There’s heartbreak in what happened yesterday. I woke up this morning to a torrent of devastated, incredulous and shell-shocked texts, updates and headlines. A campaign steered by hate and fuelled by fear had won.
A text I’d send to someone in response to “I’m wildly bored at this party.” Not the response to a nation-wide referendum on whether a key EU member should divorce from the union after 43 years. The nervousness I felt yesterday was similar to one I felt on October 19th when Canada was deciding whether it was going to be swayed by an embarrassingly xenophobic conservative election campaign. Thankfully, that one went a different way and we had a second bout of Trudeaumania, but now instead all I’m feeling is a bout of #brexistentialism…
I’m not even going to go into the economic consequences of it because well… the uncertainty and instability alone is enough to have sent markets into the frenzied statistical equivalent of a Picasso painting.
uhhh. I don’t even know how to process the above.
But that’s not necessarily what’s been teasing my tear ducts all day. It’s the fact that there’s such an agitated undercurrent across the world that entire “democracies” are at the boiling point of being run by bigoted ideology and a sense of othering unlike any I’ve seen before. Who are these people voting with such anger and disdain for people who have been literally driven out of their homes? Global insecurity is darkening the future of entire generations across the world. Meanwhile, the British leave campaign focused on sentiments of inward-looking, myopic nationalism, citing the “lack of English spoken on the streets of London” as a reason for wanting to keep out those left with no place to go. Like a child with too many toys and not enough heart. The real breaking point of the awful campaign came when people seeking refuge were weaponized…
I mean really… I get angry all over again every time I look at that.
Then there’s the age disparity in voters, which is best explained by this table:
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???
I want to be understanding and realize that many of the voters voting “Leave” are facing their own personal disasters, feeling economically marginalized and discounted in the larger EU framework. But the decision to Leave, doesn’t fix that. All it does is show the rest of the world that America is not the only crazy super power. And that we are all alone in dealing with an increasingly terrifying world.
Britain, you’ve played your Trump card.
All we can hope for now is that the shock and devastation that’s reverberated across the world from such small thinking will lead to a shift in political processes towards more humanist thinking. Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn after all, right? …