Monday, November 28, 2016

Brexit and the Election of DJT

Dear Madame L,

Can you please explain what Brexit is and what it has to do with the election of Donald Trump?

Thanks in advance,

EPW


Dear Friend,

Thanks for asking --- and what a hard question to answer! I'm sure you know what Brexit is, just wondering how it happened. But let's start with this definition, from Investopedia:

"Brexit is an abbreviation for "British exit," which refers to the June 23, 2016, referendum whereby British citizens voted to exit the European Union. The referendum roiled global markets, including currencies, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades."

More from Investopedia:

"Supporters of Brexit based their opinions on a variety of factors, from the global competitiveness of British businesses to the European debt crisis to concerns about immigration. Britain had already opted out of the European Union's monetary union – meaning that it uses the pound instead of the euro –  and the Schengen Area, meaning that it does not share open borders with a number of other European nations. "Out" campaigners argued that Brussels' bureaucracy is a drag on the British economy and that European Union laws and regulations threaten British sovereignty."
If this seems biased, you may want to check out other online sources. Here's an article from CNN, "5 reasons why Americans should care about Brexit."

Briefly, the one advantage to Americans of the Brexit vote is that it will be cheaper to travel to England. Wahoo.

The other four reasons why we should be interested in the Brexit vote are that it could hurt the American economy, leave a less stable Europe, strain the "special relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K., and give Trump an excuse to "go full throttle on his immigration ideas."

And thus, we have gotten to Brexit and the 2016 electoral disaster in the U.S. And here's what Brexit had to do with the election of DJT:

The same forces behind Brexit, mainly xenophobia and economic worries, are behind the support for DJT in the 2016 election.

Xenophobia, or fear of "the other," rightly happens to be Dictionary com's word of this year. It's a form of racism. It makes people from other countries, in this context meaning refugees and others from countries with mostly brown-skinned people, dangerous.

And it's related to the supposed economic worries, because of course the xenophobes are worried that these darker-then-them strangers are going to take their jobs. And it's profoundly anti-democratic and un-American.

These racist and xenophobic ideas are cropping up all over the Western world lately, bringing Nazi and neo-Nazi candidates to the forefront in elections in France, Germany, and Italy. And of course it's behind DJT's anti-immigration rhetoric.

Maybe all of this is just the normal and to-be-expected swing of the pendulum from the liberal and progressive direction it has seemed to be headed back in the opposite direction. Even it that's "all" it is, it is deplorable.


2 comments:

Jeff Wynn said...

I just found this. It's the best explanation I've seen in the shortest number of words.

Ellen said...

Yes, what Jeff said. Thank you very, very much.