The answer to why any non-authoritarian government would invite Donald Trump to its shores lies somewhere far beyond rational thought. So it is dawning on Prime Minister Theresa May, whose invitation to this one-man wrecking crew is producing ledes such as the NY Times': "in a remarkable breach of protocol," Trump "publicly [undercut her] in an interview published hours after landing in her country."
Having utterly botched everything this presidential abomination has touched in the United States — from budgets to healthcare to innocent children — Trump has moved on to desolating what's left of the United Kingdom, as it struggles to reduce both its economy and world standing to a kind of medieval extravaganza. I am speaking of course of Brexit, which is precisely the sort of Trumpian debacle we once thought the staid Brits were too sensible to undertake.
"I would have done it much differently," said the radiantly moronic Trump to the Sun. "I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me." Hence Brexit's perfectly inexorable outcome has been "very unfortunate," he added.
May is trying her best to rescue some semblance of economic sanity under impossible conditions imposed by ignorant populists with nation-destroying ballots (we know them well), and her best — known as a "soft" Brexit — "would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States," concluded Trump. With astonishing discourtesy toward his host, he further pondered that Mad Boris "would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes."
In a NYT op-ed this morning, British sociologist William Davies explains what it is that Boris has got: "a recklessness that looks like courage in the eyes of [his] supporters," which, of course, is a characteristic that Mr. Johnson "shares" with Mr. Trump. "A common thread linking 'hard' Brexiteers to nationalists across the globe," observes Davies, "is that they resent the very idea of governing as a complex, modern, fact-based set of activities that requires technical expertise and permanent officials."
Radical simplicity is the currency of demagogues everywhere. In fact it's the sine qua non of political populism, either right or left — for without it, the barbarian mob would be forced to think.
And so the sun sets on the cousin nations of Britain and the United States. As Tom Lehrer (in the personage of Werhner von Braun) said in the 1960s, "You too may be a big hero / Once you've learned to count backwards to zero / 'In German, oder Englisch, I know how to count down / Und I'm learning Chinese.'"
I believe I'll add Russian.