Brexit: The Nationalist-Populist Rebellions Continue
Britain’s departure from the European Union is a victory for English nationalism. Now we’ll have to see what happens to American nationalism.
But first, a bit more on the United Kingdom: What is English nationalism, anyway?
On June 23, the day of the Brexit vote, Englishman James Delingpole wrote a stirring piece for Breitbart News under the headline, “If You Truly Believe In Britain There’s Only One Way To Vote Today…” In it, he offered a tribute to his heritage, as he explained what nationalist patriotism means to him:
It means a heartfelt sympathy with our island story–-1066; Magna Carta; the Civil War; the Glorious Revolution; Waterloo; 1940 “Our Finest Hour”; and so on; and an appreciation of the achievements of the heroes and heroines who made it possible, from Alfred the Great through to Queen Elizabeth I, from Shakespeare to Elgar, from Florence Nightingale and Isambard Kingdom Brunel to Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
And knowing that the European Union is the conscious and deliberate obliteration of all valued European traditions, we can quickly see that a true English patriot had no choice but to vote “Leave.” Indeed, the EU is a peculiarly toxic beast that should be offensive to patriots of all countries: It’s one part Orwellian Superstate, one part politically correct playpen, and one part welfare-funding source for future Islamist terrorists, all serving the financial interests of a few big banks and financiers.
Meanwhile, the EU can’t, or won’t, defend itself against alien invasion. Just on Thursday, the day of the vote, some 4500 Africans came ashore in Italy — that’s an annual rate of more than 1.6 million. Yes, it’s truly a Camp of the Saints-type situation, and yet many in the EU seem happy at the prospect of being relieved of the “burden” of their European ethnicity.
However, the English are made of sterner stuff. It’s interesting that much of the Old Left in the UK — that is, old-line Labour blue collars — came to support “Leave,” even as the new Labour elite, snug and smug in its crony-capitalist government financing from both London and Brussels, urged a vote for “Stay.” As one Labourite observed in April:
Labour’s working class heartland of voters overwhelmingly want Brexit, yet the Labour Party isn’t listening.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, patriotic conservatives, too, were outraged at the naked attempt to force-feed corporate self-interest down the throats of ordinary blokes. One Tory MP recalled a telling moment on the Brexit campaign trail:
I was amazed, when the CEO of JP Morgan shared a platform with the chancellor [of the exchequer, equivalent to the US treasury secretary] in Bournemouth and basically warned these voters “If you guys vote for Brexit you will be out of a job.” This CEO earns $20 million a year and lives mostly in Manhattan, telling people who earn £25,000 a year they will be out of a job if they vote a certain way. This enrages people.
Yes, when those in the elite listen only to others in the elite — that’s a formula for revolution. And that’s what happened on Thursday, hereafter to be called, as the heroic Nigel Farage has urged, “British Independence Day.” On BID, the people overcame mountains of cronyish propaganda — and a direct threat from international speculator George Soros, who has proven many times that he can do real harm — to vote “aye” on Brexit.
Yes, Englishmen and women, so stoic and patient for so long, finally rose up. One is reminded of the 1907 historical poem by G.K. Chesterton, The Secret People. In that work, Chesterton described the English folk, stoically tolerating the errors of their “betters,” always keeping a stiff upper lip. But, he continued, some day, the dam will burst:
Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.
In his poetic narrative, Chesterton recounted a long parade of bad rulers over the English, including, for a time, the Norman conquerors from France:
The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
Yet through it all, the English yeomanry kept its stolid cool. Skipping ahead centuries, Chesterton lyricized the brave English in their battles against Napoleon; the courageous redcoats went overseas to fight, even as the families of many of them were still little more than serfs.
Yet although the poem was composed more than a century ago, some of its lines read as if they were written by a contemporary. Here’s his scathing description of the English ruling class:
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
Indeed, Chesterton was an acute observer of the wide gap between the governors and the governed:
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
And then Chesterton closes with words he had used before — although, in their context and repetitive cadence, those words now take on an air of menace:
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
Now, in 2016, the English people have spoken. And as a result, David Cameron, that pro-EU stooge of a prime minister, has had to resign; his whole career in politics has proven to be nothing more than quixotic time-filling.
Today, the English have reclaimed their ancient liberties and, most importantly, their right to their own national self-determination. In the future, an independent England might rise or fall, but Albion is a lot more likely to rise if the English can chart their own destiny.
2. The Destiny of the American People
So the British Lion has finally roared. Next, will the American Eagle soar?
If Breitbart News’s James Delingpole starts his British patriotic litany back in 1066, we Americans might start ours more recently, in 1776. And then we could amiably amble our way through the pantheon of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Thomas Edison, Lou Gehrig, Mike Strank, Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others. And then, after paying somber homage to the heroes of Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Belleau Wood, Bastogne, Porkchop Hill, and Khe Sanh, we close our patriotic reverie with a glimpse of Ronald Reagan. (Yes, the three decades since his presidency have been a little dry, American hero-wise.)
In the paragraph above, we see the key elements of American patriotism. And of course, for the most part, the Obama administration is either oblivious or hostile — that is, oblivious to the mystic chords of U.S. history or else hostile to their true meaning. To illustrate, we can point out that Martin Luther King’s dream of national colorblindness, in which we are judged, instead, on the “content of our character,” is not at all the same thing as the sort of quotacratic “diversity” that is bureaucratically imposed in his name.
So already, we can see that an upsurge in American patriotism is a bad sign for the Obama-Hillary status quo. As some liberals at Bloomberg News observed in a headline, “Trump’s Coalition Looks a Lot Like Brexit Voters.” Or, in the words of Politico, the Bible of the Beltway,
The Brexit vote became largely a referendum on elites and immigration, the same themes likely Republican nominee Donald Trump has put at the center of his bid for the White House.
In that same vein, one must assume that The Daily Beast’s Nico Hines intended the pun when he wrote of Brexit, “Arguments about loss of sovereignty and loss of border control trumped the grave economic forecasts.” Yes, TRUMPED.
For his part, Donald Trump himself obviously gets it: “I see a big parallel,” he said of Brexit. Then he added:
People want to take their country back, and they want to have independence in a sense. They took their country back, just like we will take America back.
And now, of course, Trump’s high-profile trip to Scotland looks shrewd, indeed — a Brexit gamble that has paid off handsomely.
In the near term, we can immediately see that this new populist-nationalist spirit spells trouble for a pending trade deal involving America that could have easily been written by the EU, such as TPP, or TTIP, which actually was written by the EU.
Looking further ahead, this ornery pro-Brexit populism sounds like trouble for an elitist such as Hillary Clinton, eh? After all, as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator, and as Secretary of State, Clinton not only supported the EU and every possible trade deal, but she also endorsed the even more comprehensively globalist climate change deal signed in 2015 by her successor at State, John Kerry.
And now predictably, the political backlash is setting in, and it’s fierce. Writing for the Cook Political Report prior to the vote, Amy Walter described a focus group she attended in Western Pennsylvania that was notable for the Trumpian nationalism of its participants. Walter summed it up: “They really don’t like Hillary.”
Of course, the 2016 campaign is not over yet, and so perhaps Clinton, always flexible, will yet seek to ingratiate herself with American nationalists. Or perhaps not — perhaps she will conclude that, as a matter of electoral calculation, she first needs to keep faith with the Obama legacy, and the Obama ego.
Yet while the political indicators are promising for Trump Republicans, there’s still no guarantee that America will follow Britain’s lead and vote for independence from the bureaucrats. Yes, the politics of the two countries are broadly similar, but if Britain zigged on Brexit, America could yet zag and elect Hillary.
Yet in times of uncertainty, American patriots have one true reserve: our own grand history. After all, we’ve been through tough times before and pulled through — and we can do it again.
We might, for example, take heart from the wise words of Ronald Reagan, who, back on October 27, 1964, on a way-station during his long march to the White House, said this to a national TV audience:
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
Those words, “rendezvous with destiny,” echo in our minds because, yes, the stakes for the nation are that high — they always are.
In electing Reagan back in 1980, the American people measured up to the moment — and the United States was the big winner. So now, in 2016, we have another rendezvous with destiny.
And yes, haze from the fog of war will be thick, and so it will be difficult, often, to maintain our orientation and stick to the battle plan — the true course. Yet we know we can do it, because, as the Gipper told us, “We are Americans.” And we like to think that the Gipper’s spirit is with us, even now.
For his part, Trump will be challenged, as well, to keep his calm and composure — and stay relentlessly on message. Yet in the coming times of trial, he might be comforted by the lyrics of a famous pop song of his youth, from 1964. Those words are from Sam Cooke: “A change is gonna come.”
Yes, it will, God willing.