Reactions to Brexit about as unhinged and hysterical as it gets

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday June 27th, 2016

The left is a little touchy about the rejection of its world-changing ideas.

I think it basically comes down to this: Once the left establishes an institution and populates that institution with its kind, the institution can never be diminished in the slightest - let alone dismantled - because that represents a setback for the left's march toward the power to engineer the entire social and economic order. That will not do.

Think about the way they look at public schools, which are heavily staffed by unionized teachers who always toe the Democrat line: If anyone chooses to pull their children out in favor of another option, the left goes bananas because they say it weakens the public schools. And it's not just private or religious schools. Even charter schools, which are public but don't necessarily play by the left's rules, are a constant target for their ire. It's always the good of the institution that's paramount to the left, not whether the people are really being served by it.

And when considering why people might be disinclined to support the left's favored institutions, the alleged reasons are always the same. Racism. Classism. Xenophobia. You name it, they'll pin it on you if you don't behave yourself and support their baby.

That, I think, mostly explains the absolute unhinged hysteria that has greeted Brexit. Someone important bailed on an institution in which the left has invested hope and faith? That will not do.

Let's start with someone named Joshen Bittner in the New York Times:

We can no longer think of reconciliation between the opposing views of destruction and progress. The angry old men will not be mollified, their xenophobia cannot be controlled or channeled into constructive cooperation. We, the young, the future of Europe, must push back. Too much time has been lost already.

So as far as Bittner is concerned, those who don't think Britain should be part of a highly bureaucratic transnational institution are advocates of "destruction" - mere angry hold men driven by xenophobia, and Bittner has no interest in any sort of peace with them.

In the Los Angeles Times, Brian Klaas and Marcel Dursus sound like they need a tissue:

We find ourselves in a moment of global fear. The democratic identities of Britain and the United States are under threat — not from immigrants or even changing values, but from nationalists and xenophobes exploiting citizens' darkest worries with populist projects, including Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency and Brexit. To many voters, the world is a scary place. Terrorists seem to lurk everywhere. Uncertainty surrounds us. Change is rapid and some aren't keeping up. Unsurprisingly, politicians of many stripes are capitalizing on our fears to rally voters against trade, immigration and international cooperation.

Note the disdain with which they view what most of us would consider reasonable concerns. The threat of terrorism. The out-of-control push of immigration. To the left, these concerns are delusional and overwrought. And like Bittner above, Klaas and Dursus apparently think there is no real estate of any kind between "international cooperation" and "xenophobia." It's all one or all the other. And they're very disappointed in the British public - and perhaps the American public as well - for not trusting institutions like the EU to decide which concerns are valid and address them, but instead turning to the likes of Donald Trump for what might prove to be more effective solutions.

Finally, you had to know you'd get a rant like this from John Oliver:

The lack of perspective on all this is astonishing. Every nation has complete freedom to decide not only which alliances it will pursue with other nations, but also the nature of those alliances. I hardly think a nation that has been a leader in two world wars and all the recent battles against Islamic terrorism can be considered "isolationist" - at least in the classic meaning of the term, which refers to a nation that simply refuses to engage itself with anything happening in other parts of the world.

Britain is certainly not isolationist by that definition, but to today's left, you're apparently an "isolationist" unless you sign on the dotted line to subject yourselves to the rule of a massive transnational bureaucracy that will dictate to you the terms of your immigration and trade policies among other things.

Britain has a strong economy and is more than capable of negotiating its own trade deals with other nations. This inconveniences diplomats and makes markets nervous, but all change does. That's no reason to always cling to the status quo when it's not working for ordinary people.

What's really behind the massive international freakout is that the left had itself a nice little setup with the EU, and it was a useful tool for much of the international political class and high-powered financiers. That nice little setup has now been upset by the British public, which didn't see how the arrangement was any good for them, and now those who were invested in the EU have to come up with another plan. How dare the public impose such inconvenience on them?

And let there be no doubt: Much of the freakout over the potential for a Donald Trump presidency comes from the exact same mindset.

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