz

      …a basic understanding of how our simultaneously stunted (e.g. an Electoral College as it persists) and ever evolving (e.g. REDMAP and Maptitude GIS) system of democracy actually works would be a perfect starting place — would you care to take on facilitating that understanding amongst the politically ignorant millions who inhabit our beloved nation. Mr. Holbrook?