Everyone knows the story of the Brexit vote. A movement within the United Kingdom started to bring independence to the country and leave the European Union. The topic has been an enormous hot button issue. It’s amazing that independence can be such a controversial topic, but it was something that even proved difficult when the colonies explored it.
While it is amazing that independence is a controversial topic, it’s not entirely surprising. Regardless of the philosophical arguments, the implications of breaking apart from something are significant.
But despite the fear of the great unknown, the voters took a step forward. Similar to how the Founding Fathers risked everything to break away from the British, the British broke away from the European Union. In both instances, there is a chance for failure. But what good things come in life without risk?
What could the United States of America learn from the United Kingdom?
American politics has become quite shallow and dull. Dominated by two political parties with little difference, there is minimal room for change. Democrats and Republicans differ on policy points, but agree in philosophy. Government needs to be big, whether it be for the warfare or the welfare state, and thus the size keeps inflating.
Elections are just fighting over who controls the big government.
Every election cycle, Americans settle for the lesser of two evils believing they have no other options. Antiwar liberals will side with Associated Press-nominated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton because of the fear of probable Republican Party nominee Donald Trump, despite the fact that Clinton has a record favorable to military interventions abroad. Fiscal conservatives will side with Trump because Clinton must be stopped at all costs.
The consistent theme here is the principles don’t align. Voters settle out of fear of wasting their vote and possibly aiding an opposing candidate.
Many liberals don’t like Clinton, but really don’t like Trump. Many conservatives don’t like Trump, but really don’t like Clinton. So the obvious solution at this point is to vote Trump to stop Clinton or Clinton to stop Trump, right?
There has been a great deal of coverage of the Brexit reaction. Among the number of stories out there is a theme among Brexit voters who are in total disbelief that they actually won. Many voters supported the idea, but did not think it would go anywhere. They voted anyway.
Here in America, politics operates differently. Third parties lose votes not based on the principles in the platform or candidates on the ballot, but because of perceived electability. American voters fear wasting their time or vote, and thus vote for one of the two major parties. Nothing major ever happens.
What if American voters learned from the United Kingdom and voted how they feel in their hearts, instead of what their head tells them is electable?
We may just finally break the hold the Republican and Democratic Parties have on American politics. Instead of having the policy that shapes our country being held captive to the political establishment, we could break away and vote our conscience. The United Kingdom with Brexit shows not only the United States, but the entire world, what happens when you show up and stand your ground.