I continue to contemplate the consequences of Great Britain’s vote to exit the European Union. Tensions run higher now than they did during the Brexit campaign. To say I am incapable of understanding fully the knock-on effects of matters flowing from last week’s vote would be a significant understatement. Indeed, while I love Europe, I’m not European. And while I’ve enjoyed several trips to Britain, I’m not British. Rather, I am American. And my analysis of the vote is decidedly American.
When I heard about the Brexit vote, I quickly wondered how such an unexpected result would affect the U.S. presidential election in November. For those unable to connect the dots leading from one side of the pond to the other, Mr. Trump eagerly did so. The upshot? He was right. President Obama was wrong. Hillary Clinton always is wrong. This, despite his initial analysis of the situation, made via Twitter, which got the facts wrong.
Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
Let’s put aside the fact that Mr. Trump used Twitter to communicate his first comment on this historic vote. Let’s also ignore that he took a complex international matter and distilled it down to a simple sound bite to benefit his own position without regard to the truth. Let’s set aside, for the moment, that it appears Mr. Trump doesn’t know the difference between Scotland and England. And let’s ignore his backtracking on the matter. Now, let’s think about how Mr. Trump made (1) a public statement (2) about a matter of great significance to the world (3) using incorrect facts (4) to benefit himself. This is what he has done, time and time again, assuming no one will notice or that by the time someone does, the news cycle will have passed.
The upside of the Brexit vote, of course, is that people are no longer considering Mr. Trump’s bid for the White House a long shot and are speaking out accordingly.