Maybe it’s because the political press is mostly East Coast (and mostly Washington DC, and New York City) while I am way out here in LA, but I just can’t seem to understand why they see what happens in England is a harbinger of what happens in America. The US and Britain are two different countries, for one thing, and there is no issue like Brexit facing us, unless you really do think that Trumpmania and Brexit are the same thing, which I simply cannot see at all. I suppose you could go back in our political histories and find parallels, but I would bet that you can find far more times when we did not parallel at all. Indeed this country was founded on a couple of those non-parallels, and why then we assume we are a reflection of Britain bewilders me. It’s as if somehow these terrified people have watched so many British shows on PBS they actually think Downton Abbey and English politics makes sense here. They do not. They do not because we are way different countries.
Is anyone in Canada or Australia seeing Brexit as an immediate threat to political futures in their own nation? After all, the queen is the official Head of state for Australia and Canada, they officially still have to kiss her royal arse. Yes, even Australians. Even French Canadians, in theory anyway. Yet I seem to recall that in Canada the Conservatives lost the recent election there in a landslide. They were wiped out. A far cry from Trumpmania is Canada right now. What are we to make of this? That something is dangerously out of sorts in Canada because Canadian politics is not wound tightly around political trends in the Motherland?
You could say the same for Australia, New Zealand and, well, Scotland. Hell, you could say the same for Ireland. But no one does, because there is no visible causation between this Brexist referendum and anything happening in those own countries. Except, of course, Scotland, who voted completely opposite from the way the media–and the social media–is getting themselves into hysterics about, seeing Trump everywhere in everything all the time. And they wonder how Trump got to where he is. It was all attention he gets in media, which is due in large part to all the attention he gets in social media. People–reporters, wackos, whisperers and those who stare into their iPhones on the elevator–are obsessed with him. Yet consider this–the least significant thing that occurred on Brexit Day was Trump talking about his golf course. Compared to all the hell breaking loose in London markets and beyond, it was nothing. Yet how often have you seen him talking about his new sprinkler system in the news? On Facebook? In a tweet? But how Trump talking about his sprinklers in Scotland means that Trump will be president and Hillary doomed escapes me. Yet the American Right is thrilled, as are the Bernie or Busters….They rant and rave in ecstasies of I-told-you-so’s, how Brexit equals Trump, Hillary is doomed, Obama a failure. Oh God, what hath Britain wrought?
(I heard someone from New York City say they were so terrified of Brexit that they were moving to Canada. That’s right, moving into the British Commonwealth to escape Great Britain.)
So is Brexit important? Of course it’s important, but it’s mostly important to the United Kingdom (while there still is a United Kingdom) and the European Union. But what does it mean for American politics? Very little. It hasn’t been until the advent of social media that people began obsessing over English politics like it was our own. But each of our constitutions is so different–their’s isn’t even written, for one thing. Our party systems are different, and our voters have little in common besides a language we can mostly understand except on Are You Being Served. The differences are fundamental. Hell, their judges wear wigs. Big silly wigs.
Oh well, I suspect that in an ever shifting 24/7 news cycle, with so much profound copy needed on an hour’s notice, one grasps at coincidences and finds why they are not coincidences at all. Any two coincidences can be connected somehow, even if that connection is ludicrous, at best.