Our Opinion: Vote to leave EU provides a lesson to US
The lead-in to Great Britain's vote on whether to remain in the European Union or leave didn't attract a lot of notice in the United States. The vote will be noticed now.
The vote to withdraw from the EU Thursday send financial markets around the world into a spiral Friday. A spokesman for the Massachusetts Pensions Investment Management (PRIM) board Friday said the fund will likely see a 1.5 percent to 2 percent decline, with a 9 percent drop in the fund's value a possibility. This will worsen the state's already serious financial crunch.
The "experts" expressing shock at Great Britain's vote sound like the political "experts" stunned by the rise of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Both assumed voters would act based on logic and discounted an anger boarding on hysteria over the status quo, and a willingness to trash flawed but working governmental systems.
The sluggish and tone-deaf EU is hard to like, but it was created to assure peace among war-like nations by tying them together economically, and in that regard it has been successful. It has not addressed Europe's immigration crisis successfully, and the vote in Great Britain was certainly fueled by xenophobia. It is no surprise that Mr. Trump, upon landing via helicopter at Trump Turnberry, his luxury resort in Scotland, praised the vote to leave, declaring that "People are angry, all over the world. People, they're angry." (Scotland, it should be noted, voted 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the EU.)
Great Britain is moving into unchartered waters, and as the departure process unfolds, there will be buyer's remorse among residents who weren't paying attention or voters who spited their nation by spiting the EU. The so-called "Brexit" vote is a cautionary for Americans, who must pay attention this election year and move past anger to do what is best for the nation.
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