Seeing the Round Corners

January 21, 2019

Today’s column is a follow-up to one written in 2016 about the vote by England to exit the European Union (EU). Why would or should this be of interest to the citizens of America? Because voting from an uninformed position can have catastrophic impact down the road that cannot always be undone in today’s many layers and divisions of government.

England has been since that vote in 2016 trying to negotiate terms by which exit would be accomplished by the March 29th deadline. England’s Parliament refused to accept the terms negotiated by its Prime Minister with the European Union.( The EU is apparently standing firm on terms so painful as to discourage any other country from the idea of exiting.)

With that rejection, Parliamentary government is in disarray with a new referendum the only possibility of a re-vote (so-to-speak) on reversing the exit vote taken in 2016. Prime Minister May faces the likelihood of trying to get the EU to agree to an extension of the exit date so as to allow for a vote on reversing the previous vote to exit. The EU must agree to even that.

In England, as well as much of Europe, the immigration issue was overwhelming and “something needed to be done.” Few “Brits” voting for the exit under the wide-scale ramifications involved in such an exit had any idea of what would befall them if the exit takes full force on March 29th – the economics of trade, tariffs, various controls, etc.

America’s own government is in a similar but different chaotic situation with its government shut down by a President butting heads with the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over building a wall versus Democrats’ position of open boarders – again the root source is illegal immigration.

In Sweden, the number of immigrants to that country required the hiring of 10,000 teachers which was not possible to do. (Note, the figure was not verified by this writer.)

Consider the commentary column from 2016 (almost three years ago) about the vote in England to exit the European Union and the chaotic situation this country’s own government is in.

The joy of doing commentary columns is an enjoyable writing experience not many journalists have the pleasure of doing. As long as what the columnist writes is not illegal or slanderous, the world is pretty much at their fingertips. No restrictions as to who, what, when ,where . . . typical of reporter guidelines.

It is always amazing to this writer of commentary just how the Democrats and Republicans can be so diabolically opposite on what is best for the country, Americans and the world, if you stop and think about it.
This week's vote by British voters to get out of the European Union (EU) should serve as an example as to just how absolutely insane voters are. Interviews conducted with those out wildly celebrating, many screaming at their success in voting to get out of the EU, was jaw dropping to the person of  just ordinary intelligence. Here are people out on the street celebrating wildly, yet questions to individuals elicited responses that were unfathomable, with one celebrant actually unable to explain what the EU was, another could not explain why they wanted out.

The on-air media went absolutely wild in the coverage as did the print news media with most opening comments involving words along the order, “This has never happened before, no one knows what's going to happen . . .” The financial markets immediately dropped, the U.S. alone by more than 690 points (but bounced back almost completely over the weekend), and England's “dropped like a rock” as it was described. The time to do the extraction is approximately two years, yet no one knows exactly how its going to be accomplished. Britain's Prime Minister quickly said he would resign, saying to the effect he was not one to captain such a ship as Britain not in the EU, but did not relate any part of his meeting with the Queen nor her reaction to the vote, and no announcement was forthcoming that he had resigned.

At this point, the question arises:  How can sane people be persuaded to vote for something they know nothing or very little about, or without giving consideration to what it means? The latest news from others in the United Kingdom is Scotland wants no part of not being in the EU and has already voted NO once on the idea. Northern Ireland also is against the idea of not being in the EU.

Petitioners have already gathered more than three millions signatures to undo what has been done with the tally growing daily. Petition signors admit they had no idea what membership in the EU involved, that their vote was based on the immigration issue, but the most dire admission, they voted though unaware of the collateral issues such as trade policy, free movement of goods, capital and services.

As the dust settled over the weekend, a flood of information about just what the vote means or can mean portrays quite a different picture than the “end of the world” doom portrayed immediately after the vote results were tallied. England's Parliament can actually void the vote, can just do nothing about exiting the EU by ignoring the filing of a provision to trigger actual exit – all this when the vote is really not binding because of the vagueness in the language of the referendum.

What all the hoopla over the “Brexit” vote should be a warning shot for Americans here in this 2016 Presidential election year. How often do American voters completely understand the issue on a ballot, but willingly vote for or against based on nothing more than party affiliation – whatever the party dictates? Political parties are very adept at targeting undecided voters.

Fair warning, at the risk of giving the “Get Out The Vote” folks a heart attack, it is this writer's opinion that America would be better off if voters did NOT VOTE when they are uninformed and have not considered the consequences of an issue or do not understand what passage of an issue means. Even more important, is there an option in the issue to get out if the boondoggle does not work.

Political parties are perfectly willing to take advantage of the uninformed voter and that is what has gotten America into this atmosphere of contempt for Congress and all that is Washington, D. C., and sad to say, the zeal for change regardless  of the consequences. A really bad reason if that's the only reason!!! Be careful what you wish for!!! 

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