Saturday, June 25, 2016

Foolish Behavior

So the British EU referendum vote has occurred, and the United Kingdom is withdrawing from the European Union.  Donald Trump, meanwhile, has convinced me that the Brits have made the wrong choice.  
He did that by saying they made the right choice.  And he did so from Scotland, whose residents voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

The complaints about unelected officials in Brussels telling Britons what to do and what not to do notwithstanding, this vote presents dire consequences for Britain and the Continent.  The European economy will be thrown out of whack, free movement of goods, services, and yes, people will be severely affected, and other countries may try to go it alone, causing the whole European system to unravel.  France, Britain's old rival, is already looking at withdrawing from the EU.  There's anti-EU sentiment in Italy.  Even the Netherlands is contemplating it.  And if the larger and/or more prosperous nations pull out, what does that mean for Greece?  Lithuania?  Spain, which is practically a basket-case itself?      
Good thing for non-member Switzerland that it's neutral!
The hope of anti-EU Britons that the U.K. can close off from the rest of Europe and prevent more immigrants from entering the country is counterproductive and unrealistic.  The Brits are not going to be given favorable status when they have to renegotiate trade deals with the rest of Europe and even with other countries like the United States.  And sharing information for defense and intelligence purposes won't be so easy.
One good thing has come out of this vote, though: Pro-EU Northern Ireland may now have the opportunity to reunite with the rest of Ireland. 
If you think the "Brexit" was a foolish thing to do, though, consider the sit-in by House Democrats in Washington to get a vote on gun-control legislation requiring background checks and a no-fly rule for suspected terrorists.  House Speaker Paul Ryan chose to ignore them, calling it a stunt, and quite frankly, it was; gun control legislation has stalled in the Senate, and the Republican majority in the House would defeat gun control legislation even if it did allow a vote.  As to the suggestion that Democrats pulled this sit-in as a tool to raise money for House Democratic candidates, I don't think it was for that, and for two reasons:
1)  Nobody expects the House to go Democratic until the next census and subsequent redistricting.
2)  The people who would benefit most from a Democratic House can't afford to contribute to campaigns.  They've already given their discretionary contribution dollars to Bernie Sanders.
Yeah, how's that working out?         

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