A Very Special Relationship
How Trumpists and Brexiteers are kindred spirits united by common values
Ever since 1945 the British have attempted to console themselves with the notion that although the UK may be a declining second-rank power it has a “special relationship” with the world’s (former) Superpower, the USA. Like a small child seeking shelter under the protection of an older and stronger brother, the UK has clung to this mental security blanket for seventy-five years.
Although it is a totally delusional idea (the UK is at best the USA’s obedient poodle) it does have some foundation in reality provided that we use the word “special” in its colloquial sense.
Brexit voters are especially prone to delusional thinking — after all, they imagined the blustering lies of a third-rate children’s party clown were a promise of a golden future rather than, as people with measurable IQs knew all along, a one-way trip into dreary accelerated decline and total irrelevance. But hope is not lost: seventy-four million US voters are doing their very best to ensure Brexiteers don’t feel totally alone. Trump supporters are just as “special” as those who voted for Brexit.
This article will examine the ways in which both groups are very “special” indeed.
Let’s begin with Trumpists as their recent antics in Washington DC have promoted them to temporary top-of-mind for many people. Trumpists — who now comprise nearly 100% of Republican voters — are of course totally ignorant and very simple-minded. These are the basic prerequisites, but we can be a great deal more specific. Aside from being deeply racist and thus fearing people with darker skins, Republicans fear above all else the evils of socialism. This is their most defining characteristic (aside from the fact they’re all morons, of course). Trumpists believe the USA is Number One and they are willing to fight, or at least whine loudly, to preserve their illusion of white trash superiority.
And they are right. The USA really is Number One.
Unfortunately, it’s Number One in all the things one would not actually wish to be Number One in.
The USA is Number One in health care spending, which consumes more than twice as much US GDP as the nearest top-spending country. Alas, US health outcomes are very poor indeed compared to other OECD nations. While Mexico has displaced the USA as the world’s Number One nation for obesity, the USA still leads the world in obesity-related diseases and death. Furthermore, the USA also leads the world in health-care cost-related personal bankruptcies. Nowhere else in the OECD will a medical emergency result in an entire family losing its home, but as nobody cares about losers nobody minds thousands of families every year becoming homeless because one family member fell ill and the resulting bills wiped them out. If only these losers had worked harder, been team players, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (and been born into a wealthy family) they’d have been just fine.
God hates losers so people who are bankrupted by insanely expensive medical treatments deserve to lose everything. That’s the Great American Way!
The USA is also Number One when it comes to over-medicating people. The average 50-year-old in the USA consumes an average of 17 different prescription medications each year and a great many more over-the-counter drugs on top of that. As nearly all these medications have serious side-effects, this helps keep the USA on top as the sickest nation on Earth.
The USA is also Number One in the OECD when it comes to abysmal educational outcomes. California, despite being the richest State in the Union and in its own right the world’s fifth-largest economy (comfortably ahead of the UK) does abysmally with 25% of young people leaving High School unable to read or write a simple sentence and 40% unable to perform even the most basic arithmetic.
Fortunately for California it’s a strong performer compared to other US States. When we come to Bible-belt, many States actually rank beneath places like Somalia and Bulgaria. So the USA is definitely Number One when it comes to having a totally dysfunctional education system which nevertheless consumes vast amounts of taxpayers’ money.
We all know the USA has been Number One for gunshot deaths for decades and its proud record remains unbroken today thanks to the delusion that guns equals freedom. Which, strictly speaking, it does: freedom to be shot in the street by some random stranger or, in more comforting fashion, by an irate family member. Those wishing to escape from the risk of being shot by one’s compatriots can join the military, where the risk of being shot in combat is far lower than the risk of being shot in many US cities.
The USA is also a proud Number One in income disparity. While some CEOs like Elon Musk can earn 40,000 times the average income of people in his companies, other CEOs have to scrape by on earning just 265 times as much as the average employee. By way of contrast, evil socialist countries like Sweden have heart-rending pay disparities: the typical Swedish CEO earns just six times the amount paid to ordinary workers. How Swedish bosses can afford to maintain the usual CEO basic standard of eight mansions, three jets, two luxury yachts, and countless ultra-expensive cars is beyond comprehension. No wonder ordinary US voters fear socialism! It would rob them of their right to be paid a pittance in order to ensure top executives can maintain the level of income they surely deserve.
Other reasons to fear socialism: European countries spend less on healthcare but get better outcomes (except the British, who are bravely attempting to become as obese as US citizens and thereby just as sick); in European countries nobody is ever ruined as a result of medical expenses; in European countries people aren’t worked to death for minimum wage incomes and terrified of taking even a day off work in case they lose their totally unprotected jobs; in European countries people leave school with at least basic literacy and numeracy skills; in European countries people aren’t at risk of being shot by their neighbors or family members (nor by anyone else, aside from extremely rare terrorist incidents that kill fewer people in a decade than the average US gunshot death rate in a single month); and in European countries the food isn’t crammed with sickness-inducing additives and made from animals so sick they can’t even stand up.
Oh, and in Europe people aren’t shot to death by police officers on a daily basis either. In other words, socialist Europe is a hell on Earth where people live in safety, don’t live in fear of losing everything, get good education and health care services, and, well, basically mostly live happy and fulfilling lives. What a nightmare!
Trumpists think that Europeans pay higher taxes than they do. In reality (a place Republican voters are careful never to visit) the average US tax burden that includes all taxes (federal, state, local, plus the cost of maintaining health insurance) is actually slightly higher than in most European countries, though to be fair US citizens get a lot less for their tax dollars because far more goes on pork-barrel spending and paying for the world’s largest military-industrial complex.
So US voters proudly pay more and get far less in return — the USA’s basic infrastructure is now at third-world standards, especially compared to Europe’s top-rank roads, trains, airports, electricity grids, and other essential elements of daily life.
It’s obvious therefore why Trumpies are terrified of socialism, despite the fact that from a European perspective the US Democratic Party, even at its most extreme, is a center-right organization (the US Republican Party has been an ultra-right-wing neo-fascist organization for at least the last 25 years) and totally unlikely to deliver “socialism” in any form whatsoever. Even the much-vaunted Obama-era Affordable Care Act was actually an illusion, the main result of which was to further enrich health insurance companies at the expense of the middle classes while doing little in reality to extend affordable medical coverage. All that happened was 29 million people got coverage that had deductibles they couldn’t afford to pay so they continued to go without even basic medical treatments. But the illusion is so beloved of Democrat voters that reality is conveniently ignored. (Nobody is claiming Democrat voters are far smarter than Trumpists.)
We can see from these few examples (and there are many, many more) that Trumpists are extremely “special” people indeed.
Now what about the poor dreary damp Brexit-voting Brits?
Well, you’d have to be very “special” indeed to think that leaving the world’s most successful social and economic bloc would magically enable you to perform better than before. Even the UK government’s most wildly optimistic projections show a 4% decline in the UK economy over the next 10 years, which equates to at least 4,000,000 jobs destroyed or not created. On a more realistic scenario wherein the City of London loses its ability to make billions through providing financial services to the EU, the UK will lose at least £40 billion per year in tax revenues — which means none of the promised spending on the beloved National Health Service and certainly none of the extra money promised for the UK armed forces.
Nevertheless, despite everything they were told being a complete lie, Brexit voters are happy because the UK has “taken back control.”
Control of what, we may ask? To which the answer is: um….er…..ah…..
Brexiteers, having no measurable intellect, don’t understand the simple fact that if you want to sell things to people you have to conform to their regulations and requirements. If the EU says that food can’t contain certain harmful chemicals then it’s no good the Brits trying to sell them food that contains those harmful chemicals. If the EU says that certain documentation is required in order to sell machine parts in the EU then it’s no good the Brits trying to sell machine parts that don’t have the necessary documentation. When the UK was part of the EU the UK had a strong and powerful voice in shaping these regulations; now the UK sits on the outside and must obey thousands of regulations they have no control over.
This is, as intelligent people said all along, the exact opposite of “taking back control.”
Brexiteers think that now the UK is outside the EU all those damned foreigners with their tasty foods and confusing languages have to go home and leave the Brits to over-boiled starch and tasteless sausages. What it really means is that British companies can no longer make money and create jobs by providing financial and legal and consulting services to European clients, thus destroying tens of thousands of jobs and further eroding the UK’s tax base, which in turn means even less money for the NHS and the armed forces.
Brexiteers think they will be “safer” as a result of losing tight cooperation with European security services and Interpol. Which is like saying “if I can’t see who’s mugging me, I surely will be safe from being mugged!”
So Brexit destroys jobs, harms the UK economy, causes the UK Pound to lose value (thus driving up the cost of imports, so everything Brits buy that has foreign components will go up in price), and gives the UK much less say with regards to international regulations. So far, so “stable genius” as a well-known orange moron would say.
But Brexit delivers so much more than this.
Brexit has destroyed UK credibility around the world: the country is a laughing-stock wherever you go. Once the Brits had a reputation for pragmatism and modest efficiency; now the reputation is of endless stupidity, self-harm, and incompetence. Big win for Brexit and another strong similarity with Trumpist USA!
Brexit is supposed (now) to be about “enabling great trade deals” but just as Trump pretended a renamed NAFTA agreement was “really” a brand new and stable genius agreement, so post-Brexit Britain has proudly proclaimed a small handful of rolled-over deals (all on slightly worse terms for the British than before) as great triumphs. As neither Trumpists nor Brexiteers would ever dream of attempting to read the actual documents, they swallow these infantile lies without hesitation — perhaps because most have only modest reading skills and even lower skills in basic comprehension, not to mention the obvious fact that both Trumpists and Brexiteers are extremely intellectually indolent.
Perhaps the greatest “stable genius” result of Brexit, however, is that it will inevitably result in the end of the United Kingdom.
The Scots voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU; indeed, a referendum in 2014 narrowly resulted in a decision to remain part of the UK primarily because the Scots were promised the UK would remain in the EU “forever.” That turned out, like everything Brexiteers said, to be a complete lie.
Not surprisingly the Scots feel cheated and there’s now a clear majority in favor of leaving the UK. The British Prime Minister (the aforementioned third-rate children’s party clown) thinks he can deny the Scots independence by refusing to sanction another referendum but that’s equivalent to Belgium thinking it could resist German invasion by refusing to acknowledge the presence of German troops as they blitzkreiged across Belgian soil. The only barrier to Scottish independence is Spain, which is neuralgic about what an independent Scotland would mean for the future of independence-minded Catalonia, and if the Scottish National Party has anyone with half a brain this obstacle will be their Number One Priority in the months and years ahead.
The part of the UK known as Northern Ireland will, perhaps within the remainder of this decade, unite with southern Ireland (Eire) because they’ve effectively done so already: in order to conclude the “greatest ever” Brexit deal before the end of the transition period, the UK government conceded the fact that Northern Ireland would effectively remain within the EU. This was necessary in order to avoid a return of “the troubles” that killed thousands during the period 1967–1997.
What it means in practice is that the Northern Irish will continue to benefit from EU membership as the rest of the UK declines. And Eire is doing everything possible to make their cousins in the north feel welcome, including paying for Erasmus scholarships to northern Irish students who would otherwise have lost this amazing opportunity due to the UK leaving the EU.
So by 2035 the UK will be just England and Wales. It will be an impoverished, backward, and dreary place with no hope for the future. Naturally all these self-inflicted ills will be blamed on the EU. Which in turn will make the UK even more like the USA: a place of overt racism, daily violence, backwardness, and deep resentment. The NHS will be a rundown shabby institution incapable of delivering adequate health services and infrastructure will be even worse than it is today. The UK armed forces will perhaps be as good as those of the Netherlands or Spain, but France will be pre-eminent across the region thanks to an economy boosted by providing financial services the Brits could no longer offer because of Brexit.
No wonder Brexiteers like to proclaim the Special Relationship with such fervor. They’re already nearly as fat and sick as their US counterparts and with a rapidly declining economy they’ll soon be as ill-educated and with equally atrocious infrastructure.
Just as endless lies from the US Republican Party have created irreparable divisions across US society so the endless lies from the Brexiteers have created irreparable divisions across the UK. This is truly a glorious vision of the future that every Brexiteer can proudly line up behind and applaud with patriotic fervor.
Like Trumpists, Brexiteers are racists. Brexit, now sold under the pretense of enabling new trade relationships, was always about bigotry and racism. That’s why the day after the Brexit vote many appeared on the streets waving placards saying We Won! Now Go Home! And anyone who thinks that Trumpist aren’t the most bigoted racist scum imaginable has clearly been in a coma for the last four years.
From all of this (and there’s so very much more) we can easily see that Brexiteers are just as clever and far-sighted as their Trump-adoring equals across the Atlantic.
And just as “special.”