Democrats are worried that Brexit, the poll-defying British vote last Thursday to leave the European Union, could portend victory for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election in November.
Republicans, too, see the same potential — though for different reasons. Conservatives note parallels between Trump and the “Leave” campaign such as a common hostility to the political establishment, a populist base, and a quiet current of public support beneath pollsters’ radar.
Liberals, however, see other parallels. They see Trump not just as a populist outsider, but as a potential dictator-in-waiting. Accordingly, they see parallels between Britain asserting its national sovereignty, and the wave of economic protectionism and nationalist expansion that seized the world in the 1930s, ultimately leading to the advent of fascism and World War II.
A writer for the left-leaning Israeli paper Ha’aretz, for example, has published an op-ed titled: “Will Explosive Brexit Shocker Trigger a Chain Reaction That Makes Trump President?” Citing Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, the author draws dark connections between Trump and Brexit:
The same elements of white resentment, fear of immigrants, anxiety over globalization, animosity towards cosmopolitan elites of every shape and kind and people’s wish “to take their country back in their hands,” as Trump said, could come together at just the right time to elect the GOP candidate as President as well .
If conservative Great Britain can ignore universal warnings and launch a process that most of the world considers catastrophic, than daredevil America can certainly follow in its footsteps, and more so.
The author presumes Brexit will trigger an economic crisis for which President Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, will be blamed.
Trump supporters, more optimistic about Brexit, have arrived at the same conclusion by different reasoning, seeing new hope for democratic revival and institutional reform.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.