Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Value of Collective Wisdom

My favorite analysis of the British vote to leave the European Union last week is that the "Oldsters are 'screwing' the Youngsters".  It is the opinion of those on the Left that everyone who voted for the Brexit was a "fascist, racist old coot who is seeking to put up walls around the country".  Beyond employing the standard liberal tactic of attempting to discredit any opposing viewpoint with labels and marginalization, the "blame the old people" effort forgets the collective wisdom of those generations.

The oldest of the Oldsters actually fought against continental forces trying to bring Great Britain under central control.  Those a little bit younger recall being taken by their mothers into The Tube to escape the bombings and saw first-hand the damage caused by real fascists across the continent.  Nearly all of the Oldsters remember when an Iron Curtain divided Europe and literal walls divided not just countries but families for decades.  They also know what Socialism and Collectivism can do to the financial health of entire swaths of nations.  And all of the Oldsters can recall when Christians and Muslims alternately tried to exterminate each other in the Balkans.

But now the bitter "Remainers" are trying to say that the people who lived through all of that and fought to defeat fascism and who held firm to tear down the walls that divided Europe suddenly turned to vote for instituting that again?  Like they came to a realization that representative government was a "huge mistake"?

Of course, the Oldsters also remember having jobs too.  The kind of jobs where you made something--not sat around talking about concepts and calling that a "job".  And they enjoyed having those jobs more than they enjoyed being able to hop on the Chunnel Train to have lunch at cafes in Paris in the afternoon--or being able to get scholarships to study for a year in Copenhagen--which seem to be the main "losses" that the Youngsters are now complaining about.

And the liberal complaints on this side of the pond are just as farcical.  The same politicians and pundits saying Britons are idiots for giving up the "benefits of free trade in the EU" are the same ones attacking the "free trade" agreements the US has signed with his neighbors and trading partners.  You hear anyone on the campaign trail saying how great NAFTA is?  Anybody openly calling for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement?  Where are the reassurances that jobs moving to Mexico or China are still good--because "we are all in this together"?

I know its passé in this "I know everything because I can look it up on the internet" time--but sometimes maybe we should listen to our elders.

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