This is a terrible time for you, and I want to offer my support. I know that 52% of you are celebrating the decision to leave the EU. But it’s the other 48% I’m worried about. As an American, I know how you feel – how frustrating it all must be. Not only did you lose the referendum, but now you have to put up with the perception that your entire country is incredibly foolish – even those of you who voted sensibly.
But we Americans have learned that when a nation does something that the rest of the world thinks is idiotic and destructive, and the majority of your citizens voted for it, you all take the blame, even if you’re one of the minority who voted differently. That’s how the game works. I know it’s not really fair, but that’s the way it is. Don’t blame me. I didn’t invent these rules. You did.
What, don’t you recall? These were the rules when George Bush was re-elected in 2004, after alienating much of the world through his policies on Iraq, global warming, etc. I remember it very well, as this was around the time I moved to the UK, and there was no shortage of British commentators and pundits declaring the idiocy of the American people. It stung and I didn’t like it, particularly as I didn’t vote for George Bush, but since I was American, I had to shoulder the blame. I don’t hold any grudges for this – but it gives me perspective on what you’re going through and I want to help you get through this.
So now it’s happening to you. I feel your pain.
Social media and website feeds are right now filling up with examples of British people who didn’t realise that their vote would actually count:
…and British people who did realise their vote would count, but who didn’t give any thought to the consequences.
…as well as stories demonstrating that many British people only discovered what the EU is, by Googling it after they voted to leave….
There’s even a story making the rounds about how the county of Cornwall voted decisively to leave the EU, but is still demanding EU funding. These stories have a way of sticking, trust me and the 320 million other Americans who have lived through this kind of experience.
Look, I know that it’s unfair and frustrating. You can go ahead and list all the positive attributes of famous and brilliant Britons. Go ahead and give it a try- namedrop Stephen Hawkings, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, etc… Shout about all the positive contributions your country has made – standing up to Adolf Hitler, inventing the world wide web, creating the NHS. None of it matters at the moment. Right now everyone thinks you’re dumb, regardless of all this. You have a PR, rather than an IQ problem. Britain’s ‘brand’ is in the toilet. Every newspaper in the world is criticising you, incredulous at your national choice.
I know what you’re thinking though – that there’s still hope this image problem can be turned around, by another election that is just around the corner…
Your only hope
The title of “home to the world’s thickest voters” could easily revert back to America very soon- if we Yanks vote in Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Mr Trump is more of a buffoon than Boris Johnson and he’s a bigger xenophobe than Nigel Farage. Soon the rest of the world will forget about British voters -a Trump presidency will immediately restore the natural order of things!
But I’m afraid you need to come up with another plan.
Here’s what I wrote four months ago in my post: The Twist Ending: How I learned to stop worrying and love Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is heralding the irrelevance and destruction of right wing politics in America, and has no chance at all of ever becoming President. But there is a very real possibility that, in just a few months, Britain will vote to leave the EU and the the UK will break apart.”
Having unfortunately been proven half-right so far, I’m going to double-down on the rest of this equation: I guarantee Donald Trump will lose the presidential election in a landslide of historic proportions. The demographics just aren’t in his favour. Forget what the polls say, this won’t be a referendum – America chooses based on a state by state electoral college, which massively favours Hilary Clinton and the Democrats. Trump has to do better than Mitt Romney did four years ago – who was soundly beaten. With a growing Latino population, and a predilection for insulting women, that’s just not possible for Mr Trump. Mark my words, Donald Trump will soon be nothing more than a scary footnote, a well-dodged bullet in the history of American politics.
You’re going to have to sort this out on your own.
So you can’t count on Donald Trump to save you. In fact, he is your biggest fan right now. He loves that Britain has voted to leave the EU. In his happiness, Trump joins a rogue’s gallery of the world’s most loathsome political leaders, who are all celebrating the Brexit result as a triumph of close-minded anti-immigrant, nationalism. France’s Marine LePen, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, America’s Sarah Palin, Holland’s Geert Wilders, etc… Google any of them, and read about how pleased they are to be in league with Britain’s 52%.
No, this is something you need to sort out on your own. You can’t just sit around waiting for something worse to happen somewhere else.
You can start by not choosing Boris Johnson to be your next Prime Minister. He’s not “a funny chap” or “quite a character.” He’s an embarrassing imbecile and a demagogue who plays on racial and xenophobic fears. He’s your Trump, your potential Berlusconi. If you let him run the country, you’ll never be able to get your mojo back, and the image of ignorant British voters who don’t understand what they are even voting for will stick with you for a long, long time. Trust me.
Everyone is saying you’re stupid. Prove them wrong.