Not that I wasn’t following the news or anything while I was away at ALA, but I didn’t have the time to really respond to anything as it happened. I was stunned that Brexit actually went through, as were most of the people across the world, it sounds like. What’s been even more surprising to me is how many people who voted for Leave were shocked and dismayed when their protest vote actually ended up winning.
Votes are votes. They come with real consequences, and I don’t understand how people can think of them in any other light. You don’t cast a vote for something just because you want to show the world you’re unhappy with your lot in life at the moment. (Unless the question you’re voting on is “Am I unhappy with my lot in life at the moment?”)
To see so many people express surprise at the consequences of their votes is dismaying, particularly when that’s coupled with people who say they didn’t really understand what it was they were voting for. (Of course, some of their anger is aimed at politicians who deliberately misportrayed the fallout of the vote. That anger is totally justified, and it’s really disappointing (but to be expected) that politicians are willing to do or say whatever they want to try and get their way in the political arena.)
So what does all of this have to do with the 2016 elections? As I was driving home from the airport yesterday listening to talk radio, it struck me that both sides of this election seem to be shifting more and more toward arguing “Vote for me so that ______ doesn’t get elected.” Yes, they say a bit about what they want to get done, but when I listen to people who are discussing who they’re voting for and why, many of them are either voting for Trump so that Clinton doesn’t get elected, or else voting for Clinton so that Trump doesn’t get elected.
Has it really come to that? When you vote against someone, you still end up voting for someone else. And if that someone comes to power, you’re still stuck with him or her for 4 years. This goes for the people voting against Trump and the people voting against Clinton. Unfortunately, I don’t really see an answer in the sort term. Perhaps we have to get stuck with someone the majority dislikes for the country to actually get beyond this two party system wall.
Maybe we have to have our own Brexit before we can move forward.
As long as that Brexit doesn’t involve Trump at the head of the country for four years . . .