Trump and Brexit

A little late on this, but still relevant.  Anyway, the thing that I do find most intriguing about Brexit is how much the Brexit coalition resembles the Trump coalition.  Rural, older, xenophobic, and generally distrustful of the changing modern world (make Britain great again!).  Plenty of good stuff on this.

Here’s Drum with the Brexit vote and turnout by age:

Of course, one could “blame” youth turnout, but young people pretty much always turn out less. I saw some interesting graphics that show, of course, that the old people who set this new course are the ones who will live with the shortest time.

This Atlantic post is chock full of demographic correlations (rather than exit polls).  Those living in educated areas where much more supportive of remain.  Of course, we know Trump does much better among less educated voters.

remain

Zach Beauchamp’s Vox post headline pretty much captures the basic dynamic, “Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances.”

Now some pundits are suggesting that the real lesson of Brexit is that ordinary Britons are bearing an unacceptable economic cost from immigration, and that elites should heed that lesson and think about restricting immigration to other Western countries to prevent a similar populist backlash.

There’s just one problem: This narrative isn’t actually true. Data shows that Britain wasn’t suffering harmful economic effects from too many new migrants.

What Britain was suffering from too much of, however, was xenophobia — fear and hatred of immigrants. Bigotry on the basis of national origin.

That’s not something you give into and close the borders. It’s something you fight…

Take a look at this chart, from University of Oxford’s Scott Blinder. Blinder put together historical data on one polling question — the percent of Brits saying there were too many immigrants in their country. It turns people believed this for decades before mass migration even began…

Brits believed there were “too many immigrants” even when there were too few to have appreciable effects on the British economy. If Britain’s backlash to immigration was really about immigrants taking their jobs, then you’d expect hostility about immigration to be correlated to the actual level of immigration. But it’s not.

That’s not the only reason to believe Brexit was about xenophobia…

Brits believed there were “too many immigrants” even when there were too few to have appreciable effects on the British economy. If Britain’s backlash to immigration was really about immigrants taking their jobs, then you’d expect hostility about immigration to be correlated to the actual level of immigration. But it’s not.

That’s not the only reason to believe Brexit was about xenophobia.

Meanwhile, here in the US, we’ve seen plenty of evidence that Trump support is more about racial attitudes and xenophobia that actual economic distress.

And, finally, Steve Benen on Trump’s extraordinarily self-centered response.  If this man doesn’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it doesn’t exist.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Trump and Brexit

  1. rgbact says:

    Like I said, lefties better be careful about pissing off the oldsters. They vote.

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