Donald Trump & Brexit Are Eerily Similar In This Disheartening Way
Donald Trump's potential presidency is surely the most talked-about issue in American politics today. But across the pond, the "Brexit" is causing a political divide in the United Kingdom. As Trump's presidential campaign continues, and the debate over the "Brexit" heats up concurrently, it's become clear that there are, in fact, many similarities between Trump's campaign and the "Brexit" movement — unfortunately proving that xenophobia is on the rise, not only in the United States.
The term "Brexit" refers to Britain's potential exit from the European Union. According to BBC News, in 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to let citizens of the United Kingdom vote on whether or not they wanted to stay in the European Union — a promise he made after a rising number of Conservative parliament members and leadership of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) began pushing for the "Brexit" (Cameron is a Conservative party member, but is against the "Brexit"). The referendum on whether or not the U.K. will stay in the European Union is on June 23, and it is unclear what the outcome will be. As of now, the British people are split on the issue.
So what does the "Brexit" have to do with The Donald? Well, many of Trump's ideals align with those of the "Brexit" movement. For instance, both Trump, and proponents of "Brexit" espouse ardent nationalism, which is a sentiment that has not been glorified to such an extent in the United States, nor in the United Kingdom, for decades.
Along with nationalism comes xenophobia, unfortunately in both Trump's campaign and within the "Brexit" movement. Trump built his campaign on his promise that if he wins the presidency, he will instate a ban on Muslims, and build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Both of these proposals are meant to keep particular groups of people out of the United States.
Similarly, Reuters reported that proponents of "Brexit" believe that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union in order to have more control over who crosses British boarders. "Brexit" proponents often cite Syrian refugees and other people coming to the United Kingdom from the Middle East as reasons why the borders should be closely monitored, and quotas on refugees and immigrants instigated.
While Trump is anti-immigration (from certain countries) and the "Brexit" movement wants to limit the number of refugees that the United Kingdom takes in during today's refugee crisis, the ideals expressed by Trump and the "Brexit" movement are similar in their xenophobic nature.
Perhaps the most alarming similarity between Trump and the "Brexit" movement is the wish to return to a former era in each country's respective history. Trump wants to "Make America Great Again," which really means take America backwards and reverse the country's social progress. Similarly, Reuters reported that proponents of "Brexit" want the United Kingdom to return to a time when it was far more isolated from the rest of the world, and therefore less diverse.
It's discomforting that Trump's ideals are not isolated to the United States; clearly, xenophobia is a global issue that is spurred by political movements across the world.