If idiocy loves company, there are joyous times ahead for the president.
Let’s face it, the world leaders he admires are much smarter than he is, and they’ve made him look foolish on a more or less continuing basis. Kim, Vlad, Rodrigo—they’ve all had their way with Trump while he has glibly reveled in their “friendship.”
Now he’s adding to his friends list—with a caveat. His new friend, like the others, is also intelligent, well-versed in government, and capable of stringing words into sentences, and sentences into coherent paragraphs. But that singular ability to ignore common sense and devise leadership according to what benefits him and him alone? It’s Trump, across-the-pond version.
I am speaking of course of Britain’s new prime minister, the charismatic or fatuous—take your choice—Boris Johnson.
Johnson rode to his current level of prestige in 2016 when he (and whoever conspired with him—I’m looking at you, Facebook and Twitter) coaxed a majority of Brits to believe that immigration was ruining England by diluting its purity and taking its jobs. Neither was true. He and the fallacious social media also convinced the Brits that withdrawing from the European Union would result in England no longer having to make weekly payments of £350 million (€388m) to the EU. All the extra cash would revamp the health care system, improve schools, and generally raise the standard of living of everyone in the U.K.
His assertion failed to mention a budget rebate from Brussels as well as payments to Britain's public sector from EU coffers. It would be like your being told you never had to pay taxes again, but oh yeah, pay for education, plowing your streets, the streets themselves—maybe you’d like a fire hydrant over there. Good, start digging. And oh yeah, throw together some cops and army guys in case anything goes awry.
England bought his jingoistic nonsense the same way America bought Trump’s—and for the same reasons. And to make the comparison complete, most Brits think Johnson is a loudmouthed buffoon, just as most Americans...well, you know. In 2016 both nations carved out paths to disaster.
British currency is at a two-year low as companies and individuals prepare for what Johnson has promised—a no-deal exit from the EU, this despite dire warnings from economic experts. The American economy is booming, but the warnings are the same; and scratching slightly below the surface shows that the boom does not include the lower and middle classes, whose income has been stagnant since the eighties
Boris Johnson has a friend and soulmate in Washington, one which he should cherish: he may find very few countrymen with warm feelings toward him as the sun that never sets on the British Empire sinks into the sea.