What Brexit Means for American Politics

Great Britain’s decision to exit from the European Union (EU) carries significant implications for the 2016 American presidential campaign that are more likely to benefit Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. 

Short term financial shock

In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, financial markets around the world were in turmoil. At midday, the U.S. markets were down about 3%. The British pound dropped some 8% against the U.S. dollar, and the Euro was down over 2%. Bitcoin jumped more than $100 to $680, and gold was up 4.5% as investors sought safe havens to ride out the market uncertainty.

"When it comes to the economy, Donald Trump is the preferred choice of American voters"
—CNN Money

A CNN/ORC poll released on June 21 showed that voters believe that Donald Trump would be better able to handle the economy than Hillary Clinton by a margin of 51% to 43%. The greater the economic uncertainty, the more voters will blame the Obama-Clinton legacy and turn towards Trump. 

The #Brexit campaign was fueled by dissatisfaction with the status quo

The campaign to Leave the EU was fueled by voter unhappiness with the status quo. Even though the Leave side was less organized and less funded than the Stay camp, Leave prevailed because the energy was for a change from doing things the old way.  

Basically, they took back their country. That’s a great thing. They have declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy.
—Donald Trump 

U.K. voters disapproved of Obama’s intervention

President Obama and Hillary Clinton declared their support for the Remain camp. During a visit to Britain in April, the President had stated that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the U.S. if voters voted to Leave. This was widely interpreted in the U.K. as Obama attempting to influence the vote and British polls showed a substantial majority of British voters disapproved of Obama’s remarks.

Donald Trump advocated for Britain leaving the EU., and now David Cameron, who was widely seen as an ally of President Obama, has been forced to resign as Prime Minister.

"Make America Great Again" sounds a lot like the "Leave" campaign

Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is basically the same message that the Leave camp in Britain was making to voters.

That desire for a return to an earlier time — to make Britain great again — is expressed through the issue of control. Those who have pushed for Britain to leave the E.U. want to reclaim a measure of sovereignty by wresting power from the bureaucrats in Brussels. … They feel about the E.U. bureaucracy as tea party Republicans do about the federal government.

—Dan Balz, The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s campaign is built upon the rejection of political elites and political correctness. He, as did Bernie Sanders, is running as an outsider who will bring change to the old ways of doing things. The desire for change, and dissatisfaction with the status quo runs deep in America—could it propel Trump into the White House?

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