Thank you Canadians

By Em - October 22, 2016

It is not always easy to be an American.

This election is proof of that.  Unfortunately, I have been a bit disheartened by the way my country is laughed at by other travelers.  Travelers coming from affluent countries all over the world.  

Laughter is important.  I crack jokes often, and laugh as much as I can.  Making light of stressful situations is an understandable coping mechanism.  But treating the election of a major world power like a joke is only adding to the problem, not doing anything to solve it.  I am happy to say that the people I know and love do not make fun of people from other countries when they are going through difficult times.

This election is awful.  It's disgusting and painful.  

And it isn't going to go away by playing a drinking game while watching the debates.  Or making Trump joke after Clinton joke after Trump joke.  The election is imminent.  And it isn't funny anymore.

The best comedians are the ones who make fun of themselves.  I think the world could take this to heart in the next few weeks, rather than kicking a divided country while it's down.

I am tired of America being the butt of so many jokes.  It isn't always easy to be an American.  I am comfortable, and far more comfortable than the majority of the people in the world, but no one likes a bully.  I don't like my country being laughed at by people from countries that enjoy universal health care and free or inexpensive higher education, higher minimum wages, months of vacation time, longer paid maternity leave and even incentives to travel.  There are quite a few luxuries enjoyed by those who like to call my country a joke that I do not personally have as an American.

And I find it immensely frustrating.  Not funny.  My country has problems.  Quite a few.  But so do all countries.  When I talk to affluent travelers about the problems in my country, I tend to be in for a string of jokes about our election.  I wouldn't mind some insight, advice or encouragement instead.  More often than not, I hear American travelers apologizing for the USA.

I do not want to apologize for my country to people from countries who have it better than I do.  That would be too heavy of a weight on my shoulders.  And I am trying to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

So I would really love to thank Canada for this ad campaign, helping me to feel a little less alienated by the rest of the world.

Thank you Canadians.  Our country is going through a tough time, and your words of encouragement are helping me to remember that yes, America is great.  We have our work cut out for us, and the whole world knows it, but you are helping to stand with us, rather than laugh and turn away.

So, thank you for being the best neighbors ever..  I'd be happy to have you over for a backyard barbecue.

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