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After Brexit, Nationalism and Trump Rising

Some of us have long predicted the breakup of the European Union. The Cousins appear to have just delivered the coup de grace.

While Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, England voted for independence. These people, with their unique history, language, and culture, want to write their own laws and rule themselves.

The English wish to remain who they are, and they do not want their country to become, in Theodore Roosevelt’s phrase, “a polyglot boarding house” for the world.

From patriots of all nations, congratulations are in order.


It will all begin to unravel now, over there, and soon over here.

Across Europe, tribalism, of all strains, is resurgent. Not only does the EU appear to be breaking up, countries appear about to break up.

Scotland will seek a second referendum to leave the UK. The French National Front of Marine Le Pen and the Dutch Party for Freedom both want out of the EU. As Scots seek to secede from the UK, Catalonia seeks to secede from Spain, Veneto from Italy, and Flemish nationalists from Belgium.

Ethnonationalism seems everywhere ascendant. Yet, looking back in history, is this not the way the world has been going for some centuries now?

The disintegration of the EU into its component nations would follow, as Vladimir Putin helpfully points out, the dissolution of the USSR into 15 nations, and the breakup of Yugoslavia into seven.

Czechoslovakia lately split in two. The Donbass seeks to secede from Ukraine. Is that so different from Transnistria splitting off from Romania, Abkhazia and South Ossetia seceding from Georgia, and Chechnya seeking separation from Russia?

After World War II came the disintegration of the French and British empires and birth of dozens of new nations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. America returned the Philippine islands to their people.

The previous century saw the collapse of the Spanish Empire and birth of a score of new nations in our own hemisphere.

In Xi Jinping’s China and Putin’s Russia, nationalism is rising, even as China seeks to repress Uighur and Tibetan separatists.

People want to rule themselves, and be themselves, separate from all others. Palestinians want their own nation. Israelis want “a Jewish state.”

On Cyprus, Turks and Greeks seem happier apart.

Kurds are fighting to secede from Turkey and Iraq, and perhaps soon from Syria and Iran. Afghanistan appears to be splintering into regions dominated by Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Tajiks.

Eritrea has left Ethiopia. South Sudan has seceded from Khartoum.

Nor is America immune to the populist sentiments surging in Europe.

In Bernie Sanders’s fulminations against corporate and financial elites one hears echoes of the radical-leftist rhetoric in Greece and Italy against EU banking elites.

And as “Brexit” swept the native-born English outside of multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual London, populist-nationalist Donald Trump and antiestablishment Ted Cruz swept the native-born white working and middle classes in the primaries.

In Britain, all the mainstream parties—Labor, Tory, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National—supported “Remain.” All lost.

Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party alone won.

In the past six months, millions of Democrats voted for a 74-year-old socialist against the establishment choice, Hillary Clinton, as Bush-Romney-Ryan Republicanism was massively repudiated in the Republican primaries.

As Trump said last week, “We got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism—focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class—to a policy of globalism, focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy.”

Yesterday, news arrived that in May alone, the U.S. had run a trade deficit in goods of $60 billion. This translates into an annual deficit of $720 billion in goods, or near 4 percent of our GDP wiped out by purchases of foreign-made rather than U.S.-made goods.

In 40 years, we have not run a trade surplus. The most self-sufficient republic in all of history now relies for its necessities upon other nations.

What might a Trumpian policy of Americanism over globalism entail?

A 10 to 20 percent tariff on manufactured goods to wipe out the trade deficit in goods, with the hundreds of billions in revenue used to slash or eliminate corporate taxes in the USA.

Every U.S. business would benefit. Every global company would have an incentive not only to move production here, but its headquarters here.

An “America first” immigration policy would secure the border, cut legal immigration to tighten U.S. labor markets, strictly enforce U.S. laws against those breaking into our country, and get tough with businesses that make a practice of hiring people here illegally.

In Europe and America, corporate, financial, and political elites are increasingly disrespected and transnationalism is receding. An anti-establishment, nationalist, populist wave is surging across Europe and the USA.

It is an anti-insider, anti-Clinton wave, and Trump could ride it to victory.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority [1].

15 Comments (Open | Close)

15 Comments To "After Brexit, Nationalism and Trump Rising"

#1 Comment By David On June 28, 2016 @ 6:22 am

Let’s hope Trump does “ride it to victory”, but even if he doesn’t another perhaps more apt politician soon will.

#2 Comment By Clint On June 28, 2016 @ 7:14 am

Crooked Hillary Clinton, who called BREXIT 100% wrong (along with Obama), is now spending Wall Street money on an ad on my correct call.

Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street Donor Cronies got it all wrong.

Nationalists Trump Globalists.

#3 Comment By Viriato On June 28, 2016 @ 7:47 am

And yet Scotland and Northern Ireland want to secede from the UK and… rejoin the EU. Likewise, Catalonia wants to secede from Spain and rejoin the EU as an independent state. Given this, and given the fact that Scottish and Catalan separatists are overwhelmingly leftist, are the Scottish and Catalan separatist phenomena really of a piece with the rise of Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen? I think not.

#4 Comment By SteveM On June 28, 2016 @ 9:27 am

Re: “…populist-nationalist Donald Trump and antiestablishment Ted Cruz swept the native-born white working and middle classes in the primaries.”

I agree with the thrust of Pat’s essay. However 2 comments on that statement.

First, Ted Cruz is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was historically for open borders “guest workers” until it became politically inconvenient. He is a also a hyper-interventionist. Only he believes that American military strategy should be to vaporize countries and then just walk away. (As if it’s that easy.) Pat is mistaken if he thinks that Cruz is the future of the Republican party after Trump departs.

About the white-working class, making Trump’s arguments racially directed is a Crony tactic to sink his candidacy. Trump himself may be too undisciplined to repair the damage since David Duke was injected into his campaign by the cronied-up MSM as a diversion away from his larger populist message that transcends race.

It is not the just the “white working class” that is being hosed by the Cronies. It is ALL working class Americans, white, brown, yellow and black. If Trump is smart he would emphasize that point. I.e. in the Us against Them paradigm, Them are only the Cronies. Unfortunately in some respects, Trump ain’t that smart.

#5 Comment By bacon On June 28, 2016 @ 11:00 am

Mr. Buchanan needs to look at longer cycles of history. There was a time, not that long ago, when Germany was composed of a bunch of separate mini-states. Along came Bismarck, put them all together. Same story in Spain, Italy, France, and more recently, Yugoslavia. Now ethnic groups in several European countries want to reverse this and go their own way. If this comes to pass, probably in a couple hundred years they will have forgotten today’s passions and be thinking if they united with their neighbor it would have economic and security benefits and the cycle will begin again.

#6 Comment By Kurt Gayle On June 28, 2016 @ 11:47 am

I fully agree with SteveM that “it is not the just the ‘white working class’ that is being hosed by the Cronies. It is ALL working class Americans, white, brown, yellow and black” who are being hosed — and Donald Trump should emphasize that important point!

To put Brexit in some perspective, below is the 7-minute youtube video and the full text (670 words) of UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s speech to the European Parliament today (28 June 2016) re Britain’s vote to leave the European Union:


“Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you? The reason you’re so upset, you’re so angry, has been perfectly clear, from all the angry exchanges this morning. You as a political project are in denial. You’re in denial that your currency is failing. Just look at the Mediterranean! As a policy to impose poverty on Greece and the Mediterranean you’ve done very well. You’re in denial over Mrs. Merkel’s call for as many people as possible to cross the Mediterranean – which has led to massive divisions between within countries and between countries.

“The biggest problem you’ve got and the main reason the UK voted the way it did is because you have by stealth and deception, and without telling the truth to the rest of the peoples of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union. When the people in 2005 in the Netherlands and France voted against that political union and rejected the constitution you simply ignored them and brought the Lisbon treaty in through the back door.

“What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result – it was a seismic result. Not just for British politics, for European politics, but perhaps even for global politics too. Because what the little people did, what the ordinary people did – what the people who’d been oppressed over the last few years who’d seen their living standards go down did – was they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics and they said actually, we want our country back, we want our fishing waters back, we want our borders back. We want to be an independent, self-governing, normal nation. That is what we have done and that is what must happen. In doing so we now offer a beacon of hope to democrats across the rest of the European continent. I’ll make one prediction this morning: the United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.

“The question is what do we do next? It is up to the British government to invoke article 50 and I don’t think we should spend too long in doing it. I totally agree that the British people have voted, we need to make sure that it happens. What I’d like to see is a grownup and sensible attitude to how we negotiate a different relationship. I know that virtually none of you have never done a proper job in your lives, or worked in business, or worked in trade, or indeed ever created a job. But listen, just listen.

“You’re quite right Mr Schultz – Ukip used to protest against the establishment and now the establishment protests against Ukip. Something has happened here. Let us listen to some simple pragmatic economics – my country and your country, between us we do an enormous amount of business in goods and services. That trade is mutually beneficial to both of us, that trade matters. If you were to cut off your noses to spite your faces and reject any idea of a sensible trade deal the consequences would be far worse for you than it would be for us. [Laughter from MEPs]

“Even no deal is better for the United Kingdom is better than the current rotten deal that we’ve got. But if we were to move to a position where tariffs were reintroduced on products like motorcars then hundreds of thousands of German works would risk losing their jobs. Why don’t we be grown up, pragmatic, sensible, realistic and let’s cut between us a sensible tariff-free deal and thereafter recognise that the United Kingdom will be your friend, that we will trade with you, cooperate with you, we will be your best friends in the world. Do that, do it sensibly, and allow us to go off and pursue our global ambitions and future.”

#7 Comment By Will Harrington On June 28, 2016 @ 12:05 pm


It depends. Since the EU says it won’t consider Scottish membership, if Scotland still wants to annul the Union then yes, yes it is. I think the determination of independence movements to join the EU is simply for pragmatic reasons such as having a ready made currency

#8 Comment By Chris Travers On June 28, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

The prediction of the “end of the EU” may be premature, but the “End of the EU in its current for and trajectory” is not. On that latter point, I would note everyone agrees, from the current EC President Jean-Claud Juncker who, a few months ago, said that if the EU survives it will be in a different form than it is today.

The EU as it is today is the product of neoliberalism of the sort that is falling from influence. For the EU to survive, it must change. And so we seen what I think is the future with the latest Franco-German proposals, namely an expansion of the EU unlike any that have come before. In this expansion, the EU will provide programs that are strictly opt-in to member states.

If this is successful, then perhaps it may be possible to get the non-optional programs more devolved in the near future.

#9 Comment By SteveM On June 28, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

And here’s another thing. The global economy has been functioning as a Central Bank subsidized Ponzi Scheme for decades. Something that can’t last forever – won’t. The Scheme is finally collapsing. By blaming the incipient great collapse on Brexit, the Crony Elites are setting up diversions away from themselves as the principle architects of the upcoming Implosion. With the sycophantic MSM cabal serving as their willing mouthpiece.

Brexit is merely a symptom of the underlying economic pathology, not its cause. The Cronies, enabled by the MSM are the cause. The amount of one-sided fear-monger saturation bombing by the Remains and the complicit Crony Nomenklatura all wired by the MSM is phenomenal.

I mentioned this before, the fact that the 4th Estate has completely sold out to the Politico-Crony-War Monger class is a huge untold story. And perversely ironic, i.e., it’s untold because they control the narrative. Stalin would be proud.

#10 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On June 28, 2016 @ 3:51 pm


It is not the just the “white working class” that is being hosed by the Cronies. It is ALL working class Americans, white, brown, yellow and black. If Trump is smart he would emphasize that point. I.e. in the Us against Them paradigm, Them are only the Cronies. Unfortunately in some respects, Trump ain’t that smart.

Or he just knows that the largest minority – Hispanics – is 90% white, and that will be enough to win.

#11 Comment By Clint On June 28, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

Trump’s smarter than some think.

He has done nothing for African-Americans. You look at what’s gone on with their income levels. You look at what’s gone on with their youth. I thought that he would be a great cheerleader for this country. I thought he’d do a fabulous job for the African-American citizens of this country. He has done nothing.

#12 Comment By JohnG On June 28, 2016 @ 4:35 pm

Let us not forget that Brexit has changed the Scottish equation: stay within one of the most successful unions in history or leave to join a mortally wounded EU. A seemingly much more viable EU wasn’t good enough to convince the Scots to leave the UK last time around, just saying…

#13 Comment By Full Stop On June 28, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

“An “America first” immigration policy would […] cut legal immigration to tighten U.S. labor markets […]”

A complete halt makes more sense. Maybe let foreigners who are married (and stay married) to America immigrate, but don’t let anybody else become a citizen. The current system is a nightmare of exceptions, loopholes, bizarre categories, a thing only a giant, diseased bureaucracy could love.

A complete halt simplifies the law immensely, eliminates much of the bureaucracy at a blow, and lets government focus on enforcement.

#14 Comment By Matthew Walther On June 28, 2016 @ 7:07 pm

Transnistria is (was?) part of Moldova, not Romania.

#15 Comment By Karel On June 29, 2016 @ 6:15 am

US voters will have a clear choice to make in November, for either:
A. Globalists/elitists, or
B. Nationalists/populists
A choice between free or fair trade, free or controlled migration, world citizenry or national identity, more government control or more local control, more or less taxes, cronies capitalism or productive capitalism, …
This time, the choice and future evolution is very distinct and clear. Clinton or Trump.