I was having a mental discussion with myself the other day, inspired by someone’s postings on social media about Brexit. They were talking about their decision to vote leave was due to them hearing satirist and host of The Mash Report Nish Kumar saying leave voters were racist. Their logic behind the matter was that if they vote leave, it proves that statement to be false, as they don’t believe themselves to be racist.
There are many issues with this, notwithstanding the fact I cannot find any clear evidence of Nish saying this, it’s also the fact that their actions were completely and utterly pointless.
Yes, there are a group of remain voters suggesting that people voted leave because of either racist or xenophobic reasons, and, whilst some people may have done this, you cannot extend that to all leave voters. It’s an issue that makes me frustrated at other remain voters because I know many people who voted to leave for many other reasons, some of them with very legitimate and well-informed grievances with the EU and, back then, leaving the European Union was a way of resolving them.
Those remain voters annoy me too, but not enough to justify voting leave. To give the original poster some credit, he was largely undecided until that moment, and it was individuals like that who had to decide going off the behaviours of both hardcore Remainers and Brexiteers, and I don’t blame them for looking over at the Remain camp and seeing some rather disgusting behaviour and smear campaigning on their behalf.
The thing is though, Leave voters aren’t the only people guilty of using negative behaviour to push their own agenda. The Remain campaign got voters because of the murder of Jo Cox. This might not be a nice image to comprehend, but it doesn’t make it false. The Remain campaigners, or at least some of them, used her murder to paint all leave voters with the same brush. People chose to vote one way over the other because of the actions of one person. That applies to both the extremist Thomas Mair and Remain campaigners who slated Leave voters by accusations of racism and murder. I was even guilty of it at the time, it was hard not to be when a decision such as Brexit is being discussed. It might seem a stretch and inappropriate to use the murder of Jo Cox in this way, but it still resulted in the same thing, people voted going off one person’s, or a handful of people’s, actions, as opposed to the different arguments that were genuine, such as membership fees, EU legislation, freedom of movement, and trade agreements.
The issue is that both campaigns took advantage of the emotional vote, from Leave’s NHS bullshit-bus, which promised, sorry, suggested, an alternative use for the money used to be used, to Remain’s targeting of Leave campaigners, voters, and their own version of scaremongering (e.g. the ‘Stronger and Safer in Europe’ advert).
The main problem with the emotional vote is exactly what was observed, it causes a rift between voters, leaving instances where arguments that should have been about policy becoming an attack of the opposition’s opinions. These acts don’t result in compromise. An argument where you are targeting another person’s beliefs makes them more stubborn and more likely to defend them. It leaves no room for debate if you immediately make it personal, and the build up to the referendum was more often than not littered with emotional arguments and attacking the opposition instead of debating the positives and negatives of Brexit.
There has been a significant shift to this way of thinking and arguing, especially online. The right-wing’s incessant proclamations of “snowflake” and “cuck” shows that. It normally comes from people without any kind of comeback, meaning they have to target the person sharing different views to fire back at them. It can also be an individual that doesn’t want to listen to the alternative viewpoint, and has already decided to ignore the point and insult the speaker instead.
The left is also guilty of this. The main problem is that the left use words which can be a valid point, such as calling out racism or bigotry. However, people use these for differing opinions on immigration, welfare, and many other issues where there is room for discussion. Opposing open borders, for example, is far from racist. In an ideal world, open borders could be fantastic, people coming and going, international intermingling, a world free for everyone to live where they please. But that is being ignorant to the fact that there are people out there wanting to damage our society and hurt out country. Keeping out undesirable people, on a very basic level, is more than understandable. Who would want suicide bombers, terrorist leaders, right-wing extremists, and Donald Trump coming into the country? This can go too far, however, and can include people wanting harsher policing of our borders for racist and bigoted reasons. The lines get muddied, and that’s a major issue for a lot of left-leaning and liberal people, as they often claim racism when they just want to be cautious. The same issues fall for right-leaning people too, where they think allowing significant amounts of people, such as refugees, into the country will have a very negative effect on society.
The main solution to this problem is a broad education on these matters. Right-leaning individuals need to realise that refugees are people from a second-world country wanting to get stability and safety for themselves and their family. It’s a human responsibility to look after and take care of others in need. Seeing we have bombed Syria, we have directly added to the problem. We cannot expect to cause refugees and then reject them when they come to our doorstep. There is nothing wrong with helping out your fellow man, and calling people cucks and snowflakes for wanting to help other people, whether refugees, women, or the LGBT community, will just cause more conflict. You should look at why these people have those views and try and empathise with them. Once you strip it all to its core, you’ll just find people wanting to help other people. But enough about my ranting…
Left-leaning people need to realise that right-leaning people won’t go away. Not everyone will agree with them, and that has happened since the creation of independent thought. Mankind has been at its most peaceful when people have put aside their differences to work together towards a larger goal. This means listening and hearing the opinions and thoughts of disagreeing opinions and compromising with them. Neither one of you will get everything you wanted, but as long as neither one of you has damaging or hurtful views, it’s okay.
This has kinda been a big rant, but I think I’m just a bit sick of seeing people arguing about important issues with next to nothing actually being debated. Not to mention if someone attempts to debate, they just get called a cuck/racist/snowflake and the whole thing stalls and usually ends.
Communication is one of the most important parts of living, and recently? We haven’t been doing that.