If I were the European Union, I’d be wiping my hands, sighing in relief, and slamming the door after the United Kingdom’s long-delayed departure. Britain had been a noisy, pushy houseguest for 47 years, and it was only growing ruder. It spent the last three years hanging out in the foyer, braying and temporizing. Even… Continue reading Goodbye to All That: The UK after Brexit
with Valerio Alfonso Bruno In early 2017, Europe’s far-right parliamentary bloc met in Koblenz, Germany, to plot its political future. The meeting of the bloc’s leaders — which included Marine le Pen from France, Matteo Salvini from Italy and Geert Wilders from the Netherlands — took place shortly after the inauguration of US President Donald… Continue reading Will 2020 Be Another Victory Year for Trump and Brexit?
I dutifully got a shot this winter to inoculate myself against four different flu viruses. By exposing myself to weakened strains of these diseases, and preemptively suffering some mild flu symptoms, I can ward off the more serious consequences of a full-on infection and do my part to help stop the further spread of these… Continue reading Trump, Brexit: Where’s the Backlash?
It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The backpedaling might look very similar in all… Continue reading The Art of the Back-Pedal
Doesn’t idiocy ever take a vacation? As August wound down, the populist troika of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Jair Bolsonaro proved once again that the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil would be better off with no leaders rather than the dubious characters that currently pretend to govern these countries. In all three… Continue reading Burning Down the House
All eyes are focused these days on Boris Johnson, the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. But that’s not the most important news this month out of Britain. The Labor Party has finally come around to opposing the country’s exit from the European Union, though it’s possibly a case of “too little, too late.” The party… Continue reading Boris Johnson and the New Battle of Britain
It’s not in the text of Dante’s Inferno, but I suspect that those residing in the upper circles of hell regard their neighbors in the bottom circles with a mixture of pity and relief. Cleopatra, buffeted by strong winds in the second circle for her lustful behavior on earth, glances down at the traitor Judas,… Continue reading Deal, No Deal: Britain’s Fearful Future
Nation-states: what a quaint notion. As a means of organizing territory, they seem to be a brief transition period between large empires and an even larger, borderless world. Sure, nation-states might live on in the form of anthems and flags and independence days, but the idea of fixed borders just doesn’t make sense in a… Continue reading It’s a Borderful World
When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., published his bestseller The Disuniting of America in 1991, he didn’t seriously entertain the worst-case scenario suggested by the title. At the time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were imploding, while separatist movements in Quebec, East Timor, Spain’s Basque country, and elsewhere were already clamoring for their own states. But when… Continue reading Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering
The two events that put 2016 in the history books — alongside other pivotal years such as 2001, 1989, and 1945 — were, of course, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. What makes 2016 different, however, is its apparent revocability. Germany and Japan, after… Continue reading Pushing Rewind on 2016