What Even Is Brexit? And Why Should You Care As A U.S. Citizen

What Even Is Brexit? And Why Should You Care As A U.S. Citizen

Britain's dramatic divorce from Europe is more important than you might realize.
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As you know, whether it be through the news, or some random article your Uncle Joe posted or maybe a meme Mark from college shared, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. You might ask, “what’s the big deal?” Well, I am going to explain this huge mess in the simplest terms I can think of and hopefully it’ll make sense to you. I’d also recommend watching John Oliver’s two videos on Brexit. The first one covers the election itself and the second one covers the negotiation process of a British exit. Honestly, if I never watched his videos, I would be as confused as you might be.

First I’ll start with a little bit of historical context, but I’ll try to keep it brief. According to Wikipedia's article, the EU is a political and economical union of twenty eight countries which are mostly located on the European continent. The union was created after World War II to sort of mitigate extreme nationalism (*cough* Nazism *cough*) that escalated into WWII. Being a part of the union provides plenty of benefits including limited border control, no tariffs, the ability of doctors, lawyers, dentists to work in any country in the EU, as well as plenty of other economically sound reasons.

However, despite these benefits, the United Kingdom voted to leave the Union for various reasons. One huge issue is immigration policies of the EU. A large anti- immigration movement has flared up in the U.K. bringing about a swathe of nationalistic and anti-foreigner thinking within the last decade. This mindset has also escalated after the rise of Isis and terrorism in London and across Europe. A lot of conservative media blames the attacks on Syrian refugees, as well as the Muslim population. In the EU, countries can’t deny immigration of EU members to their countries. Because of this, Britain has received a high amount of immigrants from Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Romania. While this has had a positive effect on their economy, besides some issues with housing, Brexiters believe Britain needs to regain control of their borders.

As of June 19th, 2017, Britain has began negotiations of the U.K.’s exit, which has led to some tension and fear around the world of what this could mean for the country and what it’s effect will be on the world. The U.K. has a total of two years to complete the negotiations with the European Union. How well the negotiations go will be the deciding factor of the U.K. relationship with Europe going forward, whether it be a soft exit or a hard one. At the moment, the current Prime Minister, Theresa May doesn’t seem to take the Brexit as seriously as she should, and in her comments she appears vague and unconvincing. One quote that kind of made me go, “...what?” is “I’ve been clear that Brexit means Brexit.” Great. We get that. However, she did later explain that she wants to help Britain establish itself financially within trade and all that, which is what every Brexiter wants anyways. It’s important to also note that May wasn’t in support of Brexit until she ran for election after David Cameron, the previous Prime Minister resigned. She claims that she supports it because it’s what the British people want, which seems like something any politician would say if it gave them power.

So why should the U.S. care about Brexit? One huge thing to consider is how much we rely on the U.K. for trade. Currently, they have the fifth largest economy in the world and the U.S. does do a lot of business from our older brother across the pond. Large U.S. companies have business in the U.K. that will be dramatically affected by their divorce from the union and by association, their economy can affect ours because of our connections. This had become evident even after the Brexit results had came in and the drop of the stock market in the U.K. had affected companies like JP Morgan and Rolls Royce. A British recession would definitely affect our own economy drastically.

Having the U.K. as an ally had helped form a relationship with the EU. While Trump may slowly be cutting ties with everyone on his own, our ties with the EU--especially France and Germany, may become more fragile as the U.K. fractures it’s own relationships. Unless Trump decides to fix his foreign policy agenda, our ties with the EU will be stretched even thinner, hurting business and trade relationships in the process.

Brexit has already made nationalism in the U.S. more extreme as now anti-immigration people are seeing how the UK is seeking to close their borders by leaving the union and expect to see positive things from it. Trump has very much been riding the wave of pure nationalism from this movement to further his agenda. The issue with increased nationalism is that it might make us more susceptible to war. As I said earlier, the reason why the EU had been created in the first place was to mitigate the nationalism that had caused the Second World War.

Probably the only positive thing about all of this: while Britain's economy collapses and their pound plummets, it means London will be a lot cheaper to visit. So, while the U.S. still has their economy--knock on wood--we might as well fly on over, grab some fish and chips at a local pub and say “hi” to the Queen while the pound is worth two pence to the dollar. Not saying it will, but hey, I really want to see London’s eye for only two pounds if I can.

Cover Image Credit: WIKI

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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