American conservatives seem to be giddy over Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, rejecting globalism for nationalism and self-determination.
They see a parallel in the discontent here that has fueled the rise of Donald Trump to the top of the Republican Party, and the insurgency of Bernie Sanders that has supposedly forced the Democrats to swing left. Some even see the beginning of the end for the evil forces behind Agenda 21 and global warming.
There certainly seem to be some parallels when you look at who backed the “leave” side, the issues that resonated with them, and the arguments given for leaving the EU that are now being discredited. This indeed could be a harbinger of what could happen in the U.S. in November.
The Brits most eager to leave the EU were older whites who fondly recall the days of the British Empire, upon which the sun never set. Those were the days, when the Brits were called upon to take up the white man’s burden–it never occurred to them they would actually have to live next door to those colonials some day.
Even Brits who were children when the empire fell apart after World War II seem to be bitter that the colonies have been lost. While admittedly a small sample, I know British ex-pats as well as the children of Brits who grew up in places like Kenya and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) who believe some sort of conspiracy robbed Britain of the fruits of its labors.
But the English have always been suspicious of foreigners anyway. Newspapers there still routinely refers to the “frogs” (French) and ‘hun” (Germans) in their pages, and I can recall the concern that foreign invaders–not to mention viruses and diseases–might make their way from the continent to the home island if the Chunnel was ever built.
So it’s not surprising that the leave forces put a heavy emphasis on the immigration issue, promising to quickly reduce immigration levels if the public voted to leave the EU. Former London mayor Boris Johnson, now considered a leading contender for prime minister, said it was impossible for the government to reduce immigration while in the EU.
His ally, Michael Grove, said a leave vote would “bring down the numbers” by 2020. Nobody talked much about the fact that the EU has demanded from non-member states free movement of workers in exchange for access to the bloc’s single market.
Now that they have won, leave supporters are backtracking on that promise. Daniel Hannan, a leading advocate of Brexit, created an uproar Friday when he said on the BBC: “Frankly, if people watching think they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”
Hannan later tweeted, “I was for more control, not minimal immigration.” Voters “are now raging at me because I don’t want to cut immigration sharply. There really is no pleasing some people.”
But that wasn’t the only “exaggeration” foisted upon the gullible majority. Johnson and others claimed Britain was sending 350 millions pounds to EU headquarters every week, money that could be spent on the National Health Service.
Now Nigel Farage, leader of the fiercely anti-European U.K. Independence Party, said the 350 million pound figure was a “mistake”–it’s actually more like 150 million, as opponents contended all along. As for how the money will be spent, another leading advocate for Brexit said the leave side merely promised “to spend the lion’s share of that money” on health service.
If any of this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve been paying attention to the baron of bombast, Donald Trump, as he makes many promises he can never hope to bring to reality if he’s ever elected president. But then he has never hesitated to contradict himself or embellish the truth, probably because his supporters don’t care–they just want to send a message.
Besides, being factual is old hat anyway, according to Jeffrey Lord, one of Trump’s surrogates who’s a regular on CNN. When asked recently about Trump’s loose use of the facts, Lord said:
“I honestly don’t think this ‘fact-checking’ business…is anything more than one more out of touch, elitist media-type thing. I don’t think people out here in America care. What they care about are what the candidates say.”
Of course when Trump’s doing the talking, Americans can look like a bunch of clowns. When he was in Scotland last week after the Brexit results were announced, he praised the Scots for voting to leave the EU.
But Scotland voted to stay in the EU, and is now talking about holding a referendum of its own to leave the UK so it can continue to trade with its European partners. Good work, Donnie.