Well, that escalated quickly.
In what can only be described as a shocking, unexpected turn of events, the United Kingdom has actually voted to exit the European Union.
For many of those in the United States, and even some in the British countryside, the poll results on Friday morning came with surprise and erring uncertainty. This simply hasn’t been done before by any ‘first-world’ nation. To turn away globalization for nationalism. Some would call it history in the making, probably without interpreting they may have just put themselves on the wrong side of it.
So, what got this whole train rolling in the first place?
Many ‘Leave Party’ websites describe this movement as a step in the right direction for British independence from the EU powers that be. As historically ironic as that sounds, there’s more to it than just a sudden surge of Briton patriotism.
Fear coerces people to make irrational decisions. It warps thought, sows mistrust, promotes isolationism and seeks out scapegoats - and there is no greater international source of fear at the moment than radical islamic terrorism.
England has given in to fear.
To me the whole debate on whether to remain or leave the EU is comical, they should have remained, but it’s no laughing matter considering the economic ripple effect this vote will have. Now, a xenophobic racist party activist in Nigel Farage has gone from national punchline to altering domestic policy by turning immigration from a triviality into a hot-button topic. I never would have thought the ‘They took our jobs!’ joke would be an argument actually listened to.
The message this party is sending is utterly contradictory by principle. They encourage a fight for freedom, nationalism and inner strength - by taking themselves out of the fight.
See, it is the cowardly option to abandon a union of like-minded nations who just want to save innocent refugees first. It is vain to presume your country is better than others, so much so its only option is to disassociate. It is sad that by shutting down borders, profiling citizens and shunning allies in the name of defeating radical religious terrorists - they are delivering to them the mental victory.
Unfortunately for the world, this kind of thinking doesn’t just stop. With every mass shooting, the sentiment refreshes. “It’s a disaster. The wheels are coming off. We just need to lockdown.” The Britons panicked and are already regretting it. More than 3 million people have signed a petition for a re-vote, claiming they were misled.
Expect neighboring European powerhouses to hold their own votes as well. Holland, France, Italy could all follow suit seeing that it’s now a conceivable goal to achieve.
And come November, we’ll all find out if the United States will join in on this new viral sensation of relentlessly fighting fear by giving into it.