2016-07-06 / Opinion

Brexit - The Domino Effect

* Lillian Browne is editor-in-chief of The Reporter. * Lillian Browne is editor-in-chief of The Reporter. Brits have learned that making a grand exit sometimes has a far greater impact than making a grand entrance. They can thank ‘Merica for that lesson.

There are other lessons to be learned from the event that separated a unified voice, monetary system and voting block that rocked the world on June 23. After the votes were counted - 52% leave vs. 48% stay, with only 71% of the population turning out for the vote, a generational divide emerged.

Younger people, who don’t typically vote, did not want to exit the European Union (EU). Therein lies the power of the vote. The older generation - mine - has had enough, apparently, with their elected leaders and lawmakers not representing their views or opinions.

Brexit has become the epitome of how a democracy should work and the people have spoken. There is no question about what they don’t want - a lenient immigration policy or a stringent fiscal policy and monetary valuation system that depends on decisions made by other countries.

Though they may be clear about what it is that they don’t want, I, like many others, am not sure that the implications of the decision were clear. The audacity of elected leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU to publicly state that British citizens don’t know what’s best for them is insulting.

I’m almost positive that when Chris Columbus told of a land filled with opportunity, that neither he nor the pilgrims that followed his path centuries later, knew exactly what lie before them.

We Americans are the original rule breakers. We had to create new rules and devise a system of governance that kept peace and safety. Relationships with other nations evolved over the years, as did our relationship with ourselves and our fellow countrymen.

Listen up Texas and New York, the groundwork has been set for your divorces.

Though Texas has made some half-hearted attempts to divorce the U.S. and New York has also threatened to split in two, it seems that stateside, we are a bit more cautious when it comes to the idea that what is good for one is good for all.

However, ideas that are not completely thought through are not always bad. That’s the beauty of opportunity. Some of best opportunities lie in the wake of chaos. The Brits now have one. The opportunity to create a new value system based upon the vote or the voice of the people.

New officials will be elected or appointed to implement the changes and that new system will also evolve.

Americans, it seems, lost their bravado in 1959 when Alaska was proclaimed a state. Since then, we have become a busy-body nation, sticking our noses into other nations’ affairs while telling our own citizens that they don’t know what’s best for them. The Affordable Care Act aka Obama-Care, gun policy and welfare reform are just some of the things that “the government” is not listening to its citizens about. But Texas and New York are.

They have already taken uncertain toddling steps toward separation. However, the fear of not knowing how to make it happen and what the outcome would be are now being explored by our friends across the pond.

Financial markets did not fail. War did not break out. Riots did not follow. The world did not come to an end.

Brexit has become a proving ground for Texit and possibly a test for the division of New York.

But one thing is certain, in these very uncertain times - every vote counts. If U.S. politicians - whether local, state or federal have forgotten that they are elected or appointed to represent the views of their constituency, perhaps Brexit was a timely reminder.

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