I’ve been on vacation the last couple of weeks in wondrous, beautiful, unreal Switzerland,* so I’m taking the lazy blogger’s way out and linking to a couple of other bloggers with minimal comments of my own.

I haven’t followed the Brexit debate closely. I’m quite sure that I would have voted for Britain to stay in the EU. There are good reasons not to be thrilled with the EU, but the likely consequences of Britain’s leaving seem to me to weigh more heavily than the mostly psychological benefits of getting out. As Paul Krugman put it, the Brits were facing a choice between bad and worse.   Josh Marshall, writing just before the vote, does a nice summary of the issue having reached the conclusion that a decision to Brexit would be crazy. Marshall thinks that Brexit is all about English nationalism. Even more emphatic is Kevin Drum, who reacted to the vote with a short and provocative if maybe somewhat overheated post. To Drum, the push for Brexit bears uncomfortable resemblances to the motivations driving the followers of Donald Trump and Marie LePen:

…[A]t its core, [Brexit is] the last stand of old people who have been frightened to death by cynical right-wing media empires and the demagogues who enable them—all of whom have based their appeals on racism as overt as anything we’ve seen in decades.



* As a self-consciously politically aware person, I feel a ittle funny if not actually guilty spending time in Switzerland while knowing practically nothing about its politics and, frankly, hardly caring. What can I say? Sometimes, you just need a break.



  1. Bill Anscher June 26, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I hope the Brexit vote is not a harbinger of our election. I suspect that just as in Britain, we are underestimating the anger and resentment in this country that Trump represents. This is not helped by those Sanders supporters who say they would rather not vote at all or, even worse, vote for Trump than vote for Clinton.

    • tonygreco June 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      You’re raising very relevant questions, which I’ll try to deal with in another post soon.

  2. Jeffrey Herrmann June 27, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Tony, we missed your posts during the last few weeks. But you were in Switzerland when they held a historic referendum on universal income for all citizens. You must have notice that! Although it was soundly defeated, imagine the political possibility of holding such a referendum in the US.
    As a non-racist expat living in London who (unlike all his acquaintances) would have voted to leave the EU had I had a vote, I look forward to sharing my non-racist reasons on my next visit home.
    The differences between the issues and the peoples are far too large to think that Brexit has any lessons to tell us about Trump’s chances. By the way, people here in London got quite a hoot out of Trump’s congratulating the Scots for voting to leave, given that they overwhelmingly voted to stay and are now threatening to leave the UK if the UK leaves the EU.
    The latest polls show Trump is going down and Bernie’s supporters are largely coming around to voting for Hillary. We have to hope the Repugnican Convention doesn’t dump Trump and put up a more attractive candidate. We should all want Trump to take much of the Repugnican Party down in flames with him.

    • tonygreco June 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      I’ll talk about the implications of Brexit for the US in my next post. I think they are limited but not entirely negligible.

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