A Crushing Defeat

Immigration reciprocity is nasty business. If you’ve ever been to Brazil as an American, you’ve seen this in action. It works like this: However difficult country A makes it for citizens of country B to visit, country B then enacts the same rules for country A. Which means going through an insane amount of work and sending off your passport just to get into Brazil, because we do the same thing to Brazilians. They adopt our rules to show us how punitive those rules feel.

Make no mistake: The fault is ours. It shouldn’t be this difficult to visit another country. Ever. You should be able to show up, present your documents, and your lack of outstanding criminal warrants — and agreement to follow local laws and pay local taxes — allows you entry.

If the same xenophobia that led to the Brexit also leads to harsher immigration policies and procedures, British citizens will likely suffer reciprocity from other EU members. Right now, you can drive the chunnel and go from England to France without stopping. Just like you can currently drive from Texas to California without having to get bureaucrats involved (not counting the produce police on the way into New Mexico). That ease of access will likely cease. Which is absolutely terrible, not just for human freedom, but for economic growth.

Imagine natural gas exploration taking off in North Dakota and not being able to get enough people through the red tape to take the jobs. The private sector is more flexible and swifter to pivot than law-makers. Hardening borders is terrible for economic growth. But it’s not just economics; imagine only being able to date someone in your home state because of the complexities of job requirements and immigration woes (I’ve recently gone through this with a girlfriend from the UK). These are the real-world consequences of protectionism and xenophobia.

What’s disgusting is that older voters lead the way with their intolerance, and they aren’t as greatly affected by their actions. They are moving out of the workforce. They’ve already married and settled with their loved ones. Geographic isolation is less harmful to those who have settled down; it’s terrible for those still looking for their place in the world. Which is why voters under 30 overwhelmingly chose to stay in the EU. It’s also a matter of subsequent generations being more tolerant and less hate-ridden than those who came before. Progress, as they say, happens one funeral at a time.

The Brexit has its parallels around the globe. Nationalism and isolationism are on the rise. What’s really amazing about the racism and xenophobia here in the US is that it’s completely unfounded. Between 2009 and 2014, the net flow between Mexico and the US was 140,000 Mexicans LEAVING this country. Our economic stagnation, Mexico’s meager economic progress, and family reunification, were all factors. Perhaps it’s fitting that the hero of this movement here in the States, Donald Trump, got his facts exactly backwards when he celebrated Scotland voting to leave the EU. His adherents get the facts exactly backwards as well. Opening borders with the rest of the world would not result in a stampede. It would result in a natural flow in both directions.

Racism is the root of this nationalism, plain and simple. If it weren’t, we’d see people picketing high school and college graduation ceremonies for all the looming jobs about to be stolen. We’d see intolerance toward pregnant women and kids in strollers for all the jobs these new Americans are going to steal. We’d hear more about these dastardly Canadians.

The xenophobes are not worried about population growth, not really. Population growth leads to economic growth. A newborn child and an immigrant are both going to consume and trade just as much as they work (more so, with debt accumulating over time). That means every new body is more jobs created through more spending. When you see an immigrant, see a shopper, an eater, a renter. Just like you do a newborn. The fact that we don’t see it this way says it all.

Look, borders are a dumb fucking idea. Lines on maps are necessary to a point, but not when it comes to immigration, the free flow of people, or the free flow of trade. These bureaucratic walls are only beloved by those who fear that the makeup of the populace will change (usually by growing darker). But it’s the next generation that has to live with the consequences of these protectionist schemes.

Let’s take the idea of Brexit a bit further and liken it to the United States fracturing. Imagine a different currency in all 50 states. Different rules and regulations. Our political leaders would waste more and more of their time debating trade deals, which would mean more lobbying from special interest groups who try to get import duties on everything they make, while reducing duties on the raw materials they need, with everyone else fighting for the exact opposite. He who provides the nicest steak (pick your bribe) wins.

It’s ironic to me that the small-government side of the political spectrum is all about the proliferation of governments. I have heard this argument that bureaucrats in Brussels are corrupt and self-serving, as if bureaucrats anywhere, at any time, have been anything less. The only way to achieve smaller governments, so that private sector initiative can move the world forward rather than backward, is to have fewer governments, not a lot more of them with smaller borders. To argue that the United States would benefit by being 50 separate countries is absolute lunacy. Just look at Germany before and after Bismark. Or Italy of the city states. Yet this is what the pro-Brexit crowd is applauding, especially once Scotland votes for independence and the EU breaks up further. They’re applauding the equivalent of the dissolution of the United States. That’s how fucking dumb their stance is.

The end goal should be open borders around the world. A single currency, and people free to live wherever they want, not imprisoned by where they are born. This is a long way off, but baby steps must be made. Every free trade pact and loosening of immigration policies is a move in the right direction. Will stronger economies have to buttress weaker economies for a while? Of course. California and Texas already pay an outsized proportion of our collective defense fund than Alabama or Rhode Island. Part of this is population numbers and part is economic vitality and tax revenues. Just as Germany helps Portugal, so too does Florida help South Dakota. This is a good thing. It’s how it should work.

The reason it works in the United States is that we have a collective identity which overrides (most) of our tribalism. Yes, there is still a lot of regional pride and rancor, but we stand together where it counts. The fix for our world economy will be to train ourselves to do the same. We need to SEE each other as humans first and foremost. We need to feel it. Believe it. Let it pervade us.

The reflex to be protectionist with our trade must be countered by the knowledge that any rise in wealth abroad pays dividends to everyone. China developing a middle class means more spending and tourism. It means more growth for US companies. It will also lead to the movement of jobs back to the US as wages go up, and also to the next areas of the world to rise out of poverty, like Africa. There is no way you can make the argument that an impoverished and uneducated California or North Carolina would ever be a good thing for this country, so how can anyone think an impoverished and uneducated country would ever be good for the world?

What we are seeing around the world right now is an ugly spasm of hate in response to a recent wave of globalization. It has happened several times before in human history, as greater enmeshing results in an almost immunological response. The body rejects the transplanted. But it’ll get better. Progress comes one generation at a time. The real lesson here is that the hopeful and optimistic youth need to be as motivated as the angry and the hateful who tend to be older. Anger motivates people to vote more than hope does. You can’t sleep in and trust that the right outcome will just happen. You’ve got to get out and make it happen.

This November, I would love to see a crushing defeat of hatred and racism and xenophobia. A crushing defeat. I don’t think it will happen, because the fearful will get riled up and will go stand in line to vote, stamping their feet and harumphing. Those with a positive outlook will trust the polls, that a narrow victory is inevitable, that their friends will do the heavy lifting for them, and that all will be okay. Trump and those who support his brand of xenophobia will likely lose by percentage points (even if the electoral math is much wider).  But it shouldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be close. This should be a crushing defeat.

We should announce to the rest of the world — just like the colonies did over two hundred years ago — that the people here stand for the future and not for the past. We’ve been laggards on many social issues of late, losing our global leadership when it comes to ethical progress. Too slow to embrace marriage freedoms. Too slow to decriminalize marijuana. Too slow to reduce the number of guns on the streets. It would be great to set an example again. Even better if older voters had a change of heart and defied their fears by voting with compassion. Greater still if the Christian coalition voted as Jesus would. Imagine the man who embraced lepers confronting his followers who would loathe to hug someone with darker skin. But that’s where we stand. It doesn’t mean we have to.

Look, if you are reading this and you are offended, welcome to the club. I’m offended by myself and my prejudices. We are all racist to some degree. It requires fighting off inborn and genetic tendencies to not be xenophobic, just as it’s damn hard not to overeat and over-consume. There are very clever experiments that can measure this, and one of the shocking results is that people who like to think — who truly believe — that they aren’t prejudiced actually are. So anyone saying “I’m not racist” is lying to themselves. That goes for all of us. It’s a question of degree. It’s also a question of intellectual honesty. But mostly, it’s a question of what we’re going to do about it.

This November, I’m going to vote for a career politician that I’ve never been fond of. To me, this is an even greater rebuke of Trump’s xenophobia than it would be if I voted for a politician that I’m in love with. This is not quite me hugging a leper (I think Hillary will make a great president), but you get the idea. If you didn’t have to overcome your revulsion, you aren’t proving anything. That’s why, the more you disagree with Hillary, the more you’ve held against her over the years, the more meaningful your vote against Trump becomes.

And yes, it’s okay to vote against something. You can’t vote against something without also voting for something. This November, I get to vote for the United States to be an example again. An example of inclusion. Of liberty. Of trust. The fact that I’ll be voting for someone I disagree with is just ever sweeter. Standing up for what you believe in is more powerful when there’s something you have to overcome. This will be a chance to shout down bigots with my vote. And I’m not going to rely on the rest of the country to do that for me. I’m not going to take it for granted. I’m not going to fear the lines. I’m not going to wait for the day after to Google what any of this is about, or research what the fuck is going on. I want a landslide of love. I’m even willing to forgive all of you who want the exact opposite.

After we politely and democratically kick your motherfucking hate-filled asses in November.

 

COMMENTS (149)

No more if his books for me. Hugh is most likely a commie.

You can always just steal the ebook editions. I don’t mind.

This is a man who understands the nature of piracy. Pirates will be pirates, it’s no use fighting them. It’s almost always better to focus instead on embracing your customers and fans, rather than trying to punish your detractors.

Great post, by the way.

That’s just what a commie would say. ;-) (To make up for him, I’ll buy two copies (or more!); they make great gifts!)

“If you’re willing to guess that, it should be small matter to guess my objections.” A Man for All Seasons

Seriously, Mr. Unger, the worst thing you can do, living in this modern and complicated world, is cut yourself off from viewpoints you don’t immediately share. The second worst thing you can do is blithely jump to conclusions about another person’s heart.

If you’re not willing to be persuaded, then you’re not willing to think. And if you’re not willing to think, who knows what you’ll do. A non-thinking mind is like a soft hammer. Join us in the debate, please. Disagree on substance. Abandon ad hominem attacks as a way of self-validating.

Mr. Howey, I remain a big fan, and I look forward to your next book. Please keep writing.

You should probably read the definition of communism is you think Hugh’s comments make him a commie. Seriously. If anything, his suggestions would probably allow for much greater trade and free markets.

Oh, puleeeeeze.

It is very easy to apply shallow labels without providing any thoughtful arguments. What is your reasoning for calling Mr. Howey a communist? How do his statements lead you to this conclusion? And what counter thoughts do you actually have?

We may not agree with one an others politics, but the diversity of opinions is what made our countries great. Let’s not stand in they way of ones craft. Remember. The breeze blows both ways. @WriteTonight

Terrence OBrien

He’s not a communist. Communists have a history of maintaining very strong borders.

You don’t have to buy his books- but, thanks for saying that. His fans will just buy more now to make up for your “loss.” Congratulations! You just increased his sales, and the only way to read his wonderful stories now is to either look for free ebooks, go into a “commie” public library, or ask friends to borrow copies.

Same here….plus the one filled with hate appears to be Hugh.
America has been the most benevolent country on the planet…..sick of your nasty innuendo.

I did not think it was possible for me to appreciate you even more than I did after the Pope post the other day on FB. But you’ve done it. You so eloquently say what I feel. Thank you for putting it into words. ❤

This is what happens when success gets to your head. Your fiction is good – stick to that.

My views haven’t changed. How you view me has.

This is why I love you Hugh. This.

Amen, my brother. I’m so happy that your views have not changed, but rather that you’ve gained a worldwide forum for expressing them. I love nothing better than hearing the music of your twisted, brilliant mind firing on all cylinders. <3

I actually think you’re a better man than a writer, and you write very well.

You are the great inspiration for all self-published (and want-to-be self published) writers. Your success is well earned and to be admired and respected. That said, when you enter the arena of political punditry, you are, like most of us, an amateur. Albeit an amateur with a large megaphone. Rather than bore you and everyone else with a point-by-point discussion, I would only offer that there is a difference between closed borders (zero immigration) and controlled borders. It seems as though you accept a borderless world where people move wherever they want–open borders. But think about the results. Pretty much of the whole third world wants to come to the U.S., but if we let them all in, as the open borders crowd seems to want to do, what the third worlds wants to come to, our prosperous, rule of law country with economic opportunities, would disappear. It’s ironic, but true. Being a baby boomer, I may be considered a knuckle dragging lowbrow, but the years have given me a sharp sense of caution about the left’s position on so many things.

Well spoken. And nice to see youve been up here in Canada. (Drop me a line and ill take you out for a coffee if you’re in Vancouver)

I read a comment that summed up the spasm by the right, their self inflicted and damaging policies quite well.

It only makes sense to call in an airstrike on your own position when you think you’re being overrun.

Which brings some hope. Let’s overrun them.

Wow. I love that.

Yep, I agree, and Trump is the strike-back on our reckless career politicians. We may not care for Mr Trumps rhetoric, and the man himself. But, he is not a career politician. We voted to get rid of them. He is a business man, and that is why many of us voted for Mitt Romney. If Mr. Trump can, and will do half of what he says, he’ll be a great president.

I think you’re being a tad simplistic, Hugh. For me, the big issue of the referendum was sovereignty – do we govern our own country, or do unelected bureaucrats in Brussels? America, land of the free, wouldn’t tolerate for a moment the idea of foreigners making laws for them. Why should we? The EU started life as the Common Market, and has morphed into something very different over four decades.

We do tolerate it. Unelected judges set policy here, and often do a better job than those beholden to votes and special interest groups. And Washington overrides our local officials all the time. Plus the UN resolutions and various environmental accords. Fishing treaties.

We’re in this together. It’s not like local politicians are less corrupt. It just means we have to tolerate lifting up those less fortunate than ourselves with policies that don’t always align with our self-interests. And I’m all for that. We are all immigrants. Let’s leave the rope ladders fully deployed. It’s still not an easy climb.

Terrence OBrien

It just means we have to tolerate lifting up those less fortunate than ourselves with policies that don’t always align with our self-interests.

No, we don’t have to tolerate that. We decide what we will do within our own borders.

The Brexit vote demonstrates people do not have to tolerate it. They stood up and said, “No.”

That’s crap. Alaskans and Hawaiians have been letting politicians thousands of miles away make laws for them for years. And that is no different than Scots and Irishmen who have let their destinies be decided in London (and Brussels!) Bottom line, Europe as a unit has a lot more going for it than UK as a unit. Just like Alaska’s challenges would be far greater without the US behind us as much as we may grumble.

Just to point out that Scottish-only laws can only be voted on in Holyrood. Welsh-only laws are voted by the Welsh Assembly. The Northern Irish alone vote on laws that affect only the Northern Irish.

In England, our laws are voted on by the same UK parliament that votes on laws nationwide.

“Sovereignty”. Yea right, about as much as the US Civil War was about State’s rights and not slavery.

Dear Lexi,
It’s not Hugh, who’s simplistic. Those who bought the Leave-campaigners’ arguments are.

1: Immigration: the last time I walked by Serpentine Lake, it was obvious for the naked eye that most of the people there originated from the continents to the east and south of Europe. Definitely not Poland or Romania for example. So I do not know about that. Also those, who fear people from other nationalities, overrunning the UK “because of the EU”- did you watch the Switzerland against Poland soccer game the other day (Euro 2016)? Switzerland has never been an EU member, yet I challenge you to tell me how many ethnic Schweizer there were on the field (also check the head coach, please). Did this emerge because some external body imposed something on Switzerland or is it because this is simply followed its self-interest?

2. Contributions to the EU budget.
You probably know that Norway (a non-EU member state), in order to have access to the European Economic Area (EEA), has been paying per capita (into the EU budget) almost as much as the UK does (a net beneficiary and a receiver of a generous rebate, negotiated by Thatcher). Yet the UK has had orders of magnitude more influence and power over EU’s decisions as compared to Norway.
For the same reason Norway has to tolerate the freedom of movement which the Leave camp dreads so much.
Using lots of false numbers, the Leave campaign managed to convince the populous that the UK can negotiate to
(a) both have their cake and eat it (be a member of EEA after it Leaves EU but not pay or observe the rules everybody else does) and
(b) the beneficiaries will be the common folk (not least via the UK’s National Health Service – which was a clever trick to gain the support the elderly).
I’d like to see how the pro-Brexit politicians are going to implement their promises. Really. The honest thing to do will be to trigger Article 50, yet Brexiters insist that there is another way – “informal negotiations”, which means that they will be twisting a knife into the EU’s flesh for many years. Oh, and in a single day (Friday) off of UK’s stock markets was erased the equivalent of 24 years of contributions to EU’s budget was erased. And that’s just for breakfast. It’s now Monday and the pound is digging through floor minus one.

3. “For me, the big issue of the referendum was sovereignty – do we govern our own country, or do unelected bureaucrats in Brussels?“ – I did not realize you elected the members of the upper house of the UK Parliament, the last time I checked, they were still appointed (don’t even get me started on hereditary peers).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords
I am sure they (and those who appoint them) are glad you believe you govern your country
I certainly am impressed by the suggestive power of those who persuaded you that “we the people” are taking control by leaving the EU. But I would not hold my breath.
Let’s look at the silver lining – if there’s so much angst and animosity in people that someone else, some external body is the primary reason for their problems, then no matter if this is actually true or false – it’s probably a good thing that the tension is going to be released. And I do wish that the UK say goodbye to all its problems and not blame the EU anymore.
Except I expect that for decades after Brexit, Europe will still be blamed for whatnot.

P.S.: Hugh, respect!

Why vote for a career politician you don’t like? There is more than two options — if we are able to see outside of the two silos, that is.

Please see “Nader, Ralph” circa 2000.

If your unrealistic vote helps elect a truly dangerous (rather than unsatisfying) candidate, you just might get ignored intelligence, terrible attacks, illegal wars/invasions, destabilized regions, torture, massive domestic surveillance, a neglected/drowned city, and a near-total banking collapse.

Your vote is your civic voice. It is not a protest and it cannot afford to be a pipe dream.

Well said! I might borrow this to share with any idiots who think voting for Jill Stein is somehow noble, rather than stupid and selfish.

His vote is also HIS vote. Telling him to vote the two party system because otherwise is just throwing his vote away is undemocratic, Knucklehead.

I was hoping to perhaps sit this election out. I’m one if those very jaded people that hates both parties and most politicians (especially Hillary)

I dislike Trump so much, though, that I’ll voting for her come November. Never imagined I’d tick a box for her.

Just remember that you’re voting for a woman whose emails have been read in Moscow and Beijing. She deliberately violated security rules as secretary of state to hide her behavior on behalf of her fundraisers, 20 percent of them from the Arab states (through the Clinton Foundation).

She is a compromised candidate and she will be continuing the wonderful eight years we’ve lived under the Lightbringer.

Yes, I understand you don’t like Trump. I get it. But Hillary is worse. I hope you’ll reconsider.

Bill, when you call our current President Satan (in very, very clever code, btw), you lose the ability to persuade because you lose all credibility.

Not going to order lie, I’d probably vote Satan over Trump. At least I know what his policies are ;)

Jordan –

We DO know what Trump’s policies are. They’re terrific. The classiest, most luxurious policies you’ve ever seen. Just tremendous, every one of them. He has the best policies.

Seriously. Study her bio. There’s a lot of action including deceit and questionable deaths surrounding the Clinton’s career politics. Sooner or later it will catch up with them.

Why is liking either one of them necessary? Just pick the BEST person for the damn job.

That’s basically what I said ;)

Sadly many will be voting with a eeney meeny, miney, mo…mentality.

I don’t agree 100% … Nice thought and wish it was that easy to be receptive and welcoming…but the worlds not a nice place anymore. Just too many out there wanting to harm and hurt others.

Gravity kills more people than terrorists do. And a family member is more likely to kill you or kidnap your kid than a stranger. We fear the OTHER because it’s in our DNA, not because the other is really that dangerous. Used to be true. No longer is.

The world is safer than it’s ever been.

Amen.

FEAR is a tactic used by the “Roosevelts” and upper class (call it what you will, government, etc…follow the money trail) to dissuade us all. WAKE up People.

Excellent, Hugh. Couldn’t agree more……with one exception; your generalization about old people being inflexible!

Thank you! As an old person (65) I like to think I am as tolerant as anyone. Most of the young people I know don’t even bother to vote.

Heck, doctors kill more people than terrorists do….maybe we should send the Marines into the hospitals to take out all of the MD’s.
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/03/476636183/death-certificates-undercount-toll-of-medical-errors

Terrence OBrien

If doctors organized into an international group and intentionally began killing people, and then promised to kill more and more, the USMC would be an appropriate response.

As it is, doctors work very hard to lower the number of people who die from malpractice.

If taking a kid to the pediatrician meant he would have his throat slashed, then the USMC is an appropriate response.

If doctors put their patients in cages and burned them alive, then the uSMC would be an appropriate response.

Ino ne case, we have a group that is trying to stop the deaths. In the other we have one that is trying to maximize the deaths.

So then the best thing to do is help it continue? Wouldnt that be giving over victory to fear mongering and xenophobia? Be the change!

Here’s a funny one on borders: I was on a whale watch last summer in the waters between Canda and the US (BTW Hugh, awesome sailing all around the Salish Sea, come visit), and when our boat crossed the invisible border, the captain adjusted our position to account for the different whale watching rules (I think it was that in the US you have to be farther away from the whales).

So I’m picturing the Orcas saying “Swim for the border, they’ll give us more space over there!”

May the contempt you hold for people who sin by thinking differently from you be returned to you a thousandfold.

Ooh, Bill, cursing people is yet another way to demonstrate your core character. I didn’t hear Mr. Howey curse anybody.

There’s nothing wrong with cursing those who deserve to be cursed. It’s just a matter of having a rational discussion to determine who is whom. Objective moral truth exists, it’s just necessary to suss it all out.

For instance, there’s nothing wrong with beating a man up to stop him from raping someone. Or shooting someone who is on a shooting rampage. In both cases, violence is justified. That doesn’t mean violence is good. It means ending violence is good. And often, it requires violence to end violence.

Sometimes it requires anger to end hate. Often, it’s the only way. Apathy does not work. That’s the pacifist approach to a rapist. You can’t intervene. You aren’t allowed to cross this hard line to set things back to right.

We should absolutely curse those who embrace bigotry. We should rally to overwhelm them at the polls. And since inaction accompanies comfort, we should discomfort ourselves to make this happen.

In other words: Fuck the fucking fuckers.

Ah, but Hugh . . . Remember MLK. Heck, remember Star Wars or “Falling Down.” If your methods are indistinguishable from the “bad guy,” your “good guy” status quickly devolves to a matter of faith or delusion. I know you’re talking about a huge matter of degree, but I’d rather fight fire with a deluge, rather than other fire. I still think you’re awesome. Keep writing, please.

Matthew McKinley

“It’s just a matter of having a rational discussion to determine who is whom.”

This is no easy thing. It’s very difficult to have a rational discussion with someone that is holding such an irrational position. If rational discussion was possible, would the irrational persist?

BTW, the grammarist in me rejoiced at the end of that quote. =^)

I have been saying this for a while. The only true path to world peace is to eliminate borders. It scares me and a part of me is glad that I won’t see it in my lifetime. However, it is the only way to end war, racism, nationalism, xenophobia and poverty. Not voting is not a solution. You have to vote in order to move our country forward. Change is scary. Conservatives have a fear of change and liberalism can be chaotic, but change happens no matter what we want. My father says, “Everything will be better when all the old white guys die.”

As an aging white guy, I sadly have to agree with your father.

Problem is, all the old white guys were once idealistic young white guys. Some of you might remember the Vietnam War and the subsequent college protests. I was a young draftee sent to fight a senseless war along with hundreds of thousands of other young men, most of whom hated the war, and the government, and the establishment, all vowing that one day they would change things and make the world a better place. Guess what? The revolution failed because they grew up and had to face the reality of life. And most of those young, angry, mostly liberal young vets, as well as their protesting college student counterparts, are now frightened and bitter old men who want to build walls, kill Muslims and elect the most dangerous xenophobe in the history of U.S. elections.

I hope the Brexit vote serves as a warning to US Millennials … the generation that has the most at stake in our nation’s future. Pundits are blaming Brexit on UK Millennials’ staying away from the polls. Get out and vote in November!

#Bernieorbust

Just quickly on brexit (writing as expat living in Scotland) – “That ease of access will likely cease.” – that ease of access will likely *not* cease – in fact, it won’t change at all – good two examples to name here is Norway and Switzerland, as well as most of eastern europe before it joined the union. Most european countries have agreements with everyone else to enable such free travel, and borders are merely marked with a road sign – “leaving france, entering italy”, and so on – while it might seem just like leaving one state in US and entering the next one – it’s much more complicated – and all of europe had worked towards that for decades.
What might get more complicated, however, is securing a job in UK (and vice versa) as a non-native. But I’m still pretty optimistic about that, too.

While it might seem that some of this was driven because of “bloody immigrants”—and i’m sure some of the leave voters where indeed geezers driven by the scandal harping news sites like daily mail and the sun—you have to appreciate the British culture – from it’s olden empire days, Britain has been home for many nations and many races. It’s a fantastically culturally diverse place, and that is not about to change.

Everyone’s offering you coffee – come up to Edinburgh some time for some tea, it’s beautiful here! :)

Huge fan of yours!

btw, speaking of apocalyptic and borders – you might check out a sample of this book https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18143945-europe-in-autumn :)

Hugh…oh, how our readers revolt when we dare to veer off script and write from the heart about something other than fiction. It’s like they’re shocked that we too live in the world and have opinions. Keep speaking out (as I do) and shouting truth into the void. More people hear and reflect on what you say than those who take to the keyboard to sling mud. It’s good to hear your thoughts on the choice we all must make this November.

LM Fowler

There was only ever a brief period where I cared about upsetting readers, and that’s when I signed with some publishing partners and worried about them recouping their investment. Otherwise, I really don’t care who refuses to read my works. I don’t write for them. I write for me.

Nonsense. You don’t write for yourself! You write for me! Right? Oh and I don’t like Hillary or Trump or nobody, so I’m pencilling in your name on my ballot!!

Terrence OBrien

I doubt consumers much care what fiction authors think about anything besides fiction. Why should they? Fiction writing confers no knowledge or expertise in anything besides fiction.

I think the Brexit fiasco will continue to create turmoil and financial upheaval. The thing is, so many forget those European countries have a history of actual wars with each other. That they held together with the EU has been remarkable.

As to our country, I’ll be voting democrat. And for the record, I’m almost 65 — have always been a liberal. I do think the millennials need to get out and VOTE. You can’t have a voice if you don’t actually get out there and vote.

I’m ashamed of those my age and older who have let anger and fear overwhelm them to the point they would actually vote against their own children and grandchildren’s future. Sigh.

Terrence OBrien

The future for kids and grandchildren will be interesting. Total US public debt is appx $22.5 billion. That includes federal, state and local. This long term debt is financed by short term borrowing. Short term rates are low now.

The government is selling short term notes, paying them off, then borrowing them again. This is very different than selling a 20-year bond and locking in a fixed rate for 20 years.

So the debt service is relatively low now. That means interest payments, financed by taxes, are low. But, if interest rates return to typical post-war levels, that debt service can easily increase four times, That can add half trilion dollars per year that our kids will have to pay. How does continuing that into the future do anything for kids and grandchildren? We have been living high on money they will have to pay back.

Thanks, Grandpa.

The $22.5 figure you use is GDP. The scheme in play today is a “revolver” – not designed to retire debt. Go basic. Get up to date. It’s free, fun. Start w/”The Real Housewives of Wall Street” (Rolling Stone); Zero Hedge; Over My Shoulder (Mauldin).

Sorry. $22.5 billion figure should read TRILLION!

Terrence OBrien

Agree. It’s trillion.

Terrence OBrien

No. The $22.5 figure is total public debt in the US. That is debt owed to the public, and not debt owed to government agencies. For example, the lock box that Al Gore told us secured social secirity is a file cabinet in West Virginia that holds US treasury debt. That represents money owed to the Social Security System. It can’t be sold to anyone, and can only be redeemed by the US Treasury. That type of debt is not public debt

I agree the scheme today is a revolver. The danger with a revolver is that the rate one has to pay on the outstanding debt can easily shoot up if interest rates move back to post-war levels.

Suppose one is uisng a revolver scheme and selling 6 month notes at 1%. If interst rates go up to 2%, then interst on the entire outstanding balanced financed with six month notes doubles wh n it is rolled.

This is contrasted to long term bonds where the interest is fixed, and not subject to periodic variation.

The danger the kids and grandchildren face is very real. Short term notes could double or triple in a very short time, and send debt service much higher.

Revolvers work in low interest times, and mask the cost of increasing a huge debt.

The books you recommend are pop economics. Not much there. But I do recommend them for authors. It’s at least a start.

I don’t completely agree with everything you said, but your argument still speaks to me on many levels. Personally, I believe one of the biggest struggles we are having as a country and larger global community is the ability to hear people who disagree with us. When one side of an argument tries to shout down the other rather than honestly listening to their concerns, we all lose. Under no stretch of the imagination could I vote for Trump, but I also don’t want to vote for Hilary. What I would very much like to see happen (no matter how remote of a chance) is a third party win that will clearly send the message that we want real change in the way the political parties have been running our government.

I agree with most of what you said. It vibrated inside me somewhere. Today things are bad. But what about the future? What is the end goal for the world, not just me in my little part of town, on my little street, my little apartment, my immediate family, me… Most people think too small. I. So flip it and move out from there. From I to we. Our house, our town, our state, our country, our continent, our world. What it the end goal? Love. Respect. Dignity. Ect. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin or where you are located on a map. We are human. We are citizens of the world.

We do not have a two party system. Why is it you only see Hillary or Trump as an option? If you’re voting primarily to vote against something, why not vote against both of them? I have read that this will be the first election, in a long time, to give a third (or fourth) party candidate real traction. There are always other options. We only see Republican and Democrat but we’re wearing blinders.

Because your 3rd party candidate cannot win in the electoral college. C A N N O T. So you’ll be helping a hedging, un-principled, bigoted, sociopathic demagogue in his solipsistic pursuit of the highest office in the free world. That’s why it’s Clinton, and it must be Clinton. Your vote is your civic voice. It is not a protest. It is not a pipe dream.

Can I steal your “Your vote is your civic voice. It is not a protest. It is not a pipe dream” comment?

Wonderful piece, Hugh, and the kind of intelligent look at the problems of borders, walls, and raging xenophobia that I’ll be happy to point others to for a clearer understanding. The more divisive things get, the more we need to know and feel and act upon the fact that we’re all one.

Terrence OBrien

History demonstrates we are all not one. Some people might want a capitalist system Others may prefer socialism. Another group may want a theocracy. These are very different groups with different values and motivations. They are hardly one.

Borders allow like-minded people to live as they choose. They order society within those borders as they choose.

While I don’t agree with you, your view was very eloquently put.

This was more many about far more than immigration. The EU started simply as the Common Market, a trade agreement. In the late 50’s and since the, apart from Thatchers referendum, has slowly, almost imperceptibly, inveigled its way into every aspect of our lives. With our politicians giving away more and more of our individuality.

Borders won’t change much, they’ve always existed in Europe in one form or another. The view that there weren’t any at all isn’t competely true. I lived in Switzerland for years, it was easy driving in and out. Now getting a work permit was far harder, and honestly, I don’t see much wrong with that.

What has been all wrong about this was those campaigning to Remain not putting much effort into discussing what mattered to the ordinary folk. They assumed far to much, and those were the people who probably voted for the first time in their lives. The campaigners didn’t speak to those whose votes they could actually have influenced.

Powerful and compelling. Thank you for writing this.

Hey Howey,

Your view of what you want the US to be is a nice vision….but to state the obvious….politics get in the way. In 2008 …I was tired of Bush felt the country was going nowhere. I was going to vote for Hillary, who I thought at the time, had a decent balanced vision for America. Instead Obama was elected and what I feared happening….happened. The problem isn’t the politics of either party…… to use a current popular term….’its ‘extremist’ politics that makes things difficult. Ronald Reagan and JFK are held is such high regard because they understood you had to meet in the middle. They knew there must be balance. The Obama administration is so far extreme left….that the only answer in a candidate was Trump. We are no seeing the spring back effect to Obama extremism…..of no surprise its conservative extremism. People don’t want to be pulled one direction or another…..they know the USA is built on the ideals of parties of different beliefs compromising for the greater good of the people. I can not in good consciousness vote for Hillary this election due to some of Hillary’s more questionable actions over the past 8 years as well as her promise to continue the Obama view. I am left with Trump. Trump will get my vote because I don’t believe in Trumps extremism and neither does he. Until this election Trump was for the most part a Democrat with democratic beliefs. I believe that once he is president …you will see the kind of compromise you need because Trump’s views are really middle of the road. Trump the candidate is playing the role he has to to give him the best chance to win…….and thats being the extreme opposite of Barack Obama. There are some flaws in Trumps approach…but at times you have to wonder if even they are strategically placed. I may be wrong….but my belief is Trump the president will be something new for America and it will be something America needs. If America was smart…..they would have demanded new candidates on both sides…..instead we have this. We’ve seen Hillary is action for the past 8 years….we know she would be terrible………we are only guessing that Trump will be bad. So Hugh …I pose the question I give to everyone this election……..Do you vote for the one who has proven to be bad or the one you think might be bad??????

“The Obama administration is so far extreme left”?

Merrick Garland?
The ACA built on private insurance and individual mandate (Heritage Foundation proposal)?
Saving the auto industry?
Reversing torture?
The Stimulus that pulled us out of the Great Recession?

What is it?
The green energy sector support?
The embrace of science and climate change?
Tightened sanctions on Iran?
Consumer protection?
The new fiduciary rules protecting Americans from their own financial advisors?
Expanded the preservation of federal lands?
Improved school nutrition?
A comparatively scandal-less Presidency (seriously make the comparison before speaking)?

Seriously. What qualifies your assessment that Obama is so far to the Left? The fact that the Right decided on the night of his election that they’d never work with him on anything?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-republicans-plan-for-the-new-president/

Last one.

“Trump the candidate is playing the role he has to to give him the best chance to win……”

I can only think of this actual article from the New York Times:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/03/adolf_hitler_donald_trump_and_a_1922_new_york_times_article.html

Joseph Anderson

Tightened sanctions in Iran? From Obama? LOL

@Blueknuckle You focused on Trump in my post and missed the real point. The point is an observation of what happened. I didn’t say I agreed with it. Its basically you push hard enough one way eventually someone pushes back harder which usually ends up in nothing getting done. That is the problem with politics……compromise has been eliminated.

The second problem is the media on both sides…….the press once told the truth no matter what that truth was……now the press is bought an paid for along political lines and citizens rarely get the truth. I’ve watch over the past 16 years how the media corrupts everything. Obama may have gotten more support had Fox and other right wing media not manipulated words and newscasts and cover up other stories. Obama also may have been held in check better if people knew the truth…this would have gotten Obama to compromise more. The same goes for MSNBC and all the left wing media……everything republicans stood against turned into revolution against Obama…and it really could have been resolved with reasonable people coming to an amicable agreement. The media treats it as a Prize Fight and tries to manipulate momentum behind their Fighter. Its ridiculous. Obama’s dictator approach didn’t work and never will. If either Hillary or Trump thinks it will….they will fail even worse than Obama. You can’t force policy via Executive Orders and hope for the respect of the people who never got a say. I have spent my life working EMS in urban inner city environments. In 2008 there was such pride and hope among poor inner city citizens who struggled everyday when Obama was elected. By 2012 he was labeled just another politician who didn’t do anything for the ‘People’. As 2016 election approaches…..I see hopelessness. Comments such as Obama was nothing but another used car salesman and another crooked politician. They were right….Obama did nothing for the inner cities…..some even blame him for making it worse. Now they have a choice between Hillary and Trump…….and they aren’t happy about either choice. Bottom line…..if we really aren’t happy about either choice……Why are we letting them run???? This is what the established parties have given us…..perhaps its time to kick the parties in the ass!!! Democrats got robbed the most…..at least republicans had a field of candidates……Democrats had two….one we know won’t win….and one who is so corrupt she might be indicted by the time she would take office. Hardly a fair field of choices for Democrats. I wish Trump or someone strong would have run as an Independent just to really see how things played out.

You “think” Trump will act differently once he is president? Sorry, that is not a solid reason for a vote.

No …knowing Hillary won’t acted differently is my reason for voting for Trump

Terrence OBrien

God Bless Trump, for he puts America first.

Trump will get my vote because I don’t believe in Trumps extremism and neither does he. Until this election Trump was for the most part a Democrat with democratic beliefs. I believe that once he is president …you will see the kind of compromise you need because Trump’s views are really middle of the road.

This^^^^^^^^^^ is why the GPOe hates Trump, and I agree with your analysis. Hillery is pure evil, and one who cares not who she screws to get what she wants.

Very good points Hugh !!

Joseph Anderson

I’ll be happily voting for Trump in hopes to make America great again. I have zero interest in discussing politics with Hugh and while I respect his right to his opinions, I find it incredibly scary that he has such a problem with the democratic process. The majority won, Hugh. By over a million votes. It’s not what you wanted? Boo hoo, man. Under 30s voted in large part to stay? Again, boo hoo. Get more young people to vote. Guess what? If Hilary wins in November, it’s not what I wanted. Life goes on.

I’ll be skipping your political blogs in the future. You site, I get it. I just hope you decide to actually blog about something else for a change. I don’t know, like books maybe?

The more people ask me to be less political, the more political I’ll probably get.

Joseph Anderson

You sure are a tough guy, Hugh. But FYI, I didn’t ask you to be less political. I simply said I *hoped* you would try and start blogging about something else. It’s pretty easy to skip over the political nonsense that you post. And frankly, it’s your site and you can damn well do as you please!

Now you’re being rude. You’ve lost your right to comment here with this name and email address. It will be my preference if you never come back or read anything I write ever again.

Kind of saw it the other way around…touchy…

I agree with you 100% and I embrace the way you respond to the negative comments.
I am first and foremost a human being. A citizen of this one earth that we all call home. I despise borders. I despise my own privilege being born a white woman in the US to a middle class family. Why do I deserve a particular job, education or standard of living because of an act I can take no credit for: the geographic location of where I was born. I am no better that a woman (or man) born in any other region of the world. And who am I to say that those born in those regions do not deserve the same chance at the greatest life they can make for themselves and their peace of mind. And i particularly despise those that are in the same class as me or “better”, yet choose to hate, to complain to distrust or to push whatever negativity they have down everyone elses throats because someone else has a nicer car, house etc. Or because we pay into a system which includes help for the poor or they are scared of differences. I particularly can not wrap my head around homophobia. It just doesnt make sense to me how you can hate someone for how they love another person. I am a resident of Orlando, so this fact has really hit home.
I try to give back as much as possible. I love meeting people from around the world and learning about new cultures. And the more I meet and learn, the angrier I get at the way the US has become. I do not believe there should be imaginary lines drawn on a map to separate us. But if there has to be, then as “the most powerful country” in the world, we need to set an example. We need to stop being the bullies, stop with the narcissism… perhaps use our power for good. I am ashamed that we do not do more. That everything good we do is with a selfish intention. We will help a country that has oil or other resources or that puts us in a strategic military spot. Dont believe me? Check this outhttp://www.cgdev.org/cdi-2015,
I have never voted but I am going to do the same this year, and vote against Trump. The fact that someone can run for President of the United States without any political experience is baffling to me. I can’t be a manager at McDonalds without previous restaurant experience. Aside from his lack of qualifications, I cannot sit back and just let someone like him and his fellowship of haters, take this country without a fight. My utopian society would not be broken into the governments we have today, but in this world and reality that we live in, I do not want that man to represent me.

This is not as eloquent as you put it, Hugh, but I am on your side.

Terrence OBrien

I despise my own privilege being born a white woman in the US to a middle class family.

I embrace and celebrate any privilege I can get. I have yet to see anyone who doesn’t, regardless of what they say.

Justify it as you wish, but voting for Hillary is voting against liberty and freedom. Not that voting for Trump is any better, but don’t lie to yourself about Hillary. Vote for her if you don’t like Trump, that’s your choice. Just don’t say ypu support freedom and liberty and cast your vote for a big government wannabe totalitarian. Love your books, too bad you project such ignorance about politics and economics. Stick to publishing and writing, you aound so much smarter when you do.

I heard a podcast recently about state governments screwing each other over for “job creation” It went like this: State A has a company with 700 employees. State B offers the company a big tax break to move to State B. State A lays off 700 people. State B’s politicians chalk it up as a victory for “job creation”. It seems to me like net jobs created is zero when they are just crossing state lines. But then it happens again State B gets screwed by State C and so forth. I’d love to see “job creation” statistics based actual jobs created (not just moving of jobs from location A to location B). I bet if that’s how we measured it, politicians would welcome immigrants.

Sadly most elections have us voting for the lesser of two evils. Do we really want a racist in the White House? Would his loud, uneducated mouth drag us into war? Can we risk that?
The other? A lot of investigations have turned up nothing. Just a lot of Republicans barking with no evidence. The same ones who now say they will vote for her…
Rock on, Hugh. Good post.

Orlonda Rosenquist

Thank you for your intelligent remarks. I hope this opens peoples minds to what is happening in the world and right here in the USA. Some that would never watch or read political remarks may have because they were written by you. I just hope they didn’t just close there minds right back up afterwards, like the guy that called you a commie. He’s just a dummy so I’d just disregard, unfortunately the world is full of them.

Janka Adamikova

Necitala som ani jednu Tvoju knihu,staci,co si mi pisal a vsetko ostatne…..

My opinion of Trump as a selfish, narcissistic, self-promotional, insecure bully and a pathological liar who is nearly totally unqualified to run the most powerful country on earth is interfering with my dating life. When chatting up girls I ask them what their opinion of Trumps’ character / heart is like… any hesitation from “disgusting” instantly disqualifies them. And…. that litmus test is fine with me (I still get laid a lot!)

Hugh,

I agree with many of your points, but have come to a different conclusion on who to vote for. I feel Gary Johnson and his policies best exemplifies the America and world you describe.
I will be voting against both Trump and Hillary to swing the pendulum away from cronyism and lobbyists to the people (at least on theory)

voting for a candidate who has proven to be a Trader is an act of treason in itself. You may want to evaluate your decision

Because she supported NAFTA? Grammar is getting in the way of your point.

Your post didn’t offend me, but it did irritate me in that you dismiss the entire Boomer generation as a league of the hate-filled selfish. I’m a Boomer and a liberal. So are most of the people I know, in any age cohort. No, the next generation will probably not be able to make things better. The system gets in the way, and it’s 110% for itself and nobody else. After all, we were the ones who were going to work in our blue jeans, embrace peace, love, and rock-and-roll, and green America. The system got more corrupt and more hysterically dictatorial, and it ate those dreams.

There are exceptions, of course, but the numbers tilted toward older being more isolationist.

A lot of the older folk I know are not isolationist at all, and would actually like to return to a relationship with the Commonwealth that had to be given up when the EU started dictating who to trade with. This is the generation who voted to stay in the EEC in 1975, so what made them change their minds in the last 40 years? I doubt isolationism is the whole of the story.

There are so many issues at play here that no outside observer can make an objective analysis. Heck, no one inside the UK can either, because with all the name-calling, slander and general ill-feeling in the lead up to the vote a lot of people have been forced to keep their thoughts close their chests. Insulting people is hardly the way to bring them round to your point of view, but that’s exactly what happened here. Everywhere I looked the world was insulting the people who dared, for whatever reason, to have enough issue with the EU to consider voting out.

I’m not surprised the vote was won by those wanting to leave. Everyone had already made up their minds what those people wanted, and nobody listened to what they actually had to say.

Terrence OBrien

The UK has been one of the least isolationist nations in history. Joining the Common Market and EU didn’t change that. They weren’t isolationist before the EU, and there is no reason to think leaving it will make them isolationist.

Lots of countries in the world do not belong to a larger unit. Does that make them all isolationist?

Great piece, Hugh. Sharing. Thanks!

Hugh, I admire your position and agree fully that on the issue of xenophobia Hillary clearly is the only sane choice. I agree with your take on the entire subject, but am not yet willing to make that issue the one which decides my vote.

Economically, Trump has a much stronger background in understanding the complexities of international trade. But that too is a one trick pony.

I despise Donald Trump as a man. I believe he is of low character. But I have a huge problem with Hillary. As a retired U.S. Navy officer who may or may not have had a pretty high security clearance, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I would have been properly convicted of gross misconduct and sent to Leavenworth prison if I had handled classified material in the same manner Secretary Clinton. In the world of TS/SCI, it is a criminal act to mishandle information – PERIOD! Whether or not she knew it was wrong has absolutely no bearing. And she was well aware that as SECSTATE, she would be given highly classified material so fast it would not yet have been marked with a classification. I refuse to believe her excuses and am struggling to find a way to even consider her as Commander-in-Chief.

But all politicians lie. All politicians act in ways that betray their own hearts because it is in their best political interest.

One of the reasons I admired Ronald Reagan was that he always knew he wasn’t the smartest guy in the room… But he always knew who the smartest one was and listened to them!

I haven’t decided how I will vote in November for president. I have a feeling that their choice of running mate will be the thing that tilts the scales for me.

Thanks for all you do to build a better world one hug and vote at a time.

I’d like to point something out to you. You said you would have been convicted and sent to Leavenworth for having a private email server, instead of using a government issued one, like Hillary did. Except…Colin Powell also used a private email server similar to Hillary’s when he was Secretary of State. And I’m sure you’ve noticed, he’s not in Leavenworth.

Neither is General David Petraeus. He had an AOL account during his tenure as head of the CIA (yes, that AOL) from which he sent classified information. He was kicked out of office for sharing state secrets with his mistress, who was also a journalist. Republicans in congress fell over themselves to pardon him.

So I don’t believe for a second that this so-called scandal over Hillary’s email server is anything other than a political witch hunt.

On a final note, I’m a military brat and lived on or near bases all my life. The stories I heard–one guy had a computer filled with hundreds of porn images, including some child porn, and he still got an honorable discharge. I don’t know where you served, but I suspect that you’re over stating the penalties for using the wrong email server.

this shows how little you know…powell had 2 email addresses, one for unclassified and one for classified (accessed via a SCIF); he never sent classified emails via the unclassified address.

to hugh. awesome books! your anti-xenophobic editorial, not so much. i will vote libertarian, but even i despise those of them who support open borders. here’s where you are wrong: 1) utopian love will never prevail; like ‘contact’ humans “are capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares”, and 2) come visit me in the middle east, and i will show u people that hate u. then, we’ll venture into the parts of london where police fear to tread. sovereignty is security.

you are falling into the trap where most americans go. trump is no more racist than hillary wants to take all your guns. you have fallen hook line and sinker for the woefully biased media, but i digress, gruber was right…as was ralph waldo emerson when he said “people only see what they are prepared to see.”

neither hillary or trump are your enemy. D.C. is the enemy and it must be dismantled. that means disbanding all lobbyists and the enactment of term limits, at the very least.

“Imagine natural gas exploration taking off in North Dakota and not being able to get enough people through the red tape to take the jobs.”

You mean like the jobs say, a pipeline would create to get that gas to export areas? Point in fact, there aren’t enough people taking jobs in North Dakota as it is. I have a friend whose a welder, makes 100K plus a year there, but he’s the outcast in his family because he doesn’t have a college degree and doesn’t work in his office. His parents still insist he’s not going anywhere and doing anything with his life.

“What’s disgusting is that older voters lead the way with their intolerance, and they aren’t as greatly affected by their actions. ”

That the youth of Britain today didn’t turn out in any significant numbers isn’t also disgusting? Maybe they were too busy snapchatting, periscoping, selfie taking, or hashtagging to vote? “Look at all those people standing in line? Why are they waiting so long to vote? I’m going to take a photo of them and put it on my Facebook.”
Are they perhaps too apathetic? Maybe voting would have taken them out of their safe space?
Maybe Richard Fernandez has the right of it, when he said “‘Essentially people much older than you gave you what you now take for granted. They won World War 2, fueled the great boom, walked through the valley of the shadow of nuclear death — and had you. You didn’t make the present, nor as you now complain, are you making the future. No children, no national defense, no love of God or country.
But that’s just it. You’ve brainwashed yourselves into thinking someone else: the old, the older, the government, the dead would always do things for you. If you learn anything from Brexit, learn that nobody got anywhere expecting someone to do things for him.'”

“Opening borders with the rest of the world would not result in a stampede. It would result in a natural flow in both directions.”

Are the number of immigrants to Middle Eaten Countries since 2011 greater than, less than or equal to the number that have left? If all the worlds borders were suddenly open and people could move wherever they wanted, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Venezuela, Cuba, most African nations, they’d see an increase i their populations?

And yes, while the number of immigrants from 2009 to 2014 was in the negative, what do the immigration numbers look like from say, 1985? Or do only the last five years matter?

Honestly, say your in the Med, you hit something with your boat that rips a hole in the hull, your pump breaks and your reduced to baling out the water with a handy red solo cup. You shouldn’t be that worried about capsizing, there’s a flow of water going in both directions now, right? And then if the EU version of the Coast Guard comes along, and after helping you, writes you a ticket for using an unapproved device to remove the water, you’ll be OK with that?

“The only way to achieve smaller governments, so that private sector initiative can move the world forward rather than backward, is to have fewer governments, not a lot more of them with smaller borders.”

India and Australia. Two countries that you think would have some vested interest in free trade deals with the UK. The UK has been trying for almost a decade to get a Free Trade agreement with either country. A Decade. But because the EU was in charge of negotiating such deals, a trade group in Italy could hold up such negotiations. And they did

“Racism is the root of this nationalism, plain and simple.”

Intellectual laziness and dishonesty is the root of making such a claim. Plain and simple

The root cause of this issue was and is competence. Why else would a great many EU leaders be saying “We did not adequately addressed the immigration concerns people have raised.” after the vote? Competence is color blind. It does not care what race you are, what religion you practice, or any other belief you have, does it?
And a great many Britons, across the age spectrum, were fed up with the incompetence the EU government put forth. Like many here in the US are fed up with the incompetence of their own political class. Whether or not something is done about that remains to be seen, especially when the return rate for an elected official to Washington hovers around 95% (Because it always the other states guys screwing things up…)

Decisive support for Brexit didn’t come from right wing nationalists, it came from working class Labour voters, and I’m reasonable sure Racisim was not their primary reason for voting to leave. But then calling them, or anyone else voting to leave racist is the easy way out. If fits a defined worldview of what one thinks the world should be, and refuses to accept the fact the world is what it is.

Terrence OBrien

Good points. We might remember that nationalism flourished in white Europe. They were all the same race.

Racism has become the fallback when people don’t understand the issues involved. It’s far easier to call people racists than it is to understand the history, politics, and economics involved. It’s also good for value signalling to others who are just as ignorant.

Well written, Hugh.

Terrence OBrien

The EU lost it’s way. In Article 5 of the EU Treaty, they subscribe to the principle of subsidiarity. However, they have wandered far from it. (They recently tried to mandate the kind of decanters that could hold olive oil on restaurant tables.)

This subsidiarity is the exact opposite of what Howey recommends here. So, Brexit brings the UK closer to the subsidiarity that the EU embraced and then violated.

If anyone is interested in arguments for Brexit that does not involve xenophobia. Search Youtube for Brexit the Movie. Takes about an hour to watch.

I am aware that this could be a clever propaganda piece. But, it is fairly convincing as to legitimate reasons for leaving the EU.

As to who to vote for in the up coming US elections. You’re going to vote the way you want to no matter what is written or said anywhere (This is aimed at both party’s supporters). I’ve yet to read any comment on any subject on the internet in which someone says ” Hey, you know what? I never thought of it like that before. Thanks. I’ve changed my mind.”

We each get one vote. So, just make sure you go out there and negate my bad decision.

Great post, Hugh! Even if I didn’t like Hillary (which I do!), I would vote for her. My mother told me years ago that her father used to say, “It’s NOT whom you for, but whom you AGAINST!” I absolutely abhor Trump and all he stands for. I do believe that if he (God forbid), were to win, he would set this country (and possibly the world) back decades if not further! His “America First” is actually isolationist and hearkens back to early 20th century if not earlier! This country was built by immigrants. Even my family a couple of generations ago came over from Europe. Thanks again for a great post!

Awesome post Hugh, thank you for giving reason a platform. But isn’t living aboard an oceangoing boat an extreme form of isolationism?

Visiting as many countries and meeting as many people as possible is isolating myself? Doesn’t feel like it to me. My boat has been a floating hostel, with strangers moving aboard for weeks at a time, sharing their space with me, their stories, their lives. I’ve had taxi drivers from Caribbean islands on the boat to drink whiskey, a woman from Israel who lived aboard and sailed with me for 7 weeks, a girlfriend in Cape Town whom I still love and adore, and a friend from Wales who might sail across the Pacific with me.

I’ve lived on boats for most of my adult life. Five years on my first sailboat. Nearly a decade on boats that I captained professionally. Coming up on a year on this boat. You own very little, meet a lot of amazing and different people, and live in cultures long enough to get to know them. I’ve spent a good two years of my life in the Bahamas, living as a minority. I’ve been to probably 40 countries and 6 continents. And through social media, I have relationships with people from all over the world. I don’t feel isolated at all.

It wasn’t really meant to be a dig, but rather I wanted to point out that we’re all hypocritical to a degree. I share your views on the subject, but after living my first 40 years in the States I now reside in rural Mexico. Neither of us are currently subject to the everyday concerns of the close-minded Archie Bunkers we’re quick to criticize. Living a nomadic lifestyle you’re able to choose your neighbors. As I have chosen mine.

We’re both passionate about the future of our home country, but neither of us is engaged in the daily hands-on dirty work of building strong local communities.

Again, I don’t hold your lifestyle against you, I just think that the same message you delivered would have a greater impact coming from a soup kitchen volunteer, or an EMT. It’s almost like the environmentalist who travels by private jet chiding others for driving SUV’s. (now that does sound like a dig, sorry)

Take care

I am a soup kitchen volunteer.

Touché.

While we are breaking down barriers, please do not lump all old people into one group. Voters tend to be the disgruntled sector of the population — regardless of age. I expect, as you are disgruntled as hell right now, we can be sure you are not going to miss this election (good!). Kindly acknowledge old-folk are not all narrow-minded xenophobic isoIationists. The phrase ‘one funeral at a time’? That was narrow minded. A bigger question might be, why are so many people feeling disgruntled and threatened? What’s missing in this conversation?

I’m old. My nieces are far wiser and more tolerant than I am. The world will be a kinder place when I’m gone. I think this is true in general, as the world keeps getting better and better as we are replaced by a kinder generation.

I hope you are right about a kinder generation. But that must be a worldwide nature. I think naivety has set in. Wisdom and kindness must go hand-in-hand. The predatory nature of the human race still thrives, and fangs drip red with the blood of others. Greed and lust for more, place hunger and poverty as collateral damage.

While sailing the seas, and you have time to reflect. If you were beginning all over, would you change anything. And, what advice could you give indie authors, to attract readers for reviews, let alone recoup the investment of editing, formatting etc. Could you throw us some hope.

If I was starting out from scratch right now, I’d concentrate on writing short fiction until I gained traction. I’d attempt the Ben Adams School of Art. Ben started completing a drawing a day quite a few years ago, and this routine honed his skills and created a helluva portfolio. I’d aim for a completed short story every week for a year. I’d publish the ones I really loved to Amazon in the KU program, and I’d put the ones I merely liked up on a blog, and I’d also make time to write about the writing process, all the ups and downs.

That’s what I would do from a cold start right now. If any of the shorts gained traction, I would expand into a novel. In a lot of ways, this is the method SF writers used for decades. It’s even more powerful now, as the shorts are salable and never go out of print.

The way to attract readers and reviews is to knock their socks off. Easier said than done, but everything else you might try is a waste of time.

Thanks Hugh, Not what I really wanted to head, but what did I want to hear. Many of the younger writers may benefit from your observation.

sorry didn’t spell check it.

So much for ‘huggers gonna hug’, huh, Hugh?

Seriously. I lost count of how many times he uses ‘fear’ and ‘hate’ and ‘xenophobia’ and ‘racism’ to negatively label people he doesn’t agree with. Because the ONLY reason people could possibly support Brexit or Trump or a conservative ideal is because they are hateful, evil people. You’re better than that, Hugh! I can’t bring myself to vote for Trump, but that doesn’t mean I demonize those who will. I’m someone who believes all life is precious, so I’m pro-life, so I want our president to protect that life. This means I would lean more towards Trump than Clinton. I believe in hard work, and obeying laws, so I’m anti-illegal immigration because I see the devastating effects on our system for our citizens when others take advantage to the tune of billions of dollars worth of benefits per year. That doesn’t mean I’m anti-immigration, or anti-Mexican. I can’t support Trump for many reasons, some of which are related to the things he says and how he says them, but I can’t fault him for wanting to stem the tide of illegal immigration and protect the citizens of our country. I give a large portion of my income (despite huge taxes!) to help those in need, starving children and families hit by disasters around the world. Yet, according to Hugh, I’m xenophobic because I applaud Britain’s decision to take control of their country’s future, and because a little part of me wants Trump to win, if only because there’s a tiny chance he might actually build that wall or restore the rule of law (no way will Hillary do that).

I’m going to refrain from including negative labels in my retort, but Hugh, I find it shocking that you would presume to know what Jesus would do today. The best evidence I can think of, off the top of my head, would be when Jesus was asked if people should pay their taxes, which were an unfair, crushing burden. He took the coin, noting Caesar’s face on it and said ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Sounds like obedience to me, respecting the laws of the land. And yet he still found it in his heart to heal the sick (not just embrace them). Maybe some Christians are doing their best Jesus impression and you just don’t recognize it for what it is, simply because your worldview is more narrow than you realize. Your labels reflect that.

I’m also pissed about the current push to withdraw and demonize otherness–thanks for putting this out there, Hugh. I did take exception to a couple of your conclusions and what started as a comment ended up as a blog post. Thanks for the conversation, Hugh–here’s to inclusion and maintaining heart in the face of bigotry. http://www.carlabaku.com/blog

Jennifer Daydreamer

I enjoy hearing these political views. Did you have an opinion on the democratic congressional sit in? I think there may be more to come July 5, so that may be the time to assess the situation. I support it, even if there are things about the event to pick apart or be critical of. Last week was such a history making week of news!

Bravo to you Hugh for having the guts to say what needs to be said. Bravo.

Well said, Hugh! My favorite post yet.

Unlike the “Think global, Act local” philosophy, what scares me about the isolationist/nationalist movement is its “think local, act local, and ignore your role in the world” mentality.

Here’s to a crushing defeat of hate and a landslide of love this November.

What have you done? To discuss politics (or children or animals or religion) is a dangerous road!!
On a serious note – Capitalism is not Democracy, it is the law of the (small l) liberalism that comes from John Smith (centuries ago), even though it wasn’t spoken (or written) as such until 20c (ie 1926-29).
Voting – look at what happened to the majority of populations when they weren’t allowed to vote – it is something that people fought and died for; please value the sacrifices made. Consider that in some parts of the world, there are people in countries who are still not allowed to vote; even some who are unmentioned (don’t exist) in the written laws of the country (yep, you guessed it – first world country!).
Please, consider the long view and vote for a future that will benefit the people who will have to make these decisions in the future – Your Children!

Good post and comments. If you are in surgery and need blood and your blood group is A+, will you ask for A+ Muslim blood, A+ Christian blood, A+ Hindu blood, A+ Jew blood or JUST A+ blood group. Blood should flow in veins and not in drain ( a quote by famous saint-Hardev Singh). I would love to vote, but cannot as I am on H1B visa and my green card application is in the queue. US Immigration policy is a complete failure. After being in the highest tax bracket and paying 39% taxes on my income, I am still waiting for my green card after 13 years. Yes, I am legalized immigrant. @drsinghmd

Hugh, you might want to revise this sentence: “Right now, you can drive the chunnel and go from England to France without stopping”

From http://www.chunnel.org.uk/
“It is not possible to drive a car or motorcycle through the Chunnel. Motorists and motorcyclists must use the car train service, whereby you drive your car or motorbike onto the Euro Shuttle train, which then takes you through the Chunnel.”

It is not an easy thing, this voting for Hilary Clinton. I have never trusted her or Bill (rapist that he is). Basically you are asking me to vote for Hilary so Trump will not get in. But there has to be a better answer to this… Vote for Evil One or Evil Two. I am going to look over choice number three and see if this is a better choice. I definitely will be following Bernie Sanders as he leads us into a new era. Even if Elite have taken over the election so that we are no longer a democracy, I still have hope that we can take it back. This is more than Bernie Sanders for president, this is a revolution of change to get our democracy back. Or, we can sit back, do what is easy and vote for the very person who has sold us out, or her evil twin Trump. With either of them in office we are screwed. Totally screwed. I truly think that the Bush’s and Clinton’s consider our government a monarchy. And Trump is just Trump, idiot in a wig.