It’s probably been a long time coming for me to talk about the Scottish Referendum. Politics just depress me beyond all reason. Maybe it’s because I just finished rereading Mockingjay today, but I feel like there is never a great solution when it comes to politics (except James K Polk, the 11th American president. Now that guy was a gem).
So following the trend of my entire life, I cannot take a side on this issue. I’ve read a lot from both sides. And on both sides, I see and hear things that make me very uneasy. A classmate of mine described the referendum as a divorce, where the wife (Scotland) realizes she’s never been in love or felt loved, and she finally decides that means it’s time to get out and be on her own, whereas the husband (England) is shocked that his wife feels this way and had “no idea” she wasn’t receiving the love she needed.
As I’ve been daily updating on the news of the referendum, the more I feel this metaphor is true. England and Scotland clearly have a toxic relationship, and after 307 years of marriage, they know what makes each other tick, so they are pulling out their most vicious jabs, causing as much pain as they can to each other.
But doesn’t that mean that a part of them still wants to hang on? I would say so, considering all the opinions I’ve been hearing from both the Scottish and the English over BBC Radio.
So the question still remains, what’s the best course of action? Divorce, or a renewed effort at understanding and kindling a positive relationship?
Honestly, I can’t tell you. As an American, I feel like I have the perspective of an adult child who left the home as early as possible because of a controlling “father”. Now that my “mother” wants to get a divorce, I totally see where she’s coming from, and have a mature enough perspective to respect her position, but I’m still their child, and it’s still sad to see your parents stop loving each other no matter how old you are or the logic behind it.
This article from the Canadian perspective on the referendum really made me think. So here’s what I’d say in my letter to Scotland as an American:
I get it, Dad can be more than a little crazy. I left home as soon as I could and it was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. But I don’t know if that means you should leave him, too. These are different times, and the world has a lot more problems now than it did back then. Together, you and Dad are capable of doing a lot of good in the world. Maybe you can apart, too, but I don’t know. If you feel like you truly understand what you’re getting into by going through with this divorce, I can support that. But I just want you to be really, really sure. This divorce would be immeasurably messy, and how will it affect the kids still at home, Northern Ireland and Wales? Or the neighbors? I know it feels like a private matter, but it will affect them, too. I know there is a part of Dad that needs you, and there is part of you that knows what he’s provided for you. Maybe that stuff is negligent now in light of how bad your relationship has gotten. Just please don’t make a decision in the heat of passion.
Your American daughter who is concerned for the future of not just you, but the rest of the planet also.