I want to address a subject that is very important to me today. I awoke this morning to learn that the UK's citizens have voted overwhelmingly to withdraw from the European Union.
This news came as a shocking surprise to pollsters who assumed the vote would maintain the status quo, but not to me. There is an undeniable parallel between the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. and this historic vote on the "other side of the pond." No establishment figures, be they politicians or the media, took Trump's candidacy seriously either, yet he has attracted a record number of new voters on the way to becoming the GOP nominee.
Too many critics focus on The Donald's oversized personality and sometimes outlandish statements while ignoring the underlying discontent that has propelled his candidacy. There appears to be a shift in global consciousness occurring where people have reached a breaking point regarding their frustration with unresponsive government. They are fed up with the loss of personal freedom through overreaching government intrusions into their lives and the arrogant attitude of elected representatives that signals "be quiet--we know what's best for you."
Trump's appeal to his supporters is not so much exactly what he will or won't do but that he can be counted on to do something. They believed that a vote for more experienced establishment opponents in the primaries, and now for Hillary in November, is a choice to continue along the same "do nothing" path with which they are supremely dissatisfied. And their unhappiness is so intense they are willing to take a chance and boldly move the country in a new direction.
The same mindset has prevailed in the UK. The EU experiment from the outset was a monetary initiative cloaked in the same "safety and security" fabrication as our own Patriot Act. In the end each has been revealed to be more about government control than the welfare of the citizenry.
In both cases the immigration issue stands at the forefront, but it is a mistake to lionize this one aspect of a much broader feeling of disgruntlement. Famous author Stephen Covey reminds us to "keep the main thing the main thing." The main thing right now is that people worldwide are standing at the window like the guy in the movie Network and shouting, "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!"
Has the UK made a wise decision? Time will tell. The great news is if this turns out to be a mistake they can decide something different.
I believe the vast majority of us are good and decent, and that we are perfectly capable of deciding what is best for ourselves. I fervently believe in democracy. I believe that the will of the people must prevail.
And for that reason I celebrate yesterday's vote as a win for the people. Let freedom ring!