Brexit and Trump

 

Yes, the Brexit “leave” side has been marked by a lot of misinformation and emotional reactivity. And it may well be that many voted without knowing enough about the consequences. At the same time, there are very real reasons why people are scared, angry, and reactive. It’s a natural reaction to decades of policies that has weakened and harmed ordinary people and the working and middle classes. Neo-liberal globalization, privatization, austerity measures and more are all designed to benefit multi-national corporations, and they do so at the cost of the well-being of people, nature, and future generations.

People know and have to live with the consequences of this, and are understandably scared and angry. That’s why we get these types of votes, and also support for presidential candidates like Donald Trump. In my mind, the fear and anger is natural and understandable, and can even be healthy if channeled in constructive ways. But these more reactive and uninformed solutions, exemplified by Donald Trump, are very much misguided.

As I see it, Bernie Sanders is an example of someone who has a more sober and clear understanding of the problem and has constructive solutions that may actually benefit ordinary people, nature, and future generations. And I know very well that’s my bias and a product of my own background and experiences.

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Initial notes / drafts…..

  • brexit
    • yes, a lot of misinformation and emotional reactivity
    • and also, people scared/frustrated bc of policies that benefit large corporations and not ordinary people (neo-liberal globalization, privatization, austerity measures – all designed to increase profit for multi-national corporations, and all weakens and harms ordinary people and the middle class)

Yes, the Brexit “leave” side has been marked by a lot of misinformation and emotional reactivity. And it may well be that many voted without knowing enough about the consequences. At the same time, there are very real reasons why people are scared, angry, and reactive. It’s a natural reaction to decades of policies aimed at benefiting large corporations which has harmed and reduced the influence of the middle and working classes.

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There has been a good deal of insightful writing about Brexit so I won’t repeat it here. But it is sobering to see people voting against their own interests based on misleading information and reactive emotions. And, as so many have pointed out, if it can happen in Britain it can happen in the US with the upcoming presidential election. The voters have already ensured that Trump will be the Republican nominee, and that too seems mostly based on misleading information and acting on reactive emotions. It can feel good to act on reactivity in the moment, but it doesn’t really feel good, and it often has consequences that certainly do not feel good.

I don’t mean to say that the leave campaigners didn’t have good points. I am sure they did. But so many of their arguments were obviously false, and they were known and shown to be false long before the vote. (The amount of money GB pays to EU each week, that this money will go to the national health care system if they leave the EU, that they can’t limit or control immigration while staying in the EU etc.) And they also haven’t acknowledged that Britain will still have to follow EU regulations in many areas even if they leave, nor how EU regulations provide a strong protection of and benefit to workers and people in general.

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