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Will Britain’s American Children Follow The Mother Country’s Populism?

The shouts of defiance that shaped the Brexit victory may carry across the Atlantic, with implications for Donald Trump and the U.S.

he United Kingdom and the United States are not one country, nor do they beat with one political heart.

But the two empires — one faded, the other holding on — share a centuries-long history and a common imperial culture in which the ideal of “white man’s burden” — to quote Rudyard Kipling — is a privileged inheritance and a sacred identity.

The pro-Brexit vote in the U.K. is a cry of defiance by what’s left of that Anglo-American white tribal faith, and the decision to leave the European Union should send a shudder through those who think that Donald Trump is a xenophobic, racist nationalist with no chance to win the U.S. presidency.

A glance at the U.K. referendum results show that Brexit won handily in England, especially in the rural, traditional towns and cities least dominated by immigrant cultural and globalism.

Brexit also won in Wales, which in many ways historically is the home of some of the most ancient religious and cultural traditions of old Britain — going back before the Norman Conquest.

Wales and rural England were the rallying grounds of Oliver Cromwell’s assault on the continentally oriented 17th century kings, and those regions rose up in a nativist way now.

The parallel to the U.S. is obvious — and ominous if you worry that Trump could somehow find his way to the White House.

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