It is a mistake to intensely compare the UK with the US. These are two entirely separate entities, as different as American football is to European football. What can be discussed are the similar increasing sentiments found within both nations. One has led to the rise of Trump and similar rhetoric, and the other is ‘Brexit’ has led to the recent monumental motion for the UK to leave the EU. While one cannot predict the future of the US based upon the politics occurring in Europe, one can discuss the similar sentiment and ideological details that are driving the recent dynamic shifts.
Euroscepticism is rising across Europe as the people have lost confidence in the overly idealistic project that is the EU. It is a chain gang of which nations have shackled themselves to one another. If one croaks, if another falls overboard, it can drag the healthier bodies down with it. The UK has successfully sawed off its shackle, and other nations would be wise to do the same. This is the problem with idealistic cosmopolitan-like projects. The international realm is polycentric, it is a polytheism of nations and cultures, and any attempts to deny this will inevitably fail. The default is that of anarchy, as in, the international realm has no central authority. It is reasonable to see this as frightening. No one wishes for another world war to break out. No one wishes for European nations to be at each others throat in conflict. Nevertheless cooperation, diplomacy, and trade must come about naturally as a polytheistic realm, not as a secular monotheism. Nations must consider their own first and foremost. This is a statement worth repeating a thousand times over. The ‘citizen of the world’ mentality is a doomed one that ends in futile nihilism if taken to its maximum conclusion. A nation must consider its own best self-interest in all endeavors, as a single nation, and if by chance this means mutual benefit with another nation then so be it, but only if it is within the national self-interest. Eurosceptism is at an all time high, and it is speculated that the UK breaking free has set the precedent for others to do the same. This is will result in temporary economic unrest, but a temporary pain is worth the long run benefit. No European nation has given up its sovereignty, but by being in the EU or becoming reliant upon it, many have lessened their sovereignty drastically. That is why I say ‘Brexit’ has been a redeclaration of national sovereignty, and this redeclaration of national sovereignty is a sentiment that is being felt across the West.
In the states there is a similar sentiment, though not as refined nor as specific. There is a rise in populism. The working class is sick of being neglected for the sake of corporate interest, for the sake of intervening in middle-eastern affairs, for the sake of saving refugees or embracing illegal residents from the south, in short, the people are sick of neoliberalism under its false banner of ‘progressivism’. It may be movement doomed to not change a thing, but it is the fight that matters. Those who claim that globalism is the world of today and tomorrow, that caring for ones own foremost is a thing of the past, this is the neoliberal thought that would sacrifice its own people on the altar of corporate greed and global callousness. A nation that ceases to define an identity will errode. In the US many have rallied behind Trump, not because he is an excellent leader nor because he is a political genius, only because he has acknowledged these dire issues that confront the average person. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, and in this election season Trump has been that one eyed man. It is not the person that is significant, it is the message and principles of which that is tapped. Whether it be in the US or the UK, the people want the nation to care about its own first and foremost above all others. If a nation cannot assure its own people can find gainful employment, that its people can provide sufficiently for their family, that it works to the benefit of the people and no one else, then it ceases to be a nation and persists as a facade. Whether the nation define its people by ‘blood and soil’ or by legal citizenship or both, it must put them first in priority. It is ignoble and weak for a nation to betray its own. It becomes antithetic to its very purpose and existence.
There are also those in the US whom have adopted racist and xenophobic attitudes, and while I do not condone these positions it is completely understandable as to why such a position becomes increasingly appealing. The majority are sick of being neglected for the sake of the minority. The majority are sick of catering to identity politics ‘minority of the week’, in which most cases the identity groups wage war against one another just as much. The majority are sick of playing savior to the latest foreign tragedy and monthly bleeding heart cause. It should not be concluded that minority politics are unimportant or should be neglected or mistreated in any way. What should be conclude is it has gone in such an extreme direction that the majority are utterly neglected, told to stay silence, and even shamed for the sake of catering to the smaller populations. In the attempt to impliment social justice and end prejudice, it has only caused more resentment and tension. That which is not brought into the mainstream discourse and discussed respectfully, that which gets stigmatized or made a taboo subject, will only further the resentment and pressure. It can be confidently predicted this will only get worse before it gets better. The more a people or a group are ignored, the more likely they are to resort to extreme measures to be heard. It may not bode well for the future of the US, but things seem the darkest before there is light.
As seen, the US and UK are entirely separate ballgames, but there is a shared populist and nationalist sentiment between them. The UK has redeclaring its national sovereignty by breaking away from the EU, and optimistically will place its own people first. Similarly the US is facing resentment from its people as they demand to be acknowledged, to be placed before neoliberal endeavors, and to be placed before the meddling of affairs that are not our own. The UK is approaching a new beginning, standing on its own without dead weight, despite the struggle that will be required to achieve this. On the other hand, the US is possibly looking at another repeat of the last decade. Neoliberalism, in the guise of progressivism, continues to permeate throughout with little political opposition from either left or right. It could very well lead to the sacrifice of the working class, even moreso than has already occurred. It could very well lead to the sacrifice of what national identity still exists, if any at all persists at this point. The errosion will continue as the national is sacrificed to the global, its people neglected and told there is no problem, that its shouts are unfounded. This is not a matter of majority against minority, nor a left against the right. It is a matter of the people, as a nation, against those whom will gladly sacrifice it to global trade that benefits only the wealthy.