Donald Trump, we know – in wake of the Brexit vote he ran to Scotland to tout his golf course. What with the reduced value of the British Pound, he’s hoping to get more international golf tourism to his resort.
We’ve not heard much from Hillary Clinton yet. Quick after the tragic Orlando night club shooting, Hillary spoke openly and widely about the evils of guns in this country, and what the US can do and should do. It was talk that came straight from the heart – clearly on a subject she has thought about deeply and she cares about greatly.
But that was then; this is now. Hillary Clinton is set to become our President in November. The tectonic plates have just shifted, and the issue of the campaign now has become evident: This will be a debate about globalization, about its winners and its left-behinds.
At worst, it is a debate that can turn into ethnic bickering and backlash against this or other group of immigrants or refugees. Let’s hope this does not happen – and it’s up to the political heads to steer the public sentiment clear of something like this. Immigrants and refugees have human rights universally recognized – and should also have representation rights, not at all recognized.
At best, the discussion can be about democratic rights and about participative democracy. If the Brits were allowed by the EU other venues to vote directly on a host of issues delegated to faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, then in my view this Brexit would not have happened.
We can feel smug that the US sees no danger of TXexits, ORexits, or other STATExits, as we might call them – still, our problem is a gridlocked Washington unable to pass legislation on a long list of issues – from gun control, to immigration, health care costs, college costs, campaign finance, you name it. These Washington issues often get controversial action either through Presidential executive order, or by a Congress act – then fall in the lap of a highly politicized US Supreme Court. This has now been our custom for many decades, but it speaks to the same inability to solve problems democratically, through vote, rather than through haughty technocratic court decisions.
We live in a new era after the Brexit vote, and it’s time to reform this old system of ours, in the US – and new system of theirs, in the EU.
The European Union might be easier to reform – simply because it’s newer. Certainly, sufficient pressure will be born on the EU in the months or years that will take to resolve Brexit into actual exit. That long exit process may bring change, and it may give European peoples a more direct voice in the workings of the EU.
But it’s time to hear what our leaders think about all this. Their opinion, unfiltered. Their view, not passed through polls and sanitized by experts to appeal to that mythical 2-3% of voters targeted to swing the Presidential election.
Speak, Madam Secretary. And speak from the heart.