Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A U.S. analogy of the Brexit situation

Confused about the "Brexit" situation? Here's how it might go down if the United States were actually the United Kingdom.




The Tea Party hates being part of the European Union because they have to pay a bunch of money, the EU gets to make some laws that affect the US, and immigrants can come in from anywhere in the EU with very few restrictions. They've been complaining about it for years. Finally, Prime Minister Paul Ryan agrees to schedule a non-binding national vote on whether they should leave, figuring it will fail and the Tea Party will have to stop talking about it.

So Sarah Palin goes about campaigning on how terrible the EU is, and how all the money we send to the EU could go toward education instead! $350 million every week to education! Wouldn't that be awesome? And by the way, look at all these immigrants coming in and making it harder for you to get jobs. Isn't that terrible? "Take Back Control" is their slogan.

Paul Ryan recognizes that leaving would be a terrible blow to the economy, so he's encouraging everyone to Remain. The Republican party leadership runs campaigns like "Brits Don't Quit" and stuff, which are fine and all, but it's not as inspiring or scaremongery as "Take Back Control", so the Leave campaign is picking up quite a bit of steam.

This is a national vote, not just a Republican vote, so the Democrats need to be involved too. They're in favor of staying, generally… except that it turns out Nancy Pelosi (the leader of the Democrats in our little story) privately actually has never liked the EU all that much, and would kinda be okay with leaving. So she puts some token effort into supporting the Remain campaign, but doesn't put much effort into it.

Paul Ryan recognizes that they're going to need the Democrat vote on the Remain side if they're going to win. The general leadership of both parties is on the Remain side, so it seems like the one time that they might actually agree on something! But… no. Nancy Pelosi flat out refuses to be seen cooperating with Paul Ryan. Democrats are getting mixed messages. Polls are predicting a narrow win for Remain, but it's a close thing.

The week before the vote, a Democrat senator from Pennsylvania named Jo Cox is shot and killed outside a library where she was about to hold a town hall meeting. She was a supporter of the Remain movement. The shooter was known to be affiliated with far-right extremist groups, and Cox's "Remain" stance and her support for immigration is suspected as a motive for the shooting.

The day of the vote comes, and in a 52%-48% split, Leave wins. Soon, there are reports of Leave supporters harassing and assaulting foreigners across Britain, telling them to get out of the country where "they are not wanted".

Paul Ryan says that he won't be the one to lead the US out of the EU, and announces his upcoming resignation. In the meantime, he's in no hurry to formally notify the EU of any departure. Reporters ask him "what's the plan for exiting the EU?" and he says "Not my problem."

Sarah Palin didn't actually expect the Leave campaign to win; she was mostly looking to score political points. Now the rubber hits the road, and she has to admit that immigration is still going to happen and there's *definitely* not $350 million actually available to go toward education. Leave voters are *super* upset with her. The Dollar starts falling dramatically in value. Sarah Palin announces that after this long and tiring campaign, she's going to take a month off from public appearances, and generally doesn't want to admit that she has no idea how an exit from the EU would actually work.

Democrats are furious with Nancy Pelosi over her weak support of the Remain movement. They produce a 172-40 vote of no confidence in her leadership, and much of the other party leadership resigns too. Pelosi vows to stay in power since the no confidence vote is non-binding, but everyone assumes she'll be gone before long, and there's a lot of questions over who will replace her.

Texas voted heavily in favor of Remain. The governer of Texas says that if the US is going to leave the EU, maybe Texas will secede from the Union and join the EU on its own.

Rumors start spreading that many people were confused about what the vote actually meant (even though the ballot was pretty dang clear), and soon there are millions of signatures on a petition for a re-vote.


So at this point:

  • The leader of the Republicans (Paul Ryan) has stepped down.
  • His presumptive replacement (Sarah Palin) is in hiding.
  • The leader of the Democrats (Nancy Pelosi) is likely to be ousted.
  • Texas is threatening to secede.
  • Nobody wants to actually be the one to notify the EU of the US departure, as it's probably political suicide.
  • Nobody's sure whether the US is staying or leaving, but everyone's unhappy with the situation.


Got it?

Starring: 

Paul Ryan as David Cameron
Sarah Palin as Boris Johnson
Nancy Pelosi as Jeremy Corbyn
Tea Party as UKIP
"$350m to Education" as "£350m to the NHS"
Texas as Scotland



Thanks for reading. If I've messed something up, please let me know!