I received the following email today. I get them all the time but rarely read them. When I do, I feel ill: my heart races, my fists knot, and I turn red. Sometimes I even curse at the senders. Today I noticed the bold line in the footer, so I wrote Michelle Obama a letter. First the email in question:

John —

At this very moment, some of the first votes of this election are being cast in New Hampshire. And before you know it, I’ll be asking you to go to the polls in the fall.

And even though you won’t see Barack’s name on your ballot this time, this election is just as important as those we’ve been through before. When we vote for Democrats in November, we’ll be voting to protect everything we’ve worked so hard for these past few years and to keep making the change we all believe in.

John, you’ve been such an important part of this movement and everything we’ve achieved together. That’s why Barack is counting on you to do all you can to keep us moving forward — and I am, too.

So please let us know you’re committed to a Democratic victory in November:


Thanks for always being with us,


Paid for by the Democratic National Committee, 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington DC 20003 and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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My reply:


I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or upchuck as I read these emails.

I gave up my US citizenship this year, so I cannot vote. And if I could, I wouldn’t vote Democrat. It’s not that I hate liberals; I are one. And the Republicans honestly make me sick. The bottom line is America has lost its way in this world, and neither party, in my humble opinion, is going to make any headway in making it better.

I have lived abroad most of my life. This is my 46th year in Canada. I married Canadian, my kids are Canadian and not American, I’ve worked my entire life in Canada, I invest here, and I will retire here. I am Canadian, but as you are likely aware, giving up that USA brand is not easy. I have many relatives living in the 50. I used to love to visit them. At the moment I couldn’t care less if I ever cross that border again.

This brings me to my main reason for handing in my passport: your taxing me. I hope you continue reading, as I get the sense most homelanders typically shrug our complaints off as sour grapes and tax avoidance. It is anything but. My issues are fundamental; my issues are based on American values and its constitution; and since those values and the constitution have failed me, I am gone. As are thousands of others. A national disaster that in my opinion will be a black mark on your husband’s legacy.

I want you to consider the duty to file and pay taxes based on citizenship. It sounds patriotic and all red, white, and blue, but I’d like to reword it for you: “citizens shall pay taxes to the United States because the US owns them.” They do not have the right to walk away from this obligation, despite what the United Nations proclaims, because the US owns them. They are chattel. They are economic slaves. Yes, no? I love being treated as a slave. I live, work, and pay taxes in Canada, yet my master needs his payment. The concept is against everything I consider American.

Consider also sovereignty of foreign nations, something I can’t claim the US has ever respected. The US does not allow foreign countries to step in and tax its businesses and its citizens at home, its economic contributors. America’s practice of taxing its citizens abroad is basically what Mr. Trump accuses Mexico of doing: sending its citizens to America to generate dollars to send home. It is a despicable concept which the Democratic Party has rightly laughed at, yet this is what you do with CBT, FBAR, and FATCA. You tax monies earned abroad by your citizens. You tax capital gains on private homes in the UK; you apply SS and Obamacare taxes on mom & pop businesses operating overseas; you tax lottery winnings considered tax free economy boosters in foreign lands; your actions pirate money from foreign economies and you pretend it is okay because we victims are American. We are not the only victims. Our families, our communities, and our host nations all suffer from your syphoning. You steal funds, jobs, and debt. You are the biggest tax cheater of them all, and the fact you justify it based on patriotism is disgusting to me and almost all the 8.9 million citizens abroad.

I could write all day about how I am personally abused: cannot invest in mutual funds, invasion of my privacy, invasion of my family’s privacy, cannot save for retirement, cannot open the financial accounts my neighbours can, etc. And upping fees to prevent us from leaving is nothing more than extortion. You are nothing more than a disgusting bully, and yes, if I could still vote, I’d vote for the worst of the opposition because I hate what your husband and his cabal are doing to American citizens like me.

John Hanson
Saint John, NB Canada