Home/Daniel Larison/The Post’s ‘Antidote’ for a Democratic Election

The Post’s ‘Antidote’ for a Democratic Election

The Post editors have an idea for an “antidote” for British withdrawal from the EU:

In the meantime, the United States can best support Britain, and Europe, by becoming a more active and vocal leader of the NATO alliance, which will retain Britain as a member. If the European Union is weakening or even in danger of crumbling, to the delight of Vladi­mir Putin, Mr. Xi and other adversaries, then one antidote is a reinforced transatlantic military partnership that bridges the incipient gap between London and the continent.

Attentive readers will notice that this has nothing to do with supporting Britain. It does not help Britain in any tangible way if the U.S. becomes “a more active and vocal leader of the NATO alliance.” Insofar as this increased activism involves demanding additional commitments from the U.K. in the coming years, it will probably be a nuisance that most people in British politics would just as soon skip. It is just an excuse to agitate for the more activist U.S. policy in Europe that the Post‘s editors have wanted for years. They specifically reject doing anything that might actually be helpful to the U.K. during its transition, and instead look to use “Brexit” as an excuse for increasing the U.S. role in Europe.

It is telling that the Post thinks that there needs to be an “antidote” to a democratic decision by the citizens of a close ally. Having an antidote ready at hand implies that there is a poison that needs to be countered, which in this case happens to be a free vote to withdraw from an international political organization. Nothing could better sum up how thoroughly at odds with representative government the EU has become. It doesn’t surprise me that their answer to the referendum is to push for policies that will heighten tensions in Europe and add new commitments that the U.S. doesn’t need, but it is striking that they don’t even try to explain how this is in the interests of the U.S. or Britain.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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