Brittannia Lives! Brexit breathes new life into independent spirit.

June 26, 2016

BrexitOn November 8th 1994, the United States of America had a mid term election whose results literally shook the world. Two years into the first term of Bill Clinton and almost a year since Hillary Clinton’s, the Health Security Act, was presented to Congress on November 20, 1993, the American people delivered to Newt Gingrich and his fellow “Contract with America” Republicans a victory not seen in modern political times. 34 incumbent Democrats were defeated and House Republicans garnered a 54 seat gain giving them their first voting majority in over 40 years.

That election was even more memorable to me because I watched it all unfold from a hotel room in London in the middle of the night. And I would spend the next week conversing with eager Brits who had but a one word question: Why? To which the answer was as simple as it was 220 years prior. Americans, whether they be colonial or modern don’t take kindly to be ordered around by a detached, centralized government.

I never dreamed that two decades later, I would be doing my ’94 election watch in reverse. Awake in the middle of the night watching British election results from the other side of the Atlantic.. Hoping, praying that freedom would prevail once again.

That the country that gave to the world so much, would return to her days of Churchill and standing firm against those that would dictate terms to London. That she somehow would find a way to throw off the yolk of the European Union and return to setting her own destiny.

I admit I went into the night less than optimistic. The latest polls had the “remain” camp bouncing back into the lead amid a last minute push of fear peddling and doom saying that even Chicken Little would have been embarrassed by.

And when I read that a high turnout of young people would bode well for the “remain” bloc, entrusting the fate of great Mother England to the Labour party and basically out and out socialist Jeremy Corbyn and crew the depression got real. If you think Bernie Sanders is a crazy old coot promising all the lil ones free stuff with grandpa’s money, Jeremy Corbyn is Bernie on a steroid fueled world cruise.

But when after early pessimism, Nigel Farage, leader of the UKIP party (United Kingdom Independence Party) that started the “leave” movement, noticed early returns and commented: “I now dare to dream that the dawn is coming up on an independent United Kingdom.”, my optimism was on the rise.

As the results turned Mr. Farage’s dream into reality, he told a cheering crowd: “We have fought against the multinationals, we fought against the big merchant banks, we fought against big politics, we fought against lies, corruption and deceit, let’s get rid of the flag, the anthem, Brussels and all that has gone wrong. Let June the 23rd go down in our history as our, Independence Day”

And so they did. While the percentage margin was slim, the “leave” camp managed 1.3 million votes more than the “remains” and history had another date to add to its timeline of notable events.

The calendar may show the year is 2016, but last Thursday, at least in regards to Britain and the European Union’s edicts coming out of Brussels, it just as easily could be 1776.

Congratulations my English cousins. You showed the world that sovereignty still matters and the fire of independence still burns. There’s millions of us over here “across the pond” hoping November 8th, 2016 turns out the same.

God speed as you chart your new course.

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the June 26, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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