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Malcolm Gladwell sees one good thing about a Trump presidency

Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author, is a UK-born Canadian citizen who considers the US his home. But that could change come November. He may move to Canada if Donald Trump becomes the next US president, and he encourages Americans to do the same.

“Would I be totally psyched for Canada if we got a couple hundred thousand Americans after a Trump presidency? Totally. I would love that,” Gladwell told Yahoo Finance at Ozy Fusion Fest. 

Back when George W. Bush ran for president, disenchanted Americans often threatened to “move to Canada” if he got elected. That (often empty) threat has resurfaced during Trump’s campaign. Google searches for “how can I move to Canada” spiked 350% in four hours on Super Tuesday, according to Google data editor Simon Rogers.

Recently, companies have begun to capitalize on the sentiment that Americans would decamp for Canada if Trump were voted president.

There’s a dating app called Maple Match (with the tagline “make dating great again”) that says it will help Americans find love in Canada, and Spotify even made a catchy commercial of a dad and daughter driving their tiny home on the highway while jamming to Flo Rida’s “My House.” The caption reads: “If you choose Canada this November, let “My House” be your soundtrack.”

In his interview with Yahoo Finance, Gladwell says he has the utmost respect for “Americans fleeing intolerable conditions.”

Gladwell noted that American colonists known as the United Empire Loyalists remained loyal to the British monarchy during the Revolutionary War and exiled themselves to British North America (aka Canada) as early as 1775. Around 70,000 Loyalists fled the 13 colonies; roughly 50,000 went to the British North American Colonies of Quebec and Nova Scotia.  

Fast forward to the 1960s and 1970s, when as many as 100,000 American men dodged the draft by moving to Canada. “My high school history teacher was a draft dodger. There were tons of them. They’re fantastic,” Gladwell says.

Canada would welcome Trump dodgers with open arms, according to Gladwell. In fact, he believes the country would benefit from liberal Americans transplanting themselves.

“We filled up our country with people so principled and so moral that they would rather leave their country than fight a war they didn’t believe in,” Gladwell says. “Who doesn’t want that person?”

With the latest FiveThirtyEight poll suggesting that if the election were held this week, Trump would have a 57% chance of winning the Electoral College, the quip about moving to Canada may become a reality for some Americans.

When asked whether he himself would move back to Canada he retorted, “I have a Canadian passport. I could move in a heartbeat.”