I’m Grateful for the Privilege of Dual Citizenship

Living in two different countries can inform your political and personal views

(Thomas Buecking)

I am a dual citizen in Canada and the United States, having lived in the States throughout my childhood and in Canada throughout my adulthood. As I expand my passion for journalism, I gain more and more interest in the topics of politics and social issues.

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, it was a complete shock to me, as it was the beginning of my country becoming divided — especially for my family. I never used to bring politics into my family relationships, but when Trump became president, I found out that some of my family members approved of his political views. During that time, it was very difficult to push aside our differences due to the extreme beliefs Trump had advocated for.

I remember in high school when students and teachers voiced their concerns about how Trump’s election would affect our country. Due to the fact that I was also American, many of my friends came to me and asked how I felt about the election. I felt like I had to be the “spokesperson” for Americans to explain any possible reasons for why Trump was voted into power.

My family was never big into politics until Trump was elected. Now, we are always staying up to date with the recent media coverage about what he has said on Twitter or in the media. There is no way to avoid talking or thinking about politics in the United States anymore, and a man such as Trump is a completely different president then we have ever seen.

Until recently, I had never engaged in Canadian politics. I felt that I had a stronger connection with the U.S. because I was born there. The recent federal election here changed that, and I’m more involved with Canadian politics and issues such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Indigenous reconciliation, and the federal parties themselves than I ever have been before.

My family in the States will make jokes regarding Canada’s stereotypes, and they perceive Canada as an “easy going socialist country.” Of course, that is not true. We have our own political and economic problems, and I have noticed that many of my family and friends don’t know much about Canadian history, nor do they know that we have our own democratic issues similar to those of the States.

I believe that being a person with dual citizenship has brought me more knowledge and experience than a person who has only lived in one country could ever have. I honour the fact that I have dual citizenship and that I have the choice to live in whichever country I choose.

Since Trump’s election, I have developed my own opinions and views about the United States, and it has also brought me closer to the country I live in now. Although I will never agree with the current president’s choices, I am now discovering my awareness for political issues not only in the United States, but in Canada as well.

I have always been asked, “Which country do you like better?” and I will never have a definitive answer. I love both countries equally, but for different reasons. It gives me great joy to have lived in both countries and to understand the experience of living and going to school in both, and at the end of the day, I am proud to be a Canadian and an American.