Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, June 24, 2016

The perils of the protest vote

by digby

Why didn't anyone tell us?

Following Britain’s 52% to 48% decision to leave the European Union on Thursday (June 23), BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire convened a group of voters in Manchester who cast ballots for a Brexit.

One of them, a man named Adam, is harboring some rather immediate regrets.

“I’m a bit shocked to be honest,” he said. “I’m shocked that we actually have voted to leave, I didn’t think that was going to happen.”

Adam told Derbyshire that he didn’t think his vote would ultimately matter. “I thought we were just going to remain,” he explained, “and the David Cameron resignation has blown me away to be honest.”

When Derbyshire asked him if the results had him concerned for the country’s future, he replied, “I think the period of uncertainty that we’re going to have for the next couple of months, that’s just been magnified now. So yeah, quite worried.”

Adam is not alone, apparently. Google is reporting a sharp uptick in searches relating to not just the implications of Britain leaving the EU, but the basic functions of the body all together:

With presumptive major-party nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the United States faces a similarly stark choice as EU referendum voters. Indeed, the parallels between the Leave campaign and Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement are clear—both are built on a bedrock of white, working-class angst; anti-immigrant paranoia, economic protectionism, and queasy ultranationalism.

Clinton is leading Trump in polls nationwide. She has built a coalition of key demographics—women, ethnic minorities, and the college-educated—that make up a pretty strong firewall against a Trump victory. But then again, it appears many Britons couldn’t conceive of a Brexit in the same way many Americans can’t conceive of a Trump presidency. Yet here we are, a day after the referendum, with Britain on its way out of the EU and David Cameron on his way out of office.

Political analysts say turnout for the Remain campaign was lower than expected. This, in combination with the notion that perhaps large numbers of Leave voters did not cast their ballots seriously has precipitated the current situation. And a parallel recipe has the potential to bring about a Trump victory in November.

There is no doubt that the austerity regime under Cameron made people sour and bitter and you can't blame them. It's also true that many British people just don't like immigrants. (And yes,terrorism plays a part in that as well.) Europe does not have the same history with immigration as the US and we also escaped the level of super harsh austerity that was inflicted on much of Europe, yet we're having a xenophobic backlash too.

The reasons for this are complicated. But no matter what is making people so anxious, blaming immigrants and people of color for that anxiety is just wrong. It's wrong on the merits --- they didn't cause the problem. And it is wrong on a moral basis. It's not something that people of integrity should excuse simply because big structural issues that are driving all this instability around the world are making people unhappy.

There is a danger that people will not take the threat of Donald Trump seriously enough to stop him. There is a large contingent of Americans who are signed on to his toxic program because they really like it. And there are others who either aren't taking him seriously or who are myopically obsessed with internecine battles that can be dealt with after Trump is defeated. That's a bad strategy.

As you can see from the word coming out of Britain today, a whole lot of people didn't understand the ramifications of their vote, assumed that it couldn't come to this so they didn't bother to vote, or used voting as an emotional expression of their personal discontent. None of those things are a good idea in times like these. Actually, they're never a good idea, but in times like these the consequences could be grave.The last time we had a big protest vote in the US, we got Junior Bush and Cheney gang.

I don't know if Brexit will have any long term serious effect on the world economy. This is beyond my ken. Hopefully, economic elites will learn (again) that it's playing with fire to force austerity on hard working people as a sort of moral lesson in fiscal responsibility. They rarely learn what you want them to from that.

But it is also clear that this vote was a public endorsement of disgusting xenophobia and racism. It shouldn't be hard to condemn that: