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Est. April 5, 2002
July 07, 2016 - Issue 661

BREXIT and Trump
Too Late To Ask?

"In the US, we have a demagogue who
is exhorting people to “leave” our diversity
reality by embracing his cause and
conveying his vote.  The media has been
an unindicted co-conspirator on this Trump
crusade, because he has garnered far
more visibility than he deserves."

The day after 52 percent of the people who voted that Britain should leave the European Union, Google was deluged with questions. The most common – what is the European Union? That suggests that the people who voted to leave the European Union didn’t even know what it was. They didn’t know that financial institutions, headquartered in London, might shut down their offices because they would lose the advantage they had by considering London a European banking center. They didn’t know that thousands of jobs now based in London might migrate to Paris or Brussels because international banks wanted European centers of commerce, not simply British centers. They didn’t expect that the value of the pound would plummet. They didn’t know.

Instead, they responded emotionally to those who encouraged them to vote to leave the EU. They responded to the notion that immigration was their enemy, and that people were “taking their jobs”. They responded to an ugly divisiveness, and they voted to protect themselves. They didn’t know that their protectionism might leave them more vulnerable than ever. Now they know. The European Union has asked the UK to speed up the inevitable separation, even as more than 2 million Brits are, by petition, asking for a “do over”, a second referendum. Few have patience for the remorseful second-guessing after the unnecessary Brexit vote. Prime Minister Cameron, after all, chose to sell a bunch of wolf tickets when he called for the referendum. His egotism has had an ugly outcome, and an unnecessary one. The vote need not have taken place.

Brexit has implication in the United States. The callous excoriation of immigrants made it possible for too many Brits to vote against their own self-interest. Now, we see too many in the USA leaning toward Donald Trump because he says he will make America great again. Great for whom? Great how? In going back to the past is Mr. Trump harking to the Leave it to Beaver 1950s days when independent women were invisible, and people of color hardly showed up. I’d love someone to remind me of any episode where Leave it to Beaver had a black actor. Ha! When we go back to our nation’s “old greatness”, we go back times when women and people of color were, at best, invisible.

Thanks to Brexit, the world will experience more financial instability than it has experienced in the last decade or so. The stock market will fluctuate, and then settle, and some folks will find their 401k accounts dropping, and then recovering in a month or so. Interest rates will fall, but that really only matters in the short run, and with those who are managing stock markets. While it is impossible to predict the outcomes of the Brexit vote, it is surely possible to speak to the financial instability that is a byproduct of the Brexit vote. The short-term implications don’t specifically affect United States shareholders (although those invested in the UK will see more immediate losses). In the longer run, the fracturing of the EU collective has financial implications for all world stakeholders.

There is a parallel between that which has happened in the UK and that which has happened in the US. Voters in the UK were goaded into voting “leave” even though too many knew that staying was the better choice. In the US, we have a demagogue who is exhorting people to “leave” our diversity reality by embracing his cause and conveying his vote. The media has been an unindicted co-conspirator on this Trump crusade, because he has garnered far more visibility than he deserves. But his message resonates, even as the “leave” message resonated in the UK.

People aren’t asking the critical questions. Why has Trump refused to release his tax returns? Why does he promise charitable contributions that he does not honor? Why are the Trump products manufactured in China, even as he decries outsourcing?

Will we, in these United States, start Googling Trump after he is nominated? Will we wait until it is too late to ask about the Trump peccadilloes? Will asking late provide us with the same buyer’s remorse that those in the UK are now experiencing? Will our protest vote express our angst and also place an ill-equipped man into our nation’s leadership? Will we ask the most important questions when it is way too late?

BC Editorial Board Member Dr. Julianne Malveaux, PhD ( is the Honorary Co-Chair of the Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute as well as The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, DC.  Her latest book is Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy. A native San Franciscan, she is the President and owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3 non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C. During her time as the 15th President of Bennett College for Women, Dr. Malveaux was the architect of exciting and innovative transformation at America’s oldest historically black college for women.  Contact Dr. Malveaux and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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