Almost two years later, the elitist New York Times still can’t accept that the British people voted to leave the European Union with its Brexit vote. The front page story on Tuesday is snidely titled, “In Brexit Vote, Town’s Nostalgia for Seafaring Past Muddied Its Future.”
Writer David Segal recounted the fishing town of Grimsby, noting that other outlets have called the townspeople “idiots” for overwhelmingly voting for Brexit. Segal explained that “facts” can’t compete with “sentiment and history":
Actually, what happened here is more about hearts than minds. The vote to leave was a vivid demonstration of the way emotions can transform politics and affect the economy. It’s a phenomenon found around the world, including in the United States, where the legacy and the romance of a declining industrial past often eclipse the interests of new and expanding businesses. Time and again, economic facts are no competition for sentiment and history.
Naturally, the Times piece compares this to Donald Trump’s wooing of coal industry voters:
A similar calculus is evident in the United States, where President Trump has promised to resuscitate coal mining. It’s an industry that now employs roughly 55,000 people, a figure that has been trending downward for years. If economic agendas were driven strictly by data, a lot more would be heard about solar power, which employs about five times the number of people.
The voters in Grimsby resent the regulations and tarriffs imposed by the E.U. It wasn’t until the final two paragraphs that the Times really allowed the pro-Brexit position to be fully showcased:
It doesn’t matter. They believe that the European Union has compromised their sovereignty, and part of reclaiming it is asserting the exclusive right to trawl in Britain’s seas. They are also certain that in a post-Brexit world, Britain in general, and fish processors in particular, are going to fare just fine.
“Europe needs the U.K. more than the other way around,” said Ian Thompson, a Grimsby resident and former merchant marine, having a drink under one of those sepia-toned photographs. “We will prevail.”
In 2016, a sneering NYT headline warned: “As Migrants Face Abuse, Fear That ‘Brexit’ Has Given License to Xenophobia.”