George Will: Brexit shows how direct democracy can be dangerous

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  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Jan. 15, 2019 8:43 a.m.

    In recent years, Mr. Will has become quite confused with the advent of Donald Trump and Brexit. For him, the world is supposed to fit in the box of genteel traditionalism taught at the elite colleges of the East Coast, and espoused by the cultured people inside the beltway. Trump and Brexit being outside the box appear to be beyond his ability to comprehend.

    The referendum is a democratic and logical way to take the voting public’s temperature. Having gotten the British public’s view, it is now up to their representatives in parliament to work out the Brexit details according to the mandate given to them by the people.

    Brexit is not direct democracy run amok. Rather it is Democratic Repiblicanism at its finest, putting the brakes on an emerging tyranny of the majority (or at least the new aristocracy) in Europe.

    Unfortunately Mr. Will has, like much of modern media and most Ivy League graduates, lost his ability to read the tea leaves properly—at least temporarily.

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 1:12 a.m.

    Apparently, direct democracy, as practice in Britain, is Bad.

    Meanwhile, America's government shutdown drags on.

    How's that representative democracy working out, again?

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:31 p.m.

    According to Will, Brexit is much harder and longer than the average Brit contemplated. Perhaps he is correct. So, Will ruminates the average Brit would prefer to throw in the towel and turn back the clock. Hardly.

    The British people have become quite divided on this issue. But a growing majority do not regret their choice to leave the EU. Rather, they recognize that the British people can do hard things, and that some hard things are well worth doing.

    These patriotic Brits realized that the EU was gutting many of Britain’s most cherished freedoms and values—not at the hands of brutal dictators, but through the slow, and largely imperceptible erosion of liberties and freedom (a few here and a few there) at the hands of the new “progressive” elites of the continent (those who know better because their high education).

    The Brits have finally woken up, and are showing the rest of Europe how important local sovereignty is. Parts of Europe are taking notice and may eventually follow Britain (Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and possibly even France).

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 9:35 a.m.

    This essay is nonsense. The Brexit vote was not trickery. It was a legitimate referendum, born of disgust over EU politics and lack of representation.

    It is hardly direct democracy.

    But one can clearly see George Will's anti-Trump sentiment in the essay. It oozes with the question, "How dare the hoi polloi challenge the elites? Don't they know their place?"

    The establishment is quite capable of taking the country where THEY want it to get. They need to get busy and use their talents to represent the will of the people.

    One thing Trump and Brexit are showing us: Who are these elites? Editors, reporters, pundits, our elected officials, academics, movie stars, athletes...the revelations are astounding.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    Jan. 13, 2019 9:38 p.m.

    @Aussie1 - 2790, 00
    Huh? And what does that have to with Brexit? And I would add that the world is in decline with rampant immorality becoming the norm across the world. This is not just a US problem.
    As for Brexit, the reason May does not want to have another referendum is because public opinion has solidified against the Remainers. Another referendum will reflect this reality and embolden the Brexit movement even more. Relinquishing their sovereignty was a bad idea and the Brits are finally starting to realize that. Could you see our Congress passing laws subjecting the US to the UN? There would be tremendous civil unrest, yet this is not too dissimilar to what has happened in the UK.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 13, 2019 6:43 p.m.

    The alternative of rule by majority is rule by a minority.

    The name of the game for humans is "Wealth and Power" and the only rule is to buy low and sell high. Thus those who govern are those who have the most wealth and power. A minority.

  • Aussie1 2790, 00
    Jan. 13, 2019 3:53 p.m.

    All great nation, states and empires eventually go into decline. I would suggest; as a non American observer. that the USA has entered it's decline. It's debts are astronomical; a common state of nations in decline, usually caused by excessive participation in military conflicts. It's president would be considered inadequate for the task, what's scary is his capacity to threaten world peace. Like all declines it's citizens can't see it coming: consider the victims of the French and Russian revolutions.

    It may well be that the founders of the USA Republic could teach other nations about some sound matters of Government but sadly the USA has forgotten them themselves. Sorry folks but you're in decline, learn to live with it.