Point of View Columns

Great Britain is Falling – Will the United States Be Next

Great Britain is Falling – Will The United States Be Next

In the modern era Great Britain has endured and overcome existential threats including World War I, the global disruption of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, the German bombing campaign during World War II, the overall devastation of the World War II, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the loss of its colonies and the attendant dislocation occasioned by that loss.

In what would seem like an act of exquisite prestidigitation, Great Britain not only survived. It reinvented itself and continued to be considered a Superpower although not in the same league with the United States, China or Russia (when it was it was the Soviet Union – Russia is now a second chair power as well). Great Britain was still at the table.

As you are reading this Great Britain is a nuclear power, with formidable land and sea power. But, of course, that is only part of the story.

The Conservative Party, essentially the ruling party of England for the better part of 200 years has done a pretty good job, from the British point of view, with leaders like Disraeli, and Churchill and Thatcher being in the pantheon of British leadership.

And then something happened. The Conservative Party started to be populated by right wing politicians who wanted to shrink or eliminate the National Health Service, an enormously popular and effective program, certainly when seen in comparison to the United States healthcare, that even with the existence of the Affordable Care Act, has a patchwork system that is shameful in the wealthiest country in the history of the planet.

And then there was Brexit. Relying on the ideology that called for making Great Britain great again (starting to sound familiar?) the Conservative Party promulgated the Big Lie (sound familiar?) that the country did not need to be a part of the European Union, the unarguably successful coalition of multiple economies. The Big Lie avoided the reality that in terms of economic power the country lagged behind Germany and France.

And so the Big Lie prevailed and Great Britain started to go into an economic death spiral. The very foundation of trade with Europe was shattered overnight, new rules and regulations shattered the stability of the British economy – But at least Great Britain was great again, or so the Big Lie went.

And then Boris Johnson, a passing look alike for a certain former U.S. president comes along as prime minister and makes a bull in a china shop like look like a kitten with a ball of yarn, compared to the dislocation and virtually daily confusion and detachment of reality that seemed to occupy his every other word (sound familiar?).

And finally he simply had to go. The British parliamentary system allows for such things, would that Congress had similar governmental tools.

And along comes Liz Truss who amazingly enough makes Boris Johnson look like Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher all rolled into one. In just a few weeks she let ideology over pragmatic governance almost collapse the British economy – literally. The World Bank had to adopt policies towards Great Britain that are usually reserved for so-called Third World countries.

Now Liz Truss is gone after 44 days. The shortest term for a British Prime Minister in history. We shall see what happens next.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch – here in the United States we have a coalition with the Republican Party that, if given the power, will disband Social Security and Medicare, environmental protection, basic civil rights and human rights, and list goes on. They will advocate policies with an ideological perspective instead a pragmatic perspective.

And if you don’t think it can happen here, ask anyone in the U.K. what they think about inevitability.

It can happen here. Indeed, in some very real ways, including the Boris Johnson impersanator political arsonist that is stalking the nation.

It can happen here.

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