Mudcat Café message #3797277 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #160019   Message #3797277
Posted By: Joe Offer
23-Jun-16 - 02:59 PM
Thread Name: BS: To Br/Exit Or Not To Br/Exit
Subject: RE: BS: To Br/Exit Or Not To Br/Exit
There's a piece that played on National Public Radio in the US titled Britain's 'Brexit' Vote Has Echoes Of The U.S. Presidential Race. An excerpt:

I get the impression from discussion here that it's not only the UKIP that is promoting "Brexit." I've heard all the arguments, but it's hard to tell from here who's supporting "Brexit," and who's supporting "Bremain."

I was born in 1948, and I can remember a time when people in the U.S. thought that periodic wars in Europe were inevitable. I lived in Berlin in 1972-73 - I guess you could say I was surrounded by the Iron Curtain for two years, but I did get a chance to leave Berlin 20 times in the 20 months I was there, and I saw a lot of Europe. My feeling at the time was that periodic European war was still inevitable.

I didn't return to Europe until I retired in 1999, and I've visited Europe a couple of weeks or more every year since then. As the EU came to be, I've seen a lot of improvements, especially in the poorer countries. Wealthier EU nations may resent the money being spent in Ireland and Spain and Greece and other nations; but as an outsider, I can see how much it adds to the stability and security of Europe. I've also been amazed at how easy it is for Europeans to work in multiple countries. As a traveler, I've found the Euro very helpful, and I've found it annoying that I can't use Euros in the UK.

And through the years, it has seemed to me that the EU has taken wiser stands on international issues than the U.S. has.

In many ways, the EU is an ideal that is far from being completely fulfilled - but while the EU exists, the dream can still exist. I don't know that the withdrawal of the UK will mean the end of the EU, but it's certainly a deadly blow.

So, I can see many shortcomings of the EU, and I understand the frustration with the bureaucracy and immigration and all; but I'd hate to see the EU collapse. I'm much rather see the UK put its energy into fixing what's wrong with the EU.

I'm sure it's true that as a foreigner, I have an idealized view of the EU, but maybe it's not a bad idea to dream of ideals and work to achieve them.