Populist uprising rocks global order
The surprise Brexit vote result in the United Kingdom represents a sensational victory for populist politics and makes a Donald Trump presidency more likely.
Brits stunned the world yesterday by choosing to ditch the European Union and reclaim their own sovereignty, a result that has rocked the global order.
It’s also an outcome that could help blaze a trail for Trump all the way to the Oval Office.
“If there’s one conclusion to draw from the Brexit result, it’s that nationalist sentiments may not necessarily be visible to political elites but the right person, with the right cause, can easily bring them out,” writes Brett LoGiurato.
According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the result represents a massive populist uprising.
“Populism is rising everywhere as people decide that government does not listen and does not care,” said Luntz.
“But this is even more significant, because Britain has never been the source of populist uprisings like this. If Britain can vote itself out of Europe, America can vote itself in for Trump.”
Nigel Farage also commented on the issue during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.
“There is something happening in American politics that is perhaps a bit of a mirror of what’s happening here, a feeling in much of America, that what happens in Washington is too detached and too remote and Trump is cashing in on some of it,” said Farage, adding, “He must have a chance of winning.”
As the BBC reports, a Brexit win signifies that anti-globalist sentiment is stronger than the political class had bargained for.
“The forces of globalisation are causing havoc for European workers as they are for American workers,” writes Katty Kay. “If you are a white working class man (in particular) the combined effects of immigration, free trade and technology have made your job and your wages less secure. Policy makers in the UK and the US have singularly failed to address these issues in any meaningful way.”
The Brexit victory also underscores the fact that the electorate is angry and feels a deep sense of concern about issues such as immigration and lost national identity.
“If the forces of disgruntlement, nationalism, populism and anti-globalisation are strong enough to force a radical move in the UK, they may be strong enough to force a radical election in America too,” according to Kay.
Trump himself wasted little time in drawing attention to the monumental significance of the Brexit vote as he arrived in Scotland, telling reporters that he saw a big “parallel” between Brexit and what’s happening with his own political movement.
“People want to take their country back, and they want to have independence in a sense,” said Trump, adding, “People want to see borders, they don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”
The presumptive Republican nominee also commented on the outcome in a Facebook post, writing, “The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy.”
“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,” he added.