Why one New Yorker fled to Canada after Trump won the White House in 2016

Stephen Shainbart moved to Canada from the U.S. after Trump won the 2016 presidential election. “I feel really happy about it. I feel a little bit safer," he says. Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Many people have heard it, or maybe even thought it themselves: “If _______ wins the presidential election, I’m leaving the country.” It’s usually a desperate, empty threat. But Stephen Shainbart actually did it.

Shainbart was a lifelong New Yorker who moved to Canada after Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. He wrote a book about it called “I Actually Did It!: Becoming Canadian because of Trump.”

“I feel really happy about it. I feel a little bit safer. I don’t feel fully protected, but I think had I just stayed, I would have been more worried,” Shainbart says. “I’m still an American citizen, but now I have two options. Two countries.”

Trump won’t be president forever, but despite that, Shainbart has no plans to return to the U.S. anytime soon.

“I wouldn’t say never. I might,” Shainbart says. “I think that Donald Trump is as much of a symptom of a problem with the United States as he is a cause of a problem in the United States.”

Credits

Guest:
Stephen Shainbart - clinical psychologist and author of “I Actually Did It!: Becoming Canadian because of Trump”

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Rebecca Mooney, Nihar Patel