International Reaction to Brexit? Clueless

As Brexit reverberates around the Western world, it is fun to observe the almost universal myopia of liberal commentators. This is from Sweden: “Brexit, a sign of anti-elite revolt: analysts.” So the analysts are starting to catch on. But they still have a ways to go:

It was Britain’s poorer and less-educated citizens — angry at not having shared in the economic benefits of a new world order — who pushed it out of the European Union, in a vote that threatens elites, analysts say.

Worldwide, liberals are convinced that conservatives are poor and uneducated. Here in the U.S., any survey will tell you that on average, Republicans are better educated and have higher incomes than Democrats, and can answer more questions about public policy issues correctly. It doesn’t matter: ask a liberal, and he will tell you that conservatives are poor and uneducated.

They are those who suffered the worst hangover from the economic crisis, and whose precarious economic position makes them most fearful of rising immigration — to the benefit of far right groups in the E.U. and Donald Trump in the United States.

In Europe, anyone with reservations about mass immigration is “far right.” This attempt to rule debate about immigration out of bounds has been a serious mistake. Note, too, that liberals will never admit that conservatives have arguments against unrestricted mass immigration. It is always a matter of “fear.”

“I see the same pattern everywhere I look,” said William Galston, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Brookings Institution.

“The demographic splits within the U.K. are exactly the same category for category as the demographic splits within the American electorate in this presidential election.”

Rural areas with high numbers of migrant workers, former industrial hubs and poor areas around cities, those without a university education and older voters were all among the 53.4 percent who voted Brexit.

Mr. Galston said this was the same demographic backing controversial Republican candidate Mr. Trump in the U.S., as well as eurosceptic and far-right parties enjoying a rise in support across Europe.

There is an obvious parallel, as we and everyone else have pointed out, between the enough-immigration movement in Europe and Trumpism in the U.S.

Mr. Galston said while he did not expect these forces to prevail in the United States as they did in the Brexit vote, they were a “major warning signal to established parties throughout Europe”.

It can’t happen here!

Fears are high of a domino effect, with eurosceptic, leftist and far right parties from France to the Netherlands crying victory after the shock Brexit result was announced and calling for similar votes in their own countries.

“Eurosceptic, leftist and far right parties”–an interesting alliance, again, much like what we see in the U.S., with considerable overlap between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supporters.

At the root of this surge in anti-establishment sentiment is a feeling of fear, loss of control, and traditions and identity lost among those who are struggling economically, analysts say. …

“You have a lot of people who took a big hit. These are people who feel economically vulnerable, and when you put demographic fears on top of economic vulnerability this is what you get,” said Mr. Galston. …

Now older, these voters reeling from austerity and a sense of growing threats at Europe’s borders, feel “threatened and insecure”.

It’s all about fear, according to liberals. People who are not on board with a borderless world are threatened, insecure, fearful, uneducated, elderly and poor. What never occurs to liberal “analysts” is that they might be right. Until liberals start dealing with immigration issues intelligently and on the merits, they will continue to lose the argument.

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