Brexit along with the U.S. Shutdown: Two Governments in Paralysis

LONDON — In Parliament, lawmakers are mired in gridlock over Britain’s departure via the European Union, with no clear path forward. In Washington, President Trump stormed out of a meeting with congressional leaders who oppose his border wall, hardening a standoff that will has shut down much of the government for longer than ever before.

Two governments paralyzed. Two populist projects stalled. Two venerable democracies in crisis.

Rarely have British along with American politics seemed quite so synchronized as they do inside chilly dawn of 2019, three years after the victories of Brexit along with Donald J. Trump upended the two nations’ political establishments. The countries seem subject to 1 ideological weather system — one that will pits pro-globalization elites against a left-behind hinterland.

The similarities abound: Brexiteers love to compare their cause to America’s war for independence. At a recent right-wing rally, one man marched having a scale style of the Liberty Bell. Mr. Trump has exuberantly backed Brexit, while his friend, the Brexit godfather Nigel Farage, appears on Fox News, invoking Europe’s migrant crisis as a reason to back Mr. Trump’s wall.

“that will’s stunning how parallel This kind of is actually,” said Stephen K. Bannon, who was an architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy as his former chief strategist, along with is actually an ally of Mr. Farage. “If you’re going to challenge the system, the system is actually going to fight back.”

“Trump is actually getting ready for his own no-deal, hard-out,” Mr. Bannon said, even as Republicans along with Mr. Trump’s aides along with family are urging him not to take such a step.

The trans-Atlantic dysfunction has far-reaching ramifications, given the role the United States along with Britain, pillars of the NATO alliance, play in counterterrorism operations, intelligence sharing, sanctions enforcement, along with dealing with conflict zones like Syria.

With both countries also turning away via multilateral trade agreements, China has the opportunity to step in along with play an even bigger role inside global economy. along with Russia has seen an opening to expand its influence in Europe, where rising nationalism has threatened to fracture the European Union.

Mr. Trump along with the Brexiteers have ridden a nationalist tide in their countries as well, using a potent anti-immigration message to appeal to mostly white voters who yearn for a more homogeneous society that will no longer exists.

In Britain, immigration has provided an electric current to conservative politics since at least 1968, when the lawmaker Enoch Powell delivered a seminal speech calling for immigrants to be repatriated. Quoting a Greek prophecy of “the river Tiber foaming with much blood,” Mr. Powell’s speech is actually credited with propelling the Conservative Party to victory inside general election of 1970, though that will also turned Mr. Powell into a political pariah.

Fear of immigration spiked over the last two decades as Britain was hit having a series of terrorist attacks by Islamist militants along with watched as migrants via Syria, Libya along with some other war-torn countries flooded across Europe.

inside United States, where the right was once preoccupied by social issues like abortion along with same-sex marriage, immigration surged as an issue because of the adjustments wrought by globalization. Manufacturing jobs moved overseas, where labor was cheaper, while immigrants took both unskilled along with high-tech jobs previously held by Americans.

By 2008, the financial crisis had wiped out millions of jobs, keeping people out of work for years along with deepening the sense of grievance among many Trump supporters that will immigrants were working for less along with robbing them of their livelihoods.

Local politicians in California along with elsewhere shot to stardom by introducing anti-immigrant ordinances. The Tea Party movement emerged, with core issues similar to those of Mr. Farage’s pro-Brexit U.K. Independence Party.

“The culture war has been replaced by a border war,” said Michael Lind, a visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. The residents of rural postindustrial areas came to view globalism sourly, he said, as an urgent problem.

“The people in those areas just said: ‘O.K., we’re not giving them any more time, the people in London along with D.C., your time is actually up. We’re not going to wait a few more years for a recovery,’” said Mr. Lind, the author of “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.” “They decided: ‘There’s a limited pie. This kind of pie is actually not growing.’”

The urge to solve these problems by walling off the country via its neighbors is actually not a brand new one in either Britain or the United States. that will partly reflects geography: Both are separated via much of the entire world by water, allowing them to experiment with isolationism.

“Brexit along with the border wall are driven by the same impulse,” said Robert Kagan, a foreign policy theorist at the Brookings Institution. “Both reflect the island nation approach to the entire world, ‘Wouldn’t that will be great if we could just cut ourselves off via everybody else?’”

“Britain, to some extent, is actually returning to one edition of its roots, along with America is actually returning to one edition of its roots,” said Mr. Kagan, whose most recent book is actually “The Jungle Grows Back: America along with Our Imperiled World.”

Britain has sometimes acted as a political early-warning system for its former colony. Margaret Thatcher took power less than two years before her conservative ally Ronald Reagan; the British voted to leave the European Union all 5 months before Mr. Trump’s victory. The reverse was true inside 1990s, when Bill Clinton’s election anticipated that will of Tony Blair.

If the two countries are both vulnerable to gridlock, that will is actually partly for historic reasons. As two of the entire world’s oldest democracies, they spring via the same, centuries-old style: the electoral system known as first-past-the post or winner-take-all. Democracies that will developed later, like Sweden along with Finland, introduced proportional representation, which allows for smaller parties to enter Parliament.

Winner-take-all, by contrast, tends to enhance polarization between two large parties, along with exaggerate geographical divides, setting up stark conflict between sections of society.

along with if Britain traditionally had a “strong, stable, efficient central state” that will wielded control over policymaking, This kind of has been changing, as Parliament reasserts its power to block the government’s agenda — much as a House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats is actually thwarting Mr. Trump.

“In my lifetime, Britain has never been in a more fragile state,” said Matthew Goodwin, an author of “National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy.” “British politics is actually in an almost nonstop state of crisis. There are very high levels of polarization.”

“Both countries have seen the mainstream center definitely be squeezed,” Mr. Goodwin added. “that will moderate, pluralistic marketplace of ideas — that will’s definitely been challenged. Both countries have seen the rise of populist entrepreneurs.”

The most successful of these populist entrepreneurs is actually Mr. Trump, though he is actually adapting only fitfully to the realities of divided government in Washington. Mr. Bannon cast the standoff over the wall as a case of the establishment striking back against Mr. Trump’s insurgent victory in 2016.

“I call that will the nullification project,” he said. “They’re not going to let you run on those populist themes along with then implement them. If you’re going to be a disrupter, you’re going to have to take that will via them.”

Mr. Kagan argued that will the paralysis in Washington along with London was not a case of populists versus elites, although merely democracies showing their periodic inability to settle deeply rooted divisions in society. along with some argue that will is actually not necessarily a bad thing.

“The process of consensus has broken down, although neither side is actually capable of imposing its will on the some other side,” Mr. Lind said. “The purpose of having veto points is actually to build an eventual consensus. that will’s not to paralyze things forever.”

In Washington, Mr. Trump may break the impasse by declaring his emergency — a risky assertion of executive power that will might be challenged inside courts although might enable the government to reopen. Either way, the fate of the United States will not hang inside balance.

In London, where the political along with economic consequences of a chaotic departure via Europe are far more profound, “that will is actually much more difficult to compromise,” Mr. Lind said. “The side that will loses is actually definitely, definitely going to lose.”