Monday, June 27, 2016

Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights

So, Great Britain chose to leave the European Union. I confess I am a little surprised. The idea of European Unity seemed like a good one to me, having been a big fan of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for such a long time. Setting up that little group of countries in anticipation of the potential westward toppling of Soviet dominoes was a stroke of mild genius. Here in America, we could always count on the sound of trouble coming form NATO long before it ever reached out shores. When the European Economic Community switched to the European Union back in 1993, I figured it would be part of the homogenization of that continent that had been happening for so long. Once the wall came down in Berlin, and the Soviet Union became just plain old Russia again, it seemed like a great way to bring things together under one roof, so to speak. Kind of like a great big EPCOT Center.
Aside from my obvious and very simple-minded vision of the Disneyfication of Europe, I felt the example of a melting pot for all the cultures of all those countries would serve as a beacon to the rest of us living out here in Frontierland. One currency. One government. One voice. United. Out of many: one, to coin a phrase. Of course that meant that all those colorful foreign currencies were lost to the clunky Euro, and everyone had to learn to speak Esperanto. Okay, languages weren't affected that much, and there were still all those flags and chancellors and prime ministers and so forth.
And all that xenophobia.
The fact that the European Union was formed before and survived for some time after the events of September 11, 2001 is impressive. The terror Americans anticipated after the World Trade Centers fell never fully materialized. Not in Frontierland. In Europe, where everyone was within driving distance of some kind of terror cell, there have been multiple bombings, shootings and other such events made easier because of those "porous borders."
Through it all, the European Union stood strong. Now, Great Britain wants out. Never mind the economic and political chaos this will start, Never mind that Ireland and Scotland will probably take this opportunity to decide whether they want to remain part of Great Britain. Germany and France will continue to hold the line while countries like Albania and Montenegro wonder if they should give up their place in line to get into the club in the first place.
Meanwhile, back in Frontierland, Donald T-Rump lauds the people of Great Britain for "taking back their country." Do we need a bigger, brighter sign to tell us that this may not be a good idea after all? I dont pensi do.

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