I know I'm not the only one who has allowed the last two weeks to wash over me like a nightmarish blur. Shutting my eyes and hoping to awake from this miserable slumber. But alas, I don't. And we won't. And we shouldn't. And here's why.
Democracy is the ultimate product of a society that aims for 'egalitarianism.' It's what our Western civilisation has been striving towards for centuries. That's not to say it's the 'right' way. And that's not to say it's fully functional in its current form (or any form for that matter). But it is the path that we have chosen and unfortunately, there are no dress rehearsals. But to see thousands of people gathering to march for the likes of a rebuttal or a second referendum is both worrying and oxymoronic. Their actions here indicate one of the two things; either an explicit refusal of a democratic decision (undermining democracy itself) or more worryingly, a complete ignorance as to how democracy works.
On a more ideological level, many of these people voted to 'Remain' part of a union - part of something bigger. Yet it's the very same people who now hope to further isolate themselves from the rest of the demograph by choosing to abandon the very idea of uniting their own Kingdom. And for fans of paradox, the fact that these people are exercising their right to demonstrate freely against the very process that, in part, allows them to demonstrate, is somewhat of a golden nugget. But I understand that these people are hurting and that they are in shock. Many of these people are mourning. And so am I. But the 52% have spoken.
Don't get me wrong; this is not an attempt to excuse the abhorrent and intentionally post-factual tactics employed by both sides of this referendum. But if you think that this is the first time politicians have knowingly 'fabricated' the truth in order to achieve ego-driven goals and electoral votes - then you should go back under that rock from whence you came.
That said, I think people should be calling for the politicians in question (on both sides) to be held responsible for their actions. And I think people should march for that. But for those who 'March for Europe' - what is it that are you actually marching for? Is it to voice your dissolutions with the political system and those that exist within it? Is it to condemn those who tricked, lied, and obfuscated all strands of truth throughout? Is it to mourn the loss of the governing body that we were a part of two weeks ago?
If so - by all means; go ahead.
But if you're marching for a second referendum - you, my fellow metropolitan elitist, are no different from those supposedly bigoted and 'simple' country folk you reserve so much hatred for. For the demons you have created in their image were, after all, close-minded, individualistic, backward-looking ignorants.
But like all good pragmatists, there are silver linings to these somewhat dark and dreary post-Brexit clouds. And whilst it pains me that the UK's membership to the EU had to take the bullet, I do see the positive effects all around me. People are talking. People are debating. People are questioning. And those are the early signs of a much-needed politically galvanised electorate hungry for change.
As WB Yeats once wrote (oh, the irony!); "All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born." And whether or not we appreciate this 'terrible beauty' - it's here. And it's staying. And we need to accept that. Because, until we do, we won't be able to address the divisions it's unearthed.
Yet, for all the conversations happening, this kind are not being heard. There no events or marches taking place for disgruntled-yet-accepting, pro-democratic, forward-looking 'Remain' voters concerned about electoral split. And there is no media coverage of the 'metropolitan elitists' who have accepted this decision and now want to move forward with those fellow countrymen and women, regardless of what they voted. And all this is doing is further dividing us.
Regarding all 'Leave' voters as racist is about as acceptable and logical as regarding all those who voted 'Remain' as a democratically ignorant and emotionally immature 'metropolitan elite'. These archaic pigeonholes in which we force people are nothing but trouble. They no longer exist. And if they do exist - we don't want to think we are part of them. What we need now is not a label or a targeted 'plan', but an ear to listen. And not to one person who will somehow capture the mood of many, but to many, so you can capture the mood of each and every one of them. Only then will we move forward. Only then will be make Britain 'Great' again. Only then will we strive.
As Milan Kundera once wrote; "There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold."
This is not a rehearsal. This is not a test. And this is not a dream. This is what it is and the sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can move out into the cold.