In 2016, the U.S. wasn’t the only major Western country that seemingly hit the self-destruct button. While Trump “won” the 2016 Presidential election, six months earlier the U.K. voted to leave the European Union (E.U.) – the now infamous “Brexit” referendum.
Since then, the U.K. has stumbled its way through the post-referendum mire, botching its ill-conceived departure from the E.U. and taking out two Conservative Prime Ministers in the process (David Cameron and now Theresa May).
The parallels between Trump’s MAGA movement and the pro-Brexit movement are both similar and alarming. Both are inward looking,insular,yearning for a golden era that never actually was and are built on empty-headed flag-waving, xenophobia and racism.
The fact that the very first U.K. politician to head to Washington to congratulate Trump on his November 2016 victory was the then leader of the fervently pro-Brexit United Kingdom Independence Party, Nigel Farage, speaks volumes.
Add to that the considerable cross-pollination of ideas between the two movements in 2016 and you further get the picture. Unsurprisingly then, Trump has recently reiterated his support
for the U.K. making its ill-thought out departure from the E.U.
The U.S. will, eventually, get over the four years of Trump being President. However, if the U.K. goes through with Brexit of any kind, hard or soft, it will be forever changed for the worse. The E.U. is far from perfect, granted.
However, for a continent that spent the best part of the last two thousand years repeatedly tearing itself apart in a near continual state of warfare, the E.U. was an incredibly successful break from such a bloody history.
For the U.K. to willingly place itself outside of that security framework, with some misty-eyed fantasy that it is still an economic, diplomatic and military world-power that can somehow go it alone in the twenty-first century is as laughable as it is
A perfect encapsulation of non-Brexit Britain is London. Multicultural, tolerant, forward-thinking and, tellingly, one of areas of England that voted against Brexit in June 2016 (just like Trump’s victory, while the cities voted the one way, the U.K. equivalent of “flyover” country voted the other). London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is a fierce critic of both Brexit and Trump.
He frequently incurs the wrath of Trump’s twitchy Twitter trigger finger, so then by default he is a formidable ally to have. Khan is everything that Trump is not – intelligent, multicultural, progressive and actually elected by a majority of those that cast a vote in the election that put him into office.
At this juncture, we’d like to make a shout out to Mayor Khan. We are a group of American veterans, historians and social tourism activists who have launched the Travel in Peace (TIP) Political Party—it’s the Democrats’ counterpoint to the Republican Tea Party.
TIP’s objective? We simply want all people to Travel in Peace no matter their nationality, religion (or absence of), race, culture, gender or sexual orientation. We are the antithesis of Trump and of Brexit. It is time for America to collectively remove the Party of War (with no veterans) from power and replace it with the Party of Peace. In doing so, we are reaching out to as many potential allies around the world as possible.
Remember the halcyon days of when Obama was President? When the majority of the world, including the vast majority of Londoners and Britons, greeted him with open arms and smiles? While that isn’t the case right now, as the whole world saw with Trump’s far from popular recent visit to the U.K., we are working to ensure that that major wrong is put right as soon as possible.
Just like how so many in the U.K. are working to right the wrong that is Brexit.
It’s likely that the historians of the future will long debate the debacles of both Brexit and Trump. For two of the West’s leading powers to both effectively shoot themselves in the foot in the space of six months in 2016 still bewilders to this day.
However, we should take comfort in the that there are millions working on both sides of The Pond to ensure that such self-destructive nonsense never occurs again.