The Referendum that took Great Britain out of the European Union by a large popular majority occurred two years ago. President Trump was elected two years ago this coming November in something like a landslide in the Electoral College. Marine Le Pen’s Front National (since renamed the Rassemblement National) won a third of the popular vote. The establishments in all three countries—Britain, the United States, and France—viewed these victories by the “wrong people” as acts of lèse majesté; personal insults to themselves as well as, in the first two instances, national catastrophes. This summer they are trying to avenge and reverse The Horror: in the United States, by preventing a legitimately elected President from putting a second nominee on the U.S. Supreme Court; in the U.K., by castrating Brexit; and in France, by denying public funding to a major French political party the left calls “racist” and “populist.” In all three countries, the International Partisans—fighters on behalf of some unspecified foreign power or borderless international consensus against the domestic Resistance—are determined to fight the patriotic rebellions to a standstill with everything they’ve got.
In the United States, the left has decided, after more than a century of judicial leftist activism, that activist judges are really not a good thing, after all. This should surprise no one; following Donald Trump’s election, the Partisans had already opined that the Electoral College is an unconstitutional, or at the very least invalid, institution in 21st-century America, and they have even expressed doubts about the legitimacy of popular democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the freedom to eat in a restaurant of one’s choice without being mobbed and harassed by political . . . activists, when those who try to exercise these freedoms belong to the Party of the Wrong People. The Partisans maintain that an American president breaks the law in the exercise of his plain constitutional powers; that as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces he is not constitutionally enjoined after all with protecting the security of the country, identifying and blocking dangerous persons overseas from entry to it, and deporting aggressive invaders claiming to be peaceful beggars endowed with rights nothing and no one has ever conferred upon them. The Partisans even deny that the United States needs armed defenders at all, since she has no enemies abroad in the world, only billions of foreign friends and admirers whose ambition is to love us to death by overwhelming American society by their numbers and pillaging it. Finally, the Partisans are trying to mobilize the nation to seize control of the Capitol and impeach a sitting President for the high crime and misdemeanor of doing his job. Their furious irrationality and uncontrollable rage, however, are working against them, and so is their lack of any substantive agenda beyond Dumping the Trump, abolishing ICE, unmanning the borders, and inviting the whole world to come partake of a guaranteed income, universal healthcare, and the freedom and diversity of Babel at the citizens’ expense. We shall see.
In Britain, metropolitan London, egged on by Partisan pockets mainly in the southeastern counties of England and personified by the Prime Minister and her largely (it now appears) Partisan government at Westminster, is determined to overturn the results of the Referendum and reinvent the English language so that Mrs. May’s dauntless words of a relatively few months ago, “Brexit means Brexit,” now have precisely the opposite meaning: a linguistic renovation that consequently changes the definition of democracy from rule by the freely elected representatives of the majority to rule by the minority imposed by the Partisans after affirming the redefinition following a straw poll taken among themselves. Orwell would have been impressed by Mrs. May’s ingenuity. So would Lenin.
Having congratulated herself on staging a brilliant coup during a nine-hour Cabinet meeting at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country residence, in early July, May has (as of this writing) lost her secretary of state for exiting the European Union, one of his assistants, and her foreign secretary, the redoubtable Boris Johnson, all three of whom resigned three days after the meeting in Buckinghamshire. So Westminster is in chaos at this moment and probably for weeks to come: high political drama of the sort few people are permitted to witness in a lifetime. How it will all end is unreadable by the runes, but there is a very strong chance the answer will not be the “softest of soft Brexits” the party of Remain are now anticipating, but the hardest of hard ones, as it is difficult to see how the PM, the Tory Remainers, the City of London, and the international corporations together will pull this one off, and “No Deal” will carry the day.
Finally, there is France, where the Partisans have just denied Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement National the €2.35 million that is the share of the state funds allotted to her party this year, thus assuring (so Le Pen claims) its demise around the middle of August. The reason cited by the judges to justify the freeze is the party’s alleged misuse of funds provided by the European Parliament to pay for an assistant. But members of other French political parties also have been accused of similar infractions, and elections to select parliamentary MPs will be held next year, so the judicial timing is suspicious. Fortunately, with or without the participation of Mme Le Pen and the RN, the return to the urnes is unlikely to benefit the Partisans, given the direction in which the Continent has been moving these past two years. More probably it will dismay, perhaps even bury, them.
Originally Published by Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture -
July 12, 2018