I cannot imagine living on an island. The reclusive nature of an island and plus the great distance from all civilizations are turn-offs for me. I cannot imagine not having access to the outside world for more than one minute. I would grow anxious from not participating in outside activities. But in the world of Donald Trump and in the wake of Brexit, although not explicit in the political rhetoric, increasingly people are looking at the prospect of living on an island as a feasible solution to their troubles. In the case of Britain, it is literally an island, maybe an islet if Scotland or Ireland declares independence. In the case of the US, although not an island in a literal sense, Trump would like to lead the nation to live as if it were an island cut off from international trade and immigrants. In a perfect world, Donald Trump would love to be the leader of an island nation.
For most people, retreating to an island is part of a work-life balance: a badly needed vacation. We seek the quiet comfort of an island to relax and calm our nerves when the world gets too much to handle. It is a therapy that lasts just long enough until we get back on our feet. We then become ready to go back out in the world again to tackle the next set of big challenges. But moving to an island is not a permanent solution. Why? Because we live in the real world. Real world requires that we face our problems no matter how intractable. Hearing Donald Trump’s repeated rhetoric to close borders and build that wall is like hearing somebody’s concession speech – that he is giving up on the world. When the going gets tough, is running from your problems the only solution? How far can you run? How long will it be before your “island nation” revolts because the people no longer have access to the same resources that their more worldly cousins enjoy in the real world?