(July 19, 2016) Observers have pointed out many parallels between the June referendum on Brexit in the United Kingdom and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the US. One parallel is that both the British movement to leave the EU and the Trump campaign for the American Republican nomination achieved success that few had expected, particularly not the various elites. In both cases, the general interpretation is that the elites underestimated the anger of working class voters who feel they have been left behind by economic forces in a fast-changing world, and in particular by globalization.
Another parallel is the centrality to both campaigns of promises that are close to logically impossible, and the consequent inevitability with which supporters will feel betrayed when the promises do not come true. Continue reading