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What BREXIT Can Teach us About Clichés in Park City

If you haven’t heard (or paid attention to) the fact that Britain is leaving the EU, I would suggest you check out your Schwab Retirement Account.

So, the citizens of Great Britain have decided to leave the European Union after 40 years. That’s their own personal decision, and I don’t have a lot to say on that, since it’s their business. However, it appears many American commentators are opining on the subject. Via those commentators, we keep hearing that those who voted to keep England in the EU were the educated and understood what the vote meant. We keep hearing that those who voted against it were the uneducated and those people who didn’t understand the facts.

This is eerily similar to the reported outcome from the Park City School District Bond. The district hired a consulting company to analyze the results and conduct a focus group to understand why people voted against the bond, etc. What they “found” were that people voting against the bond “just didn’t understand the facts.”

Now, it may be true that both the voters in England and the voters in Park City didn’t understand the facts. However, I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who voted against the school bond. They understood the “facts.” They just didn’t understand them in the same way the pro bond people did.

The truth is that we all need to retire the argument that people voting with a different opinion “just don’t get it.” In some cases, it may be true… but it has become a cliche argument. If people on the opposing side of the argument don’t agree with you, there is something more there. It may be buried deep, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are uneducated or wrong. We owe it to our community to work to uncover the real reason of opposition. Only then do we devise solutions that will work for most.

The standard clichés of dumb, uneducated, non-understanding, and NIMBY don’t do anyone good.

We would better serve Park City and our community by having a civil discussion based in rational arguments.




Steve Joyce

Yeah, but where’s the fun in that? Don’t we need more drama?

Just kidding….


I think that comparison is pushing things a little far, because essentially nobody knows the “facts” about the EU exit for Britain. We’ll find out the facts in the next 1, 5, 10 years. The vote was essentially a reaction to a crap economy and resentment of immigrants. And it was basically old people voting to leave, and young people (and yes, the better educated) voting to stay.

You really, really don’t want to use that comparison, I think. Because it pretty much *confirms* the NIMBY/know-nothing stereotype on the anti-bond voters. So it’s probably a good thing that the two situations aren’t comparable.

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