Before we cast our votes in November, we should look across the Atlantic and attempt to understand what happened with United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union. On June 23rd, UK voters narrowly voted to leave the European Union. On June 24th, the British pound fell to levels not seen since the 1980s, and markets around the world fell into turmoil. Scotland voted by a majority to stay in the EU, and there is talking of them leaving the United Kingdom. The Remain campaign provided voters with information outlining the cost and benefits of staying in the EU. The Leave campaign emphasized the cost to the British people but also played on their fears of terrorism, immigration, and employment in a very nationalistic way.
The day after the vote the most Googled topics in United Kingdom were “What is the EU?” and “What happens if the United Kingdom leaves the EU?” Many people exiting the polls indicated their leave vote was used to express discontent with the current political system without understanding the potential future consequences. The city of Birmingham, England has the largest population of young adults in United Kingdom between the ages of 23 and 30. The majority of young voters in United Kingdom favored the Remain campaign, however Birmingham overwhelming voted to leave. The younger voters of Birmingham lost their voice because they did not turn out to vote.
Our current presidential election unfortunately is filled with name calling and similarly plays on our fears of terrorism, immigration, and employment in a very nationalist way. While our country is faced with many issues: the economy, health care, tax reform, terrorism, and immigration, just to name a few. I have yet to hear or read anything concrete from our candidates as to how they intend to address these issues; or at least in any plausible ways.
It is critical that all of us do our research on our potential leaders, and see what they stand for beyond their sound bites. It is important that we do not lose our voice. We all need to get out and vote for the candidate of our choosing. There is no excuse for us to be Googling the day after the election “What does a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency mean for America?”
Remember that both Trump and Clinton still need to win their respective parties conventions and there is one candidate from the libertarian party who has been confirmed, Gary Johnson. Research all three and make your voice heard.