The parallels are not precise, but they exist. In the Brexit vote in the U.K., younger voters overwhelmingly voted “Remain,” while older voters voted “Leave.” The more education a British voter had, the more likely he or she was to want to stay in the European Union. Voters in urban areas generally backed remaining in the E.U.; voters in rural areas did not.
You probably see where I’m going with this: the demographics of the Brexit vote had some noticeable similarities to the kind of left-right divide we see in the United States. It’s contributed, as we discussed earlier, to observers drawing a nationalistic line between Brexit supporters in the U.K. and Donald Trump supporters in the U.S.
The Washington Post had a good piece on domestic Republicans joining the Brexit celebration, even as global markets suffered a sharp slide.
Today, while stock markets careened and media coverage has asked whether British voters just sparked a “DIY recession,” a few conservatives have embraced the vote. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), one of the critics of the president’s remarks, told supporters on Facebook that Americans needed to heed Brexit.“The results of the #Brexit referendum should serve as a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington, D.C. that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty,” Cruz wrote. […]Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), an occasional Cruz ally who has become the Senate’s biggest booster of Donald Trump, had an even more supportive reaction.
He did, indeed. The far-right Alabaman, arguably Trump’s closest congressional ally, issued a lengthy statement with an all-caps headline that read, “Now it’s America’s turn.” Sessions applauded Britons who cast a “strong vote … not out of fear and pique but out of love for country and pride of place.”
Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) published a bizarre online harangue that began, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. The UK knew – it was that time. And now is that time in the USA. The Brexit referendum is akin to our own Declaration of Independence. May that refreshed spirit of sovereignty spread over the pond to America’s shores!”
I swear I’m not making this up.
Palin went on to complain about “globalists who tend to aim for that apocalyptic One World Government that dissolves a nation’s self-determination and sovereignty… the EU being a One World Government mini-me.” She added – again, in all seriousness – concerns about “UN shackles.”
It’s all quite persuasive, isn’t it? In fact, I’m now convinced: the United States should definitely leave the European Union.
Cruz stressed the significance of “national sovereignty,” though America’s sovereignty is not in doubt. Sessions believes it’s “America’s turn” to, well, he didn’t actually specify exactly what it’s our turn to do. Palin wants us to embrace the “spirit of sovereignty,” apparently because she has some unidentified problem with the U.N.
Oddly, none of these Republicans mentioned immigration, which seems like the easiest and most obvious explanation for the Brexit results. Why not just acknowledge what it is about this vote that the right is most eager to celebrate?