The UK has voted.
In the final tallies, they have decided (just barely) to offer the European Union that most traditional of English salutes, their middle finger. And this is bad news for Big-Government Leftists. This is very bad news indeed.
This vote might deal a hard blow to the house of mirrors that devotees of big government have been so carefully constructing. And if enough of those mirrors get broken, people might — just might — wander out of the funhouse and into the open air.
And that just wouldn’t do.
They have just awakened to a fresh understanding of an idea that has long been present in America (even if it’s been lately neglected): Local interests are not effectively represented by remote powers.
That was the reason America sought Independence. It was among the arguments for the Federalist model. It was the reason the Federal government was given a specific scope of powers. Some issues are best handled by a local.
When you boil it right down, there are two competing views of an ideal government. One large enough to “be all things to all people”. And one that is just barely big enough to handle those few tasks that are best handled by elected representatives. (As discussed in my book.) Things like defence and a legal system should be looked after, for sure, but not cradle-to-grave programs of every conceivable variety.
The comprehensive government will always push for a greater centralization of authority, more power in fewer hands. The inner-circle. The experts. They will be the “wise”, the “just”, and the “good” shepherds of our society (who just ‘happen’ to share the same view of expansive government as their supporters).
They can be trusted to act in our own best interest when we can scarcely be trusted to act our own. We accept upon our shoulders, the sometimes heavy burden of complex and coercive campaigns of social engineering, because we trust in their vision of the future.
Well, “we” don’t. But obviously, many do.
And that is the reason for the growth of things like the EU. And the UN. And other multi-national initiatives that stem from an allegiance to the “international community” superseding any interest in one’s own country and culture.
This is where initiatives like Agenda 21, or the Paris Agreement on Climate Change take their strength. Not because they have the endorsement, necessarily, or local citizens. But because they have been endorsed by panels of alleged experts and have the tacit support of a nebulous thing called the “international community”.
The Brexit vote is a vote for independence. Literally. Why should they be bound by ridiculous rules on their produce. (See the infamous “bendy banana” legislation.)
They remembered who they are without the EU’s help. A strong maritime nation. An economic powerhouse. Fifth largest military in the world. They produced one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, and their Commonwealth has produced a political framework and legal system (including the Magna Carta) that has been the basis for many of the strongest and most stable countries in the world (including America).
They woke up to the fact that they don’t need a Big Brother to take a big chunk of their earnings just so Brussels can tell them what to do and how to do it. They woke up to the fact that it isn’t the responsibility of British shopkeepers, fishermen or bankers to give away their hard earned money to people in Continental Europe (like Greece) that refuse to live within their means.
Maybe the EU will survive this. Maybe it will crumble. Who knows. But it’s not the UK’s responsibility to work that out.
The UK woke up to the fact that they were not only AS capable of running their affairs as an unaccountable super-government was… they were actually MORE capable of it, partly because they were more directly affected by whether policies — you know — worked.
That also describes the relationship between the States and Washington. It isn’t Washington’s job to be — like Chris Rock called it — the nation’s Dad. Some Governors have had the integrity to tell Obama to pound sand. Maybe now, more will follow.
And on the grander scale, maybe private citizens will remember (or learn for the first time) the same lesson.