Brexit, like Trump, a symptom of systemic failure

Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-immigrant UKIP party, campaigns for British withdrawal from the European Union. (AP)

Fear builds walls, walls that divide and sort and separate us, one from the other. It also tears down bridges.

With yesterday’s vote in Great Britain to abandon the European Union and retreat again behind the English Channel, the voices of fear won. The bridges are coming down, and not just those metaphorical bridges that have linked Britain to the Continent for some 40 years now. Because once walls start going up and bridges start coming down, it’s a difficult trend to halt, and it rarely ends well.

Already, in the wake of the Brexit vote, leaders in Scotland and Northern Ireland have renewed efforts to take down bridges of their own, demanding votes that would allow them to separate from England and dismantle Great Britain itself.

And in an irony of history, wallbuilder Donald Trump — a man who two months ago didn’t even know what Brexit is — was there to witness and endorse it.

“Basically, they took back their country,” he said from Scotland, promoting his Turnberry golf course rather than campaigning for president. “That’s a good thing.”

“A lot has to do with immigration; a lot has to do with the fact that they want to be independent. They are tired of seeing stupid decisions, just like in the U.S. … There is great similarity between what happens here and my campaign. People want to take their country back.”

He’s right, to a degree. In Britain as well as here, fear of immigration has driven the debate. In Britain as well as here, it was older voters who wanted walls built and bridges dismantled in hopes of restoring a lost and mythical past, while younger, less fearful voters overwhelmingly in favor of continued connection, in favor of the future. The elders got their way, committing their children and grandchildren to a world that they themselves will not likely see.

Today the British pound is collapsing, as is the London Stock Exchange, and as interconnected markets do in a globally interconnected economy, markets here and elsewhere are following suit. These may prove to be temporary reactions to uncertainty, especially outside Britain, but in the opinion of most economists the impact on whatever remains of Britain will be long-term and profound.  Credit-rating agencies have already begun to downgrade British debt, and anybody who was contemplating investment in the British economy is undoubtedly pulling back.

In the wake of the historic vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, effective in October, and other business and political leaders around the world have no doubt been jolted as well. And while they are right to warn about the consequences of this trend and about the demagoguery of those who seek to leverage it, they also need to confront the fact that to a large degree it is the creature of their own hubris.

In the wake of the collapse of communism 30 years ago, capitalism stood unchallenged. It then embarked on an expansion phase in which it has paid little heed to the impact of globalization, income inequality and other problems, insistent that the answer was always a more and more unfettered marketplace. Individuals stripped of jobs, careers, health insurance, community and a brighter future were treated as incidental casualties of the larger project, and we now see the inevitable resentment of that approach. People denied security in one form will seek it in another.

Trump, for his part, sees the situation largely in personal terms, just as he had with the Orlando tragedy. “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” he said today. “For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.”

He also posted a Facebook statement:

“A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.

Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.”

As the Brexit vote demonstrates, Great Britain is a deeply divided country, but in their rejection of Trump they have found something to united them. Despite his standing as the nominee of one of our two main parties, no prominent British politicians of any party has agreed to meet with him on this trip.  After his purchase of Turnberry, one of the classic golf courses in Britain, British golf officials announced that the course would not host the 2020 British Open, as had been expected.

Because again, once walls start rising and bridges start falling, it’s a hard process to stop.

Reader Comments 0

2209 comments
OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@BabyCakesATL 

I have always wondered here: what does that word mean?  A euphemism for newly laid excrement? Fresh pages of journalism to read? What?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

"Instead, they likely have the hot flashes and emotional roller coasters of menopause." 

Now we have a 68 yo and 67 yo going through menopause.  Seems to me that a few of our RW friends likely suffer from "low T"

gotalife
gotalife

Congrats to the rising star in Texas fort winning her abortion fight.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

well shoot, they're on to relationships. Some other time.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

I'm going with "or you're a girly man who participates in the cat fights and does not have a clue."

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

really liked that Ted Cruz as a candidate. And that other guy.

Rubio? yeah, Rubio.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Visual_Cortex Trump kicks Rubio's butt in the FL primaries.

Rubio hibernates.

Rubio not having found employment, announces he will after all run for re-election.

What does he do in announcing?

Distances himself from Trump.

I want to maintain Senate control, but the guy is a dunce.  He has completely bought into the Establishment and Liberal line that Trump will drag down stream candidates.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

...trump might well have been a Clinton plant.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I'm overhearing a couple of silly white guys talking about the election. Should I liveblog for the next five minutes?


I'll get things started by noting the bigger/dumber of the two has already said he thinks Bill and Hils belong in jail.

Oh, and he's talking about Hils getting "caught in the Oval Office" with another woman. har har.

rimsky
rimsky

I don't know how it is where other folks live but in this NGA parts it is scorcher right now.  Spent half the day today and yesterday in this heat.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@rimsky 

Ah bliss.  Here in Atlanta, it's only going to 90 today, with those summer pop-up storms predicted.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

44 guy/guy Preznidentshul tickets, however-many SCOTUSers until O'Conner, all those Senate seats...

Honest to God, if we didn't totally suck as voters we men would not stand for anything but women filling those seats for the next, oh, twenty years, minimum. Just as a very minor peace offering in hopes of not getting castrated in our sleep, which is more or less what we deserve.

rimsky
rimsky

@Visual_Cortex hopes of not getting castrated in our sleep////

You have some issues my friend.  LOL

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@rimsky @Visual_Cortex

I sometimes exaggerate by as much as six or seven percent for the sake of rhetorical hyperbole.

Perhaps I should mention that from time to time.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

 Can you imagine the cat fights? 

-

Said with an almost feline caterwaul. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@ByteMe @Donnie_Pinko either you are...

a man who completely understands the comment, or

a woman who if honest completey understands the comment even though may deny, or

a girly man who participates in the cat fights and does not have a clue.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JohnnyReb Or you're just trying to mansplain and embarrassing yourself in the process.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Donnie_Pinko Shhh... he was mansplainin' it to us.  Give him a chance to finish his beer first.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 there are sufficient level headed voters remaining to know it would be a bad idea to have two women on a ticket.

JC on a flippin' pike, it has to be hard work to sound quite THAT ignorant.

stefpe
stefpe

@Visual_Cortex But but but... just imagine if they both had their periods at the SAME TIME!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@stefpe @Visual_Cortex you are showing your ignorance.

Your subject reference to the monthly cycle are long distant memories for both.

Instead, they likely have the hot flashes and emotional roller coasters of menopause.

Of which if a man is not wet behind the ears or a total dummy knows the younger woman monthly grumps pales to the older woman evolution of same.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@JohnnyReb @stefpe @Visual_Cortex 

That starts in the woman's 40s or 50s, and is sure over by 60. Poor guy.  I guess you were with someone whose doctor hadn't clued her in to the value of estrogen creams or shots during peri-menopause.  By menopause it's all over, baby.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Another example of corruption from Hillary.

Meetings where she gained funds not having participant names in her SOS records.

But, but, I'm sure Libbies will chalk that up to her just being too busy.  A simple oversight.

Noting to do with pay-for-play.