If you’re wondering why you should care, well, you shouldn’t. This was the biggest vote Brits are ever likely to cast; those who couldn’t be bothered to do their homework before taking the test learned a hard lesson about preparation. You shouldn’t care — but your media does care, because they loathe Brexit and are looking to delegitimize it through any available means, including by raising the possibility that “Leave” won because its voters were simply too ignorant to know better. The woman you see below is already Internet-famous for her statement of regret, and has been featured in multiple British papers. The second clip, of a Leave voter expressing his worry to the BBC, is circulating online as I write this. Within the last few hours, this was posted at CNN. It’s not every day you get to watch the media build a narrative openly, in real time:
There’s an upload button at the link and a WhatsApp number for people to share their stories. It’s open to those who voted “Remain” and now regret their choice too, but there’s little reason why anyone would feel remorse about being on the losing side of a vote they’re now glad to have lost. This is obviously aimed at “Leave” voters who are wringing their hands this afternoon about the shock to global markets and decline in the pound. The only way to purge yourself of your culpability in upsetting the transnationalist dream is to confess your sins to CNN.
At least WaPo used something vaguely resembling scientific data for their “Were these voters just stupid?” storyline:
That confusion over what Brexit might mean for the country’s economy appears to have been reflected across the United Kingdom on Thursday. Google reported sharp upticks in searches not only related to the ballot measure but also about basic questions concerning the implications of the vote. At about 1 a.m. Eastern time, about eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” had more than tripled…
[D]espite the all-out attempts by either side to court voters, Britons were not only mystified by what would happen if they left the E.U.— many seemed not to even know what the European Union is.
That last sentence was followed by this:
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 24, 2016
How many people googling that were 15-year-old kids? How many were people who didn’t bother to vote? How many were “Remain” voters? There was reportedly plenty of fearmongering from the “Remain” side aimed at nudging voters to accept the status quo lest the sky fall. How many people voted “Remain” without having even a faint idea of what the EU does because they were told they might be out of a job if they didn’t?
One thing to note about both of the clips below is how young the two “Leave” voters are. That’s unusual for their age demographic, which went heavily for “Remain.” Lord only knows how much pressure they might have come under from friends their age after the vote to repent publicly.
— Weh Yeoh (@wmyeoh) June 24, 2016
The age divide was widely noted among grumpy young “Remain”-ers last night to imply that it was somehow unfair for older Brits who won’t spend a majority of their lives dealing with the consequences to be involved in such a momentous decision. I’d answer that like Charles Cooke did: What’s the limiting principle on that logic? Younger people will usually have more invested in any given policy proposal than older ones will because of their longer lifespans. At what age do you want to start depriving people of the right to vote, or diluting the strength of their vote, because they’re too old to feel many repercussions from it? A “Leave” supporter elsewhere on Twitter countered with a smart point — how many of these older British voters have kids, including young children who didn’t get to vote yesterday themselves? Doubtless many British parents voted for Brexit because they believed in good faith that it would improve their descendants’ fortunes. In fact, if you want to get creative on who should and shouldn’t be allowed to vote, older Brits could argue that they deserve more votes than younger adults because they have more children under the age of 18. That’s demeny voting, the idea that parents should be able to cast votes on behalf of minor children on the theory that those kids have a stake in the country’s policies too and deserve a say via mom and dad. At the very least, you’d think the fact that older Brits had lived through an age when Britain wasn’t part of the EU and now see the virtue in returning to that state would give younger adults pause as to whether EUtopia is really the way to go. Nah.