President Trump managed to ruffle a few feathers during his visit to Great Britain this week before Air Force One even stroked the runway. Then, when he arrived, he nuked the entire country.
The disruptor-in-chief, sugar-blooded from shaking a few defense pennies from spendthrift NATO allies, brawled into Prime Minister Theresa May’s headspace, saying her current Brexit deal wasn’t what 17.4 million Brits voted for.
He was just warming the crowd. President Trump then gave an interview to our most influential newspaper, The Sun As you can imagine, the garrulous Guy Fawkes went wild.
Trump told The Sun that Prime Minister May had “wrecked” our Brexit negotiations. That our jewel-in-the-Brexit-crown trade deal with the United States was “probably dead.” Then he backed Boris Johnson—the former foreign minister and May’s braying rival—for prime minister. All this when political tensions fray to the last fiber.
We British like to think we lead the world in etiquette. A dedicated industry churns out ever thickening tomes of advice on mannerly conduct. The Debrett’s A-Z of Modern Manners even advises the red of cheek to pen a handwritten note after an initial apology for a faux pas.
But politics is not a garden party. Donald Trump wasn’t elected to fawn and fiddle, but to move fast and break things.
He’s right, too. May’s proposed deal to take Britain out of the European Union certainly is not what the largest number of voters in this country’s history had in mind. Over half of them have junked her deal. And the Conservatives now trail the hapless Labour party.
Revealed last week, May’s plan doesn’t really take us out of the European Union. It’s BRINO—Brexit in Name Only.
After all, we voted to “take back control” of our money, our borders, and our laws. May’s proposal (which the EU will still likely shred) does none of that. The move to end “free movement of people” (open borders) has been replaced with “reciprocal mobility arrangements.”
We won’t control our trade deals. We won’t control our borders. We won’t control our laws.
Martin Howe QC, one of Britain’s top legal minds, said the deal amounted to a “worst-of-all-worlds ‘Black Hole’ Brexit,” chaining us to EU laws and regulations, but without a vote.
In other words, we have swapped syphilis for herpes.
Political Theater in London
It shouldn’t surprise. The political class never wanted a referendum. Ever since June 23, 2016, they’ve schemed cross-party, diluting the will of those they deride as “racist” or backward or both.
Much like their protestor fanboys, the ruling class doesn’t like this democracy thing. The revolt of the elites has swung violently against those, like us, who decided the last 30 years has been disastrous. We gave them the wrong answer and now they are provoked by what they consider our ignorance and ingratitude.
After all, they run the show. And they don’t think much of the audience chiming in mid-performance, let alone the rubes bouncing a few tomatoes off the stage. Elite theater is just that—theater.
The protestors eagerly lacquering their social media feeds into festivals of synthetic virtue are merely backup dancers. Sadly, not everyone can find the time to throng the streets of London selfying into Clarendon-filtered marvel. We have work.
Some time-lavished hipsters have even bilked £16,000 (around $21,000) for a 20-foot-high diaper-garbed inflatable “Trump Baby” to fly over Parliament Square.
They still need you to know that Trump is unacceptable. Well, they need you to know that they think Trump is unacceptable. In reality, they need you to know that they are faucets of goodness. Attention is limited in an age where the demand for it proves limitless. Some people just have to stand out.
But what point are they making? Emotional incontinence is not an argument. It just marks one as someone in devilish need of a Xanax.
Trump’s Policies Remain Popular in Europe
Perhaps they’d like to know that most Brits may not like Trump the man, but they do like his policies. A study last year found majorities in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Poland would block all immigration from Muslim-majority countries. In the UK, just under half nodded, while only less than a quarter disagreed.
Moreover, 70 percent of Brits wanted all immigration tightened, and a hefty fifth wanted it cut entirely. And in the Europe they so gaudily crave? Voters in every EU member country stated immigration and terrorism were their top two concerns. The same issues, in other words, which planted Trump in the White House.
They might have noticed that Trump-like populist governments have plundered the continent of progressive parties. Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Italy are all occupied with the kind of folks they deem unacceptable. Why? Because the EU itself is shakier than EU high priest Jean-Claude Juncker after a libatory lunch.
And the inflatable Trump Baby? Well, it was filled with hot air and went limp after just two hours of work. Its staying power being a reflection of that of the protesters who carried it.