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One of the most baffling reactions among liberals since 2016 was to compare Boris Johnson to Donald Trump. I reside in England, and saw tweet after tweet from the Max Boots and Tom Nichols of the world on why these two, and Brexit and the election of Trump, are exactly the same.
The reality, as always, is a lot more complicated. There is of course similarity in both events. Both were a rebel yell against orthodoxy in the respective countries. In the United States, it was by masses of people who oppose the elites’ conventional wisdom, from mass immigration from Latin America to foreign intervention in the Middle East. In the United Kingdom, it was about the ever-closing European Union. The British, and mostly the English, did not want to be vassals of an empire.
Similarities - Trump - Boris - Trader - Trump
But that was where the similarities end. Trump is mercantile, Boris is a free trader. Trump is a businessman from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who wants the United States to end what he perceives to be free-riding from allies and focus on China as the peer competitor, given that America’s favorable balance is fading fast and there’s a time to draw a line in the sand.
Boris, a classics scholar from Oxford, can recite The Iliad in ancient Greek, talk about ascending tricolons in rhetoric, and is a former editor of The Spectator with books on the Roman empire and Winston Churchill under his belt. He is at heart a historian who wants to break open the EU monopoly and open up trade to turn London into a Singapore upon the Thames. That’s something Germany’s Angela Merkel is extremely worried about, as she considers post-Brexit Britain, alongside the United States and China, to be “an economic competitor for the EU.”
Trump is rightfully skeptical of...
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