At Starbucks in Canada, I say “no room” to get a full cup of coffee. Canadians say “black” when they want a full cup. At that point, the barista knows I’m American. With all the rest of my slang and accent, most other Canadians know too. When I have conversations in public, it’s usually only a couple of minutes before I’m asked about Donald Trump.

At first, the questions are reserved and respectful just in case I’m a Trump supporter. When I reply that I honestly have no answer for why he’s taken over politics in the United States, I see their sense of relief when they realize I’m no fan of Trump’s. In fact, I’ve never met even one Canadian who is fond of Trump’s persona or policies. Having lived in Canada since 2008, I know and talk with a lot of Canadians.

For the first six years here, while raising my son who was born in Toronto, I haven’t really felt any different from anyone else, besides my accent. That is, until Trump came along.

Starting on the day he announced his candidacy, my interactions with Canadians changed. Now I’m continuously asked, “What do you think about Trump and the underbelly of the U.S. that he’s exposed?” I feel like I’m part of some website called AskMeAboutTrump.com, as if I’m some official on the subject just because I’m American.

Clerks at the grocery store often hear my accent and ask, “Who is that Trump guy causing all the problems down in the states?” Or, “Why is he alienating the rest of the world with his isolationist rhetoric?” But my election weariness came to a head when my son’s teacher came right out and asked who I’m voting for, while clearly having an expectation of a correct answer.

Here in Canada, I often hear what a joke Canadians think Trump is. That feeling was amplified when my son came home from school and asked, “Who is this Trump everyone is laughing at and making fun of in my class?” My son was in second grade at the time. When he saw a Trump wig at the costume store he asked me to be Trump for Halloween because he and his friends look at him like such a clown — I declined.

As an American living in Canada, at times I’m disappointed and embarrassed of U.S. politics. I am still, however, a very proud American. At sporting events, I always stand during our national anthem. I’ve literally kissed the ground after returning from some of my world travels because I’m so thankful to be an American. Now, I just want my country back from all the political nonsense of this election.

In my interactions with Canadians today, I say that I’ll file my absentee ballot at the U.S. Embassy here in Toronto and that I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton: emails, poor trustworthiness, health issues and all. It feels like I’m doing my part to combat the negativity and alienation of Trump’s campaign.

Canadians are some of the nicest people in the world, not to mention important allies to the U.S. I feel bad that they’re so fearful and concerned with the politics they see south of the border. I just tell them, “Don’t worry, Americans will do the right thing.” Then I say my prayers and keep my fingers crossed for Americans and Canadians alike that we do what is right.

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Steven Manganello is a freelance advertisement writer living in Canada. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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