MAGA hat owners would feel right at home on the streets of London. Moseying along wary of a sneak attack by leftist thugs, they’d be secure in the knowledge that in the UK — just as in the U.S. — government institutions are run by individuals adamantly opposed to them and any public policy they support.
Specifically, those individuals are leftists who are currently very disenchanted with democracy. In both instances, the disenchantment dates back to 2016.
As Christopher Caldwell — author of “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe” — explained at a recent Claremont Institute discussion, the 2016 UK referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union (Brexit for short) was a throw–away gesture on the part of then Prime Minister David Cameron.
The referendum was proposed with the same sincerity that Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell employs when he promises to balance the federal budget or repeal Obamacare. Cameron called for the vote to silence anti–EU critics in his own party. After the vote failed, he could go on about the business of transforming the UK into a wholly–owned subsidiary of the trans–national elite.
That was a predictable mistake. Caldwell explains, “The Tory party is 75 percent pro–Brexit at the base, but not at the leadership level. Cameron never thought Brexit would pass.”
On June 23rd Brexit did pass by a 52 to 48 percent majority in an election with the largest turnout in UK history.
Four months later democracy failed again when Donald Trump was elected president.
As 2017 began conservatives in both countries learned the Resistance in the U.S. and Remain in the UK had more than a consonant in common.
Brexit supporters quickly discovered, in Caldwell’s words, “At the heart of Brexit all the decisions are being made by the institutions that were repudiated by Brexit.” That’s why three years after the vote to leave, the UK is still in the EU. The Remainers are acting against the will of the electorate.
Just as only one presidential candidate was legitimate in the eyes of the left here, in the UK only “one outcome career federal employees believe they are under no obligation to honor, respect, or abide by the results of a democratic election. Their view is, ‘If I agree with what voters choose, then I’ll do what they choose. If I disagree with what voters choose, then I won’t, and I’ll continue doing my own thing. So basically, it’s heads I win, tails you lose.”
That’s why Trump can’t build a wall, can’t deport illegals, can’t limit legal immigration and can’t penalize employers who hire illegals. His short attention span doesn’t help, but even if Trump had the focus of LeBron James chasing a Chinese endorsement contract, he would still be fighting for every inch of progress.
The stakes are cosmic for conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic. In Caldwell’s view, “Brexit is crucial in that it is the moment that does or does not roll back trans–national organizations.” The fight will decide whether or not the UK can set its own course for the future.
Here Trump against the Resistance may well be the last chance to control our borders and decide who is and who isn’t a citizen of the U.S.
The left’s distaste for the results of the 2016 election remind me of East German communist playwright Bertolt Brecht’s joke: “Some party hack decreed that the people had lost the government’s confidence and could only regain it with redoubled effort. If that is the case, would it not be be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?”
Sounds like a plan, say the Resistance and the Remainders.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.