Last night, in a stunning move, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in its “Brexit” vote. This has divided the nation, pitting the young who chose to remain against the old who voted to leave. This has caused some real bitterness between the generations as the younger generation feels that this was one last thing that their parents took from them after setting them on a worse economic path. This has set up the real possibility that Scotland will secede and become independent and that Northern Ireland will at least try and reunify with Ireland in bids to rejoin the European Union.
But the crux of this article is not about the Brexit vote itself. There are many more people that can speak to this issue with more eloquence and knowledge than I. But what I am interested in writing is a warning for the young people of the United States and for the nation in general.
Donald Trump is our Brexit. He’s already praised the decision that has crashed the financial markets and dramatically devalued the pound. Trump sees something in Brexit that speaks to his campaign. And we should be worried.
Trump is irresponsible, reckless and listed as a major economic threat in major publications. We need to look at the turmoil in the UK and the global economy and realize that we must, at all costs, prevent our Brexit-Trump- from succeeding.
He speaks to our fears, to our darkest impulses. He is our unrestrained id. But he is not our higher calling, our saving grace, our panacea.
Britain’s vote is a message to us here in America that the politics of xenophobia, racism and populism are on the rise. We must be ready to reject our id and embrace our higher angels. Regardless of how imperfect the messenger might be, rejecting the politics of racism, xenophobia and isolationism.