Britain is in a self-described “row” over Barack Obama’s decision to try to influence UK voters on whether or not the UK should remain in the European Union. The sheer irony of the leader of the most free and independent nation on Earth suggesting that the UK is embracing “pessimism and skepticism” if its citizens decide to withdraw from the EU has many Britons stunned – and livid.
Britain has a very complex history with Europe and the rest of the world. Its culture today maintains unique residuals – vestiges of its size (65 million people), island isolation, and as BBC’s Sam Wilson terms it, its “imperial hangover.” The collision of this resulting culture with today’s world now has Britons divided into two basic camps: stay in the EU, or get out (called “Brexit”, as in British Exit) of the EU.
The UK clearly risks further erosion of its current brand by aligning ever closer with other European countries. But that’s not why most British politicians and citizens are livid with Barack Obama.
On Saturday, Obama overtly tried to sway the pending UK vote on this matter.
“We see calls for isolationism or xenophobia. We see those who would call for rolling back the rights of people, I think we can understand they are reactions to changing times. But, when I speak to young people, I implore them, and I implore you, to reject those calls to pull back.”
During World War II, when the UK faced imminent destruction for deigning to remain independent of Germany’s attempt to force a European coalition, it was not another European nation who reached out to help. It was the United States. Of all the countries on the planet who value independence and complete sovereignty, America could always be counted on to help the UK when its freedom and independence was at risk.
Obama’s commentary is therefore a stark contrast to the United States’ history of independence-supporting efforts. The US president only last year made publicly clear his resentment of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu daring to speak his mind, on American soil no less, about a Congressional vote that would dramatically and directly affect the safety of Israel. Yesterday, however, Obama had no problem opining on British soil about a matter that has no direct impact on America. Obama’s obvious hypocrisy aside, however, the gist of his comments to UK citizens the last two days seems to have one dominant theme: Centralization is better than sovereign independence. If anyone ever had doubts about Barack Obama’s socialism bonafides, his intrusive commentary in this UK matter should remove them.
The real question facing Britons when they vote on the “EU Referendum” June 23 is: Does the EU need the UK more, or less, than the UK needs the EU.