Monday, November 14, 2016

From Brexit to Trump

Britain's Douglas Murray nails it, at Foreign Affairs, "Giving the Elites a Hard Kick":
The two big electoral events of 2016—Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president—were seemingly conjoined from the moment the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. That historic day in June was a sign that American voters might also choose, once given the chance, to give their ruling elites as hard a kick as possible, for as many reasons as possible. And just as the European Commission, a symbol of elitism, became the target for the British public, so too did Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton become a target for the American public on election day.

The two political upheavals are united in that both societies include a class of people whose job prospects have been wrecked by the outsourcing of labor, people for whom globalization is a problem rather than an opportunity. Perhaps the most important similarity, at least in the long term, will be that both events raise the possibility of a new left-right hybrid in domestic politics: one that learns from the years of lax immigration and the years of lax economics. This hybrid acknowledges the failures of right-wing free-market economics, favoring forms of protectionism over internationalism in trade policies; it also ignores some of the restraining shibboleths of left and right in recent years, instead recognizing legitimate fears of economic competition from abroad and the social concerns that immigration can bring...
More at that top link.