Realignment and Race in the Anglosphere

Two national elections, one decisive and the other a cliffhanger, have shaken the politics of the West to its core. In the United Kingdom, just last month, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson won a decisive victory for himself and his party. In the United States, barely three years ago, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election in a stunning upset where he narrowly lost the popular vote but logged a decisive victory in the electoral college.

The voters that supported these candidates represent a movement that has been building for several years but was not expected to result in a political realignment so disruptive and polarizing. Both candidates prevailed in the face of almost universal condemnation from the establishment media, the entertainment glitterati, most major political donors, and even members of their own party.

The reasons for their success are no secret, the only surprise was the level of support they were able to attract. To repeat what everyone acknowledges – whether or not they agree or disagree – Boris Johnson and Donald Trump owe their political success to a populist reassertion of national sovereignty. They represent renegotiating bad trade deals, reconsidering mass immigration, restructuring tax laws to discourage exporting jobs, repealing crippling regulations, and rethinking foreign policy to replace nation building with principled realism.

There’s much more to this picture, however, something harder to recognize, obscured by Johnson’s bombast and Trump’s bellicosity. While both of these politicians are channeling resurgent nationalism, they are also common sense centrists. While common […] Read More