Happy Independence Day!
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By voting to leave the European Union, the British people have retaken control of their destiny from an out-of-touch collection of elites who had presided over one disaster after another, and that were anxious to see Britain lose its status as an independent country — something the British have not only cherished, but have often fought to preserve. By doing so, they have not only regained their own freedom, but have sent an important message to elites and Establishment leaders everywhere — including the United States.
Britain has chosen freedom and independence. In November, Americans have the opportunity to make the same choice.
All of the “experts” moaning about what this vote means for the value of the pound, or how it will effect markets over the next few months, are missing the point.
Democracy is critical to sound government. Just as capitalism rests on the basic principle that people work harder, and do a better job, when they have a stake in the outcome, democracy rests on the principle that government officials will work harder, and do a better job, when their own jobs are at stake. Government officials who are not responsible to the voters have no incentive to act in the best interests of the voters.
Democracy is meaningless without independence. Middle-schoolers may get to vote for class president — and may care deeply about the outcome — but ultimately, those votes don’t have much of an effect on school policy. Similarly, when a country isn’t independent, the real power lies beyond the ability of the voters to reach. They can vote and vote — but they can’t force a significant change in policy.
This was the problem that voters in Britain faced yesterday. They still had a parliament, and elections, just as they had done for centuries. But more and more, real decision-making power was leaving Britain, and going to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels — bureaucrats who were often indifferent, or even hostile, to the desires of the British people.
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The results were what you would expect: policies that benefited a tiny elite class (mostly in London), but left working class people behind. Years and years of complaints from British voters went unheeded. Even yesterday, the elites in Europe were planning to move forward with their plans to take even more power from the British people. But today, the British people have taken their power back.
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We Americans will soon face a similar choice. For years now, Americans have been trying to change policy at the ballot box. But the policies don’t change very much, because so much power is beyond the reach of the voters. The Fed sets monetary policy without concern for what we think. The Supreme Court makes social policy without concern for what we think. The WTO makes trade policy without concern for what we think. And, for most Americans, the result has been a disaster. As in Britain, we have a country where a few people are getting all the benefits, and most of us are stuck with the burden.
That’s why Republican voters nominated Donald Trump. He was the only candidate who understood the importance of restoring American independence. And most Republicans understand that independence is essential to having real pro-American policies. Britain has chosen freedom and independence. In November, Americans have the opportunity to make the same choice.