Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

No Do Over
AJ Robinson

Just recently, I heard many people regretting their votes. The thing is this: it had nothing to do with our upcoming presidential election. No, it was something completely different. Give you a little hint: The day after the vote, one of the main search items in the United Kingdom was the following question: what is the European Union (EU)?


Knowing something of the EU is necessary.

Now, considering the citizens of the United Kingdom had voted, the day before, whether or not to stay in the European Union, I would say knowing what the EU is was kind of a critical issue. This might have been something they should have googled before the vote and not after! Not only were people upset with the outcome; not only were many people regretting the way they voted on the issue, they admitted their vote was a protest vote and that they never intended for the country to leave the EU. There was another issue. People, including the strongest advocates for leaving the EU, were backpedaling on the promises made for how great leaving would be for everyone.


Voters, in the UK, didn’t pay attention.

In addition, people, in the United Kingdom, the UK, began listing all of the problems leaving would cause the country. England sells most of its good to Europe and enjoys the low tariffs as a member of the EU. Well, that’s going to end now. The UK enjoys easy access to money and resources from Europe and, again, those will now be harder to get. The effect has already been considerable: stock markets around the world have lost trillions and the pound has taken a major hit.

Here’s the biggest rub: everyone knew of these downsides before the vote. No one bothered to make them clear to the public. No, the people against leaving figured there was no way the voters would be dumb enough to actually vote in favor of leaving, and the people in favor of leaving just lied to the voters.

The “leave” sided focused on one issue: immigrants and how evil and dangerous they were, and how they were taking away all the jobs. If “they” would go back where they came from, good high-paying jobs would materialize, and all would be right with the country in no time.


That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

At last count, over three million people had signed an online petition requesting a new vote on the issue. Let’s be clear here: you often do not get a do-over on important votes. That’s the whole reason they’re so important.

Voters are supposed to get out there and cast a vote; use that lump of flesh inside his or her skull to make an informed decision. Mind you, that’s a whole heck of a lot easier these days. Back when I was a kid, I had to walk ten miles, in the snow, uphill, both ways to vote and go to school. Yeah, okay, kidding, but I did have to walk to the neighbourhood library and look up things in books. These days, a plethora of information is as close as your phone!

That brings us to the point that is so very important for us here in the US, the upcoming election. Now, I’ll be honest, I have serious reservations about Hillary, she is not my first choice for a candidate.

When it’s a choice between Hillary and Dumb Donald, well, it’s like asking which disease you want to catch: the flu or Ebola. My fellow Americans, come this November, when you’re standing in that voting booth, think back and remember the Brexit vote. Don’t let your desire to “make a statement,” cast a “protest vote” or adhere to something as stupid as “party loyalty” result in you making a major mistake.

Remember that pledge you made every morning in school. It was to the Republic, not to a mere political party. Do you duty as a citizen and vote your head, not your heart.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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