Monday, June 27, 2016
Brexit: I Smell Opportunity
The U.K. has voted to leave the European Union! Oh, shit! Sound the alarm! Sell off all the accounts! This is an utter disaster! Get Colonel K. to call Danger Mouse! This is undoubtedly the dastardly work of Baron Silas Greenback!
All right, seriously, hang on people. Let's all calm down. Chances are, good ol' Great Britain will get itself a do-over somehow, whether by Scotland and Northern Ireland suing in the courts, or by some other means, I predict it will happen. The millions who voted to leave in order to blow off steam have realized their mistake, and are experiencing a severe case of buyers' remorse. One way or another, the British will eventually do the smart thing, as is their reputation.
But in the midst of the chaos of the Brexit vote, I smell an opportunity. No, not a financial one. If I knew of a way a person of modest means like myself could cash in on the Brexit vote, I'd be doing it myself and not blogging about it to anyone so that I could horde it all. No, I mean a political one. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fix the European Union's greatest fault, namely, the fact that it isn't a democracy.
Not a democracy, you say? That's right. Because the European Union is led by people who are elected by the leaders who are elected by the people. It's a politician-ocracy. A politocracy, if you will. And it isn't only the British who are fed up with having regulations imposed upon them from people living in an ivory tower whom they never had a chance to vote for.
Here in the United States, we have many separate governments united by a federal system. In a way, it's not dissimilar from the European Union's structure, except that the states were founded within a federation (or as a colony) and are all united by a common language and, to a large extent, culture. The states are not merely provinces! They could, if they really wanted to, break away to exist as their own, separate countries. (That very nearly happened in 1860, and only a war kept it from being permanent.) It might be better if they were provinces (yeah, I'm an anti-federalist to the core), but they aren't. And the American system works primarily because the people get to vote for the leaders at the federal level directly. Their votes get cast for the president, the Congress and the Senate without any middle-man.
And can't you just imagine how pissed off everybody would get if the only people who got to vote for their leaders in Washington D.C. were the idiots in their state assemblies, senates, and governors' mansions. Does that image piss you off? It should. And now you know how the Brits feel, along with significant factions in all European Union member states. And add to this the resentment that comes from those giving the orders coming from a different language and culture from your own!
This is really where the righteous anger comes from. The politicians who lead the E.U. never have to campaign in the areas they represent. They don't have to hear people give their opinions in town halls or glad-hand their way across the countryside hugging every widow and kissing every baby. And it is precisely this failing that led British politician Nigel Farage two years ago to disparagingly shout at Herman Van Rompuy, then-President of the European Council, saying, "Who are you?! I'd never heard of you. Nobody in Europe had ever heard of you! I would like to ask you, Mr. President, who voted for you?!"
The politicians voted for him. That was the point. Nigel may have been acting like a complete asshole, but that didn't prevent him from having a completely and unassailably legitimate point.
So let's fix that! Now! As long as the wrecking ball of the Brexit vote has knocked the whole shit to pieces already, let's rebuild it right instead of trying to rebuild the failed system that we had before!
Now, I know how all the pundits are saying that the E.U. will not give concessions in order to persuade Great Britain to come back, but I say why the hell not? This may be a financial disaster for the Pound and the Euro, but it's a golden opportunity for the E.U. to finally be a democracy.
Why not push for a change which allows the people to vote for their representatives directly? Oh yes, I know, the plebs are idiots. The fact that the Brexit vote happened at all, in fucking England, of all places, proves this. But if you don't give the common people their voice now, they'll get their voice later! The Brexit vote proved that, too! It's time to let the idiots have their turn at running the machine, or else they'll become Luddites who rip the machine apart.
I know, I know, it's ten times more terrifying than letting your teenage children drive the family car isn't it? But you know it has to happen someday. Might as well let the kids drive.
They'll love you for it. Even if they crash.