From London, Larry King writes:
I'm gobsmacked, to use a Briticism, which under the alien registration acts soon to be enacted I might no longer be allowed to do. Or might be required to do. It's unclear so far whether the thugs will impose mass deportations or enforced assimilation.
I might be getting a little overwrought, but make no mistake, this was a victory for the thugs. The kind of people who voted to quit the European Union are the same kind of people who drool and gibber at Trump rallies. They are largely the uneducated, the ignorant, and the mean-hearted. Above all, they hate and fear foreigners, and an inch below the surface, they hate and fear anybody different from themselves.
I'm going to have to sit and think for a while about what it all means.
From Amsterdam, I hear from another friend:
We don’t read all the Dutch newspapers in depth, but we haven’t seen anything that would lead us to believe there’s a signficant movement here to leave the EU. The only people pushing for it seem to be the ones who are anti-immigration, but they are not mainstream here. Most Dutch continue to have “welcoming” as part of their genetic makeup, and as they have for hundreds of years, they recognize that they’re way too small to go it alone. They were one of the founders of the EU and I can’t imagine them wanting to leave. Of course I couldn’t imagine Bush winning (twice) or Trump getting the nomination, so stranger things have happened. But that kind of stuff hasn’t happened here, and I like to think people here are fundamentally different than in the U.S. That’s certainly been our experience so far and one of the main reasons we feel at home here.
A friend in Seattle chimed in:
As a college history major back in the 1960s, one of my insights (it earned me an A+ on a paper) was that the United States seemed to be following Great Britain by 20-30 years in many respects. I think this still has some validity, and I am not encouraged by what I'm seeing.
There was this thought-provoking note from another friend:
In the 1820’s the five Central American republics created a short-lived union. The 20th century saw the United Arab Republic, which attempted to fuse Egypt, Syria and North Yemen. In our own country, the founders quickly saw problems with the Articles of Confederation and, going in the other direction, replaced them with a strong Constitution. Then four score and something years later, we fought a great war to establish the principle that there’s no getting out.
I loathe Wikipedia, but it has some thoughts on the subject.
[I used to tell my students the United States is like the Hotel California; you can check in any time you like but you can never leave. No article 50 in the U.S. Constitution, no matter what Texas says.]