Confessions of a Failed Expat

Why we need to bring the best of the world home to America


| January / February 2004


In the aftershock of the 1980 election, when Ronald Reagan won big, I went job-hunting in Toronto. I wasn't sure I wanted to launch my journalism career in a country whose chief executive believed that trees cause pollution and poor people use food stamps mostly to buy vodka.

Now we are up against another hard-line Republican administration, this one even more radical than Reagan's, and I hear more people talk about fleeing the USA. (See "A Loyal American Ponders Leaving the Country," page 58). My own attempt to expatriate didn't work out. I was a graduate student with limited professional experience, and Canadian immigration laws made it almost impossible for any magazine to hire me. So I took the train back home to set forth in the world on my native soil.