by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Writing before Thursday’s Brexit vote and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s subsequent decision to resign from office, historian Paul Johnson already speculated in Forbes about the potential for a new chapter in the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain.
[Cameron’s] most likely successor is Boris Johnson, who leads the quit campaign and is the only British politician whose popularity ratings haven’t been seriously eroded.
Boris, as he is universally known, has a lot in common with Trump, and the two men are expected to get on well if, as seems increasingly likely, Trump is the next U.S. President.
Until recently official opinion throughout Britain and, indeed, in most of Europe, was that Mrs. Clinton would win the election. That’s no longer true. Trump’s rise is one of the many factors transforming world politics and making any kind of prediction hazardous. Cameron has always refused to take Trump seriously. But then, he’s ceasing to be taken seriously himself and is expected to fade rapidly from the scene in midsummer.
A Donald Trump-Boris Johnson understanding, along the lines of Margaret Thatcher’s with Ronald Reagan, is now a distinct possibility–and what the world needs. The Thatcher-Reagan liaison was what won the Cold War for the West, along with many other benefits. The relationship between George W. Bush and Tony Blair, though close, was no real substitute, but it was better than nothing. The possibilities of a Trump-Boris duo are promising, for both men stand comfortably outside the certainties of current world politics, against which public opinion everywhere is turning.
The truth is, what everyone wants, to revive an old phrase of FDR’s, is a New Deal, and a Trump-Boris axis is one way to get it. Needless to say, such an outcome is highly uncertain and depends on results that are unpredictable but worth pondering.