Brexit-Trump Comparisons Miss Key Points
The respective Brexit and Trump victories did evidence similarities in societal sentiments along geographic, economic and demographic fault lines.
For example, voters in America’s deindustrialized Rust Belt and voters in England’s deindustrialized Midlands provided strong support for the respective Trump and Brexit victories. A majority of the twenty-something age group in America and Britain voted to oppose Trump and Brexit respectively while a majority of the 65-year-old-plus demographic in each nation gave their votes to Trump and Brexit.
Many analysts who rightly identify the class fault lines evident in the Brexit and Trump votes give short-shrift to the fact that One Percenters’ everywhere have historically manipulated racism to mask the class-based economic exploitation of the 99 Percent -- ripped off regardless of color, class or creed.
British activist/academic Cecil Gutzmore paints Brexit as “fundamentally racist-nationalist, undoubtedly economically foolish.” Gutzmore’s analysis concludes that Brexit will produce negative economic, social and ideological effects “across the board for years” on non-whites and the poor generally in Britain. “I can’t help feeling that [non-whites] who voted Brexit un/consciously voted White in the sense in which I heard a White American say: “I am poor but I vote rich.””
The sparkplug behind Brexit, far right-wing British politician Nigel Farage, was the first foreign politician to visit Donald Trump after Trump’s election victory. Farage, leader of the UKIP, campaigned with Trump this summer in Mississippi -– the state most identified historically with racist sentiments in America.
Trump recently Tweeted that Farage should become his nation’s ambassador to America, a suggestion quickly snuffed by Britain’s conservative government.