A light in the dark

Shaylyn McMahon, NEW COLUMNIST


You know that feeling you get when you’re watching a scary movie, and the villain is about to do something bad, and no one in the movie knows, but you do because you’re on the outside watching in, and you really want to do something about it, like yell “HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!” but it’s useless because they won’t hear you anyways?

That’s how I feel watching the U.S. presidential election.

I don’t want to get into how I feel about Donald Trump, but I do want to talk about Canada’s role in this election. Many Canadians, myself included, have sat back and watched the horror that is the U.S. election unravel, shaking our heads, cringing and laughing it off.

But we have nothing to worry about because it’s not our prime minister, right? Wrong.

The relationship between Canada and the U.S. is too tight for us to sit back and watch.

Canada and the U.S. are the world’s largest trading partners, and they have at least 50 joint federal arrangements regarding the environment and its conservation. Four hundred thousand people cross the Canada-U.S. border every day for work or vacation, according to the Canadian government.

The relationship between Canada and the U.S. enhances our economy, our planet and our daily lives. On its website, the Canadian government calls the U.S. “Canada’s most important security and defence partner.”

Our most important security and defence partner.

This is the scariest movie I’ve seen where I haven’t felt more frustrated to be helpless.

But now, thanks to a Canadian marketing firm, we can join the debate. The Garden, based in Toronto, started a campaign playing on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The campaign encourages Canadians to show America’s positive qualities by making YouTube videos or tweeting messages using #tellamericaitsgreat.

“The election has exposed some pretty scary realities that will likely challenge them for years to come, regardless of who’s elected,” The Garden writes in a post on Medium.

They want to help Americans feel better about their country.

This is one of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen. I doubt it will have a real effect on the election’s results, but it can’t hurt, right? If our economy, environment and safety is affected by this election, we should do everything we can to help.

And if that means sending a tweet to a worried American to help them face the bully, we should.

Please, if you have the time and you’re on Twitter, use #tellamericaitsgreat and make someone feel better about the situation they’re in.

I know if a man like Trump—who blames a whole religion for terrorism and brags about grabbing women sexually—was running for prime minister in Canada, I’d need some support from my neighbours down south.


Shaylyn McMahon is an aspiring communications professional, 

an avid coffee drinker and a wannabe world explorer. 

She’d rather be cuddling her cat at any given moment,

and if you can’t see her, you can probably hear her laugh.

Follow her on Twitter @ShaylynMcMahon.