I had breakfast with some liberals this morning, and two of them expressed opinions on the Brexit vote, but they were the opposite of what I expected. I’ve been seeing this vote as one of elites, who want to remain in the EU, versus non-elites, who want to leave. Both of these liberals come from a lower-middle-class background, and both are academics, but one, a woman, has been very successful, while the other has been stuck at the associate level, a fact he blames on administrators. Given this, I thought the woman would support the elites, while the man would support the non-elites, but it was the exact opposite.
I have to say that France’s Francois Hollande made some sensible remarks about the EU’s needing to make a change and to try to connect with voters (here). This vote needn’t have gone the way it did if the elites had been willing to listen and debate in a rational way instead of denouncing their opponents as racists and xenophobes. They might have made reforms ahead of time so that the vote would not have even been held.
My wife, by the way, was not too surprised by the outcome since she was in England recently and came back saying that people in rural areas were very much in favor of leaving the EU.