Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opinion: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- an American view on Article 50

Commentary by Joseph Ford Cotto

At long last, it has come.

There can be no way of comprehensively explaining what this means to those of us who have watched -- for years on end -- as a seemingly endless series of sacrifices were made.

We witnessed not only a country, but a society which did more than any other to develop and, more broadly, cultivate the 'New World' crumble under the jackboot of a grossly inferior, quintessentially alien, power. We saw a particularly destructive form of globalist cosmopolitanism tear away at perhaps the healthiest, and certainly most productive, variant of nationalism humanity has ever known.

In short, we stood by as the European Union ate the United Kingdom alive; first by consuming the scraps which fell from its table, then jumping up onto that table and devouring the filet mignon. Next-to-nothing was left for those who sat down for dinner, and if they dared ask to be excused, their chairs were bolted to the floor. Should they have protested, their bodies got tied to their chairs.

Once the Brussels monster is allowed to enter the room, as the lyrics from Hotel California go, "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

Unless, of course, you follow a process so labyrinthine that it was intended to dissuade any rebellious actor; kept on the books only for the sake of public relations -- so respect for democracy could be feigned. Last year, the folks of the UK finally decided they had enough and, by a total of about 52 percent, voted to exit the dining hall once and for all. The common people took the EU's hypothetical opt-out more seriously than the smartest guys and gals in the room ever did. ,

This triggered many things; the resignation of crypto-then-openly-Europhile Prime Minister David Cameron, the sacking of his cabinet, the already-diminished credibility of the oppositional Labor Party, the determination of Scotland's government to hold another independence referendum, the resurgence of patriotic sentiment, and the tender feelings of an incalculable number of special snowflakes.

Most important is that the UK's sovereignty -- something its citizenry cherished for centuries on end -- was reasserted. The chief executive would once again be the monarch in concert with parliament under constitutional law. No longer would bureaucrats in Belgium, most of whom are not even from there, effectively function as the lord of our world's most awesome manor.

There can be no understating what an indignity it is to have one's country ruled by those who not only live far from there, but care for it as nothing more than a meal ticket, or perhaps a storage room for the excess baggage of other nations. From high taxation to open borders to a general disregard for longstanding cultural norms, the EU turned the UK into a renter within its own home.

Should Britons have had a problem with this system, which millions upon millions obviously did, it could not change without consent of other EU countries. In the unlikely case enough of them sided with the British public, a top-down authoritarian system of appointed rulers made it perilous for any real progress to unfold.

This situation is so dire that, in the EU's parliament, legislators cannot even introduce bills.

With its departure from the EU, the UK has an opportunity to gain its footing on the world stage once again. Seeing as about 25 percent of our planet was once under the Union Jack, this should hardly be problematic.

When Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, which officially began the Brexit process, she took a stand not only for her constituents, but the cherished ideals of self-governance.

As a native Floridian (we do indeed exist), whose home state remained with the Crown even as colonies to our north joined George Washington's revolution, I am proud to see the UK rediscover those essential principles it imparted on my homeland.


Hopefully the UK will build stronger relations with its former possessions -- from St. Augustine to Auckland -- and contribute to a safer, healthier, more prosperous world.
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Joseph Ford Cotto, 1st Baron Cotto, GCCCR is the editor-in-chief of The San Francisco Review of Books and a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. In the past, he covered current events and style for The Washington Times's Communities section, where he interviewed personalities ranging from Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton to Dionne Warwick. Cotto was also a writer for Blogcritics Magazine and Yahoo's contributor network, among other publications. In 2014, H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda bestowed a hereditary knighthood upon him, which was followed by a barony the next year.

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