Monday, June 27, 2016

A Lesson From ‘Brexit’: On Immigration, Feelings Trump Facts

A Lesson From ‘Brexit’: On Immigration, Feelings Trump Facts

Very true, and this is a lesson that the EU itself has to learn, lest the UK be the first of many departures. The US should take note of it as well. Donald Trump may not win, but he obviously pressed a very hot button in his tough immigration stances, so others will take up this mantle, and those others will not be burdened by as much extraneous baggage as The Donald.

The people of the UK were aware of the possible economic consequences of withdrawal, but saw that as less important than the long-term strategy of having local control over immigration. Most societies in the world want to regulate their membership, to determine how many immigrants join them each year, where they come from, and what skills they have. The people of the UK were starting to feel that they had lost that control. They built the greatest empire in the history of the world by using their natural sea borders to prevent unwanted foreigners from setting foot on their soil. England's past greatness was attributable in no small part to the fact that their land was "this fortress built by nature for herself against infection and the hand of war; this precious stone set in the silver sea which serves it in the office of a wall or as a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands." A lot of their citizens think that the integrity of that fortress is still the way to maintain their culture, and their greatness. It's easy for me to understand why they feel that way.

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