Timothy Egan writes: In committing economic suicide, Britain is trying to close the door and hide from the world. It felt good, no doubt, to tell those overbearing bureaucrats in Brussels to bugger off. We’ll stick with our bangers and mash without any interference from Europe! But the Brexit vote was also a drunken swing at those “others” remaking the image of a lost England. To hear the haters tell it, “Polish vermin” and brown-skinned hordes have overwhelmed the little island nation.
Trump wants us to follow the Brits into a corner of isolation — by race, religion and trade. His philosophy, the rant of a besotted boob making things up in public, is anti-American at its core. In rejecting our former colonial masters, we threw off monarchy, the class system and a state religion. We opened our doors to all nations, all religions, all opinions.
The New World can certainly learn much from the Old World. But the sun never sets on a stupid idea. And this vote to stop the spinning globe and get off at 1952 is among the stupidest. Britain is cracking up now because it followed the crackpots. The United States could make the same mistake — rejecting free trade, and rejecting a welcome mat for free people.
Today, about 13 percent of Britain is foreign-born. What’s disruptive, especially in the timeless tableau of rural England, is that the number of immigrants has more than doubled since 1993. That’s what caused some of the open hatred in the campaign to leave the European Union. Trump is playing with that same fire now. [Continue reading…]