Brexit’s Lessons for Hillary Clinton

First off, I was wrong predicting 55% would vote to remain. It was only 48%. The lesson to me is to stick to my day job.

I don’t think I was wrong in summing up the Brexit vote into the two gut emotions of ‘THEY are screwing us’ and the ‘OUTSIDERS are screwing us’. I just underestimated how much the good folks of England and Wales felt that THEY, the OUTSIDERS, were not just the Europeans and Muslims, but also the Londoners. The privileged class. The island within the island.

The rural voters of England and Wales felt that the Londoners were legging them over, and with good reason. Income inequality in the UK has been on the rise for at least the past 20 years. The latest economic boom sent property prices in London through the roof, but what has it done for the rest of the country? The City has done well, but where are all the new jobs everywhere else?

So when the London-based political class touts the virtues of European integration, the message really fails to resonate with the rest of the country. And that is the lesson for Hillary Clinton.

Like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have found a way to connect with the folks that feel like they are getting left behind economically and politically. Never mind that the the numbers may not pencil on their proposals – this is all about the gut feelings, not reason. People feel that the political and economic classes are legging them over and that they are disenfranchised from the country’s wealth.

Hillary does not have that gut connection with the disenfranchised and it is doubtful that she ever will. But she needs them on her side to win the election. It will be interesting to see how she approaches this. My advice (not that anyone is asking, mind you) is to use a lot of BS. Bernie Sanders.

 

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