Letters: U.S. voters can learn from Britain's fear

ISSUE | BREXIT

U.S. voters can learn from Britain's fear

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Protesters in Trafalgar Square Tuesday object to the result of the European Union vote.

We in the United States should take note of the reaction in Britain since its vote to withdraw from the European Union ("EU urges Britain to make quick exit," Sunday).

Many who voted to leave expressed remorse. It would seem that far too many voted on an emotional rather than a rational basis. In the cold, clear light of day, "Leave" voters realized their choice had been based on emotion and xenophobia. Rational thought did not seem to factor in for these voters.

And leavers expressed ignorance of the issues surrounding such a move. "I didn't know what I was voting for" was a typical comment.

That ignorance and irrationality is likely to be catastrophic for the United Kingdom.

The moral for us as we face an election of monumental import is obvious. When I hear Donald Trump's bluster, instead of issues and discussion, I hear fear of the other and calls to return to some mythic past.

We should learn from the empty and disastrous results in Britain.

|James Davis, Gulph Mills

Democracy got it wrong

Columnist E.J. Dionne wrote, "Friends of open societies have been slapped in the face by citizens who are themselves retaliating for having been knocked around and ignored for too long" ("Brexit vote is cause for sadness," Tuesday). As my 100-year-old grandmother would say, "The trouble with democracy is that it works."

British Prime Minister David Cameron's referendum was an international mistake; leaders' "hard calls" should have prevailed.

|T.L. West, Philadelphia

A refreshing display of civil governance

Prime Minister David Cameron was magnanimous in defeat when he addressed the House of Commons on Monday about the Brexit vote, and he was applauded by both sides. I could only wish that we had someone of equivalent competence running for our presidency.

The session was illuminating. The speaker of the House of Commons insisted that members ask questions and not give speeches, stopping those who didn't comply. Cameron answered all questions directly without retreating to talking points. It was a lesson in civility in politics and an example of what government could be.

|Jay Seitchik, Philadelphia, jayseitchik@gmail.com