By Don Singer, Redlands
Given the rapidity with which news is transmitted these days those who write and/or broadcast the news (via radio, TV or social media) are forced to send out perspectives on such news before much of the public (and they themselves) have had time to explore the ramifications of what has taken place somewhere in the world just a short time before,
I thought of this as I have read and/or heard of the supposed ramifications in and for the U.S. as a result of the U.K'.s leaving the EU.
Some have attempted to equate the result there by posing the question (and a possible answer) if such a phenomenon can take place here, i.e., that with xenophobia on the rise throughout Europe (and promulgated here by the presumptive Republican candidate for president ) could it be possible that such nativist and nationalist (not to mention racist) sentiment be the majority sentiment in the American presidential election?
Now while I will be first to admit that xenophobia is on the rise in many European countries (with France in my opinion having much worse xenophobia than the UK ) and such countries as Austria and Hungary seeing the rise of extreme right wing political parties I do not think that the Trump version of this horrific outcome will take place in November, 2016.
Allow me to give you my reasoning (and should any of you take issue with such, please feel free to challenge my thoughts.)
In the first place, as in any political contest the manner in which one puts forth the ideas and issues can lead potential voters to either go with one group and another and while I do not claim to have much knowledge of how P.M. Cameron rallied his troops, what I have read leads me to believe that he did not give specific examples of how leaving the UK would hurt the ordinary British household and failed to recognize that the fear of immigration (which was brilliantly used by the UKIP to scare Britons in voting to leave) was a key in the Leave group.
I would think that Clinton will use the money she currently has (which totals some $21. 2 million to Trump's some $1.9 million (and I know that he has said that he will not ask the party to give him back the $45 million which he has "lent" the party) to hit hard at Trump's many bankruptcies, his wanting to lower wages (as he has said), to do to him what Obama did so brilliantly to Romney in 2012, i.e., hit him hard where he supposedly is strong, at his supposed success in business and how he did everything possible to cheat the "little guy" and gal out of their savings.
In addition, what I have not seen in any analysis to this time is the difference in terms of the ethnicity of the electorate in the UK vs. that of the US.
While we do have a large number of racists and xenophobes, the electorate in the UK is where we were in the 1990s: the overwhelming number of residents in the UK are white and that is not true here.
Here are the numbers. In the U.S. the percentage of minorities is 36.3 percent: 13.7 percent black, 17 percent Hispanic, and 5.6 percent Asian, while in the UK the percentage of minorities is 10 percent, with an Asian population of 7 percent and a black population of 3 percent; thus the UK has less than one-third of the minority population of the US and the win by the Leave faction was less than 2 percent.
All of the above does not mean that Trump cannot win but it should cause those who think about such things to not jump to the conclusion that what happened in the UK can easily be replicated here.
Oh yes, where does "It Can Happen Here," come in?
In 1935 with Huey Long of Louisiana garnering a lot of attention by the press (and for those who may not know of this gentleman, he was the governor of Louisiana who ran the state as his own fiefdom and brooked no opposition) and was considered by some pundits as rival of FDRs for the presidency and in that year the famous author, Sinclair Lewis wrote a work of "fiction," telling of how the US was taken over by a fascist demagogue and turned the country into a dictatorship.
The title of his best-seller was,of course, "It Can Happen Here."
So what do you think?
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