Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Perfidious (more accurately smart) Albion

I was fascinated when the folks up in Scotland tried to free themselves from the tyranny of Westminster.  It really didn't matter to me one way or the other, but the fact that so many people voted to hit the road was fascinating and encouraging.

Britain is in decline.  No two ways around that uncomfortable and irritating little fact.  Their industries are gutted, their national identity is in question, and they are making what appears to me to be sensible noises in leaving a bad deal before the French and the Germans suck them into being on the wrong end of the wealth pump.

But the barbaric murder of an MP has put the question into question.  A week ago there was a pretty strong trend towards getting gone from Brussels.  Now that trend seems to have reversed itself and I would venture a guess that the vote will go toward staying.

Look, I don't have a dog in this fight.  My family was transported, free of charge, to an entry level position on a North Carolina plantation, courtesy of one of  James II's magistrates (Grampa was apparently one of the low-level henchmen in Pride's Purge, so once the Royalty returned, there was some discomfort leaving the progeny of such types lying about on the island).

But the thing that I would like to discuss is the way that rational thought is hijacked and subverted during the electoral process.   Folks don't seem to connect things very well.  It seems like the MP who was killed was a sweet lady who tried her best.  Two lovely children, happy family.  Truth be told, she appears to be of the best sort that England has to offer.  Despite all the noise to the contrary, it appears that she attempted to do right and worked tirelessly to do so.

Now the flow is against Brexit.  I would posit a guess that Brexit will narrowly fail.  This will because people vote in terms of emotions and symbols, not self interest of rational thought.  (If you doubt this, please do me the courtesy of examining this US presidential election).  So when Mrs. Cox was murdered, people made her a powerful symbol.  The government didn't do this, it is a normal and understandable way of dealing with grief and shock.

Her symbol is a powerful aid the the "Remain" campaign.  Sympathy for the late Mrs. Cox will make the undecided and wishy-washy tend, as a group, to come down on the side of remain out of respect for a fine woman.  I have a feeling this will be enough to keep Great Britain in the EU for the time being.

The deciding votes for this campaign will not be cast by people who have thought the problem through and are making the best choice in light of the options presented.  They will be voting for the visceral and powerful need to support a  symbol.

No comments: