Brexit: Revenge of the Euro-Rednecks

June 24, 2016

I woke up this morning feeling pretty optimistic.

I rolled over, turned my phone off airplane mode, and thought:

“I’ll just check the news to make sure the UK voted against Brexit. Then we can forget about all this nonsense, and move on with our lives.”

The optimism lasted about 4 seconds.

Oh shit.

Really, England?

It’s Brexit time… Have the Euro-Rednecks won?

I first wrote about this years ago. Americans (including myself, apparently) tend to over-estimate the intelligence and social level of your average European.

You can check out the original article here: Are Europeans more civilized than Americans?

Short answer: not really.

Of course, I got some major blowback in the comments on that post. Angry Brits were calling me “retarded” all over Reddit.

And don’t even get me started on all the Britons who feel the need to “correct” my English.

“My English is better than your English because I grew up closer to Buckingham Palace” is a weak argument if I’ve ever heard one.

brexit: the revenge of the euro-rednecks
As of today, I have a new favorite Churchill quote: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

I try not to overly-glamorize Europeans. But my optimism about the chances of Brexit came from one simple fact: literally NO British person I know supports it.

Of course, the conclusion is clear: I just don’t hang out with a bunch of ignorant, short-sighted bigots.

Better for me, but not for my ability to predict the outcome of this stupid-ass referendum.

So what do we do now?

That’s the question on everybody’s mind. Where do we go from here?

Of course, there’s a possibility that it won’t actually happen. I’m no expert in international law, but I assume any sort of breakup of the EU would be enormously expensive and time-consuming.

And the optimist in me is thinking that in the coming weeks or months, everybody will realize how moronic this all is and decide to shitcan the whole Brexit project.

But the optimist in me has been wrong before. (See Bush’s re-election in 2004, and my continued residence in Spain while I hope the economy improves… Now in year eight.)

So what do we do?

Off the top of my head, I can think of several options. Should we…

  • Panic? Sell our stocks, buy gold, and wait for the impending economic collapse?
  • Start preparing for the (nearly inevitable) zombie apocalypse?
  • Run the million or so Brits out of Spain with pitchforks and torches?
  • Spend all day commenting on Facebook about how Trump is somehow related to this whole mess? (I hate to break it to you, but not everything that happens in the world is about Trump. But if you make everything about Trump, rest assured, you’re playing right into his hands.)
  • Keep calm, and (as the expression says) carry on?

I have no way of knowing if any of these options is the best (or even good).

But the (ever-falliable) optimist in me is saying, “Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. Somehow this will all work out.”

I hope the optimist in me is right this time. ‘Cause otherwise, it’s “Well, Europe, it’s been nice knowing you.”

And I can’t even explain how much I’ve gained from my years living here.

Heartbrokenly yours,

Daniel (AKA Mr Chorizo)

P.S. What do you think? Is it time to panic? Hit me up, right here… in the comments.

P.P.S. Update: So I was wrong about Trump too. And I decided that calling people names is probably not the way forward. Sorry ’bout that. Anyway, it’s been quite a year.

P.P.P.S Speaking of referenda, how about that Catalonian independence thing? That’s a laugh and a half, if I can say so myself.

P.P.P.P.S. Okay, so Brexit happened, Boris Johnson happened, Biden happened… apparently things just keep getting weirder out here on this tiny blue planet.

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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  1. Hey Mr Chorizo (AKA Daniel)! Please stay positive and keep sharing your opinions and experiences!

    Referendums can wreak such havoc. I personally don’t think any referendum vote should pass with less than an 80% voter participation rate. Without that, the results/outcome should be null and void. If people want change that bad, then they should have to prove it in the numbers.

    I understand this referendum saw just over a 71% participation rate which was the largest UK-wide vote since its general election in ’92. Still, kind of makes you wonder whether the outcome may have been different if the true masses voted on this one. 71% doesn’t reflect the true masses in my view. It’s a lot, but not enough for an election like this.

    by some girl without a Political Science degree

    1. Thanks for commenting, Debra. Yeah, apparently about 16 million people didn’t think this was important enough to leave the house for. Anyway, interesting times we live in! I’m shocked…

  2. Shit shit shit…
    The EU certainly isn’t perfect, but I really think that we all are better of with it and that trying to better it, instead of destroying it, is the right thing to do.
    That being said, I believe think that the Brexit in itself won’t affect our lives as Europeans (and American expat) much.
    BUT I fear that this could lead other EU nations to do the same.

    “And the optimist in me is thinking that in the coming weeks or months, everybody will realize how moronic this all is and decide to shitcan the whole Brexit project.” Not very probable, but still a possibility… My inner optimist also hopes for this.

    I like your blog btw. as it gives insight to your views on Europe and Spain. I’m currently doing an internship here in Madrid.

  3. I am a Brit who has lived in the U.S. Amazing country and fabulous, creative and welcoming people. However, the many people I met weren’t a reflection of true American society either which is revealed once you leave the big cities where the “cosmopolitan” people live. There are huge social divides in the U.S as there are in Europe. Do you propose we only allow the vote to certain “intelligent” people such as college graduates? How intelligent would you like your electorate to be? Maybe the idiots are those who sit in their ivory towers, avoiding taxes as best they can, living the good life, kids in a good school, enough money to send them to university or connections enough to maybe get them a job when they grow up. What about the people who despair? If people voted in such huge numbers, then you should address their concerns and heal society and not just call them ignorant bigots. If we all seek true democracy then we should graciously accept the decisions of systems we enshrine to maintain our freedoms and work together to educate instead of insulting people and creating more divide.

    1. Not really proposing anything, this was more me blowing off steam than anything else. Most people being dumb is an obstacle to democracy, of course, but there’s still no better (realistic) system that I know of. Thanks for commenting, Lucy!

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