Brexit seemed harmless and cute at first – like a Labradoodle – but it was more like a Sharknado. The British referendum on whether to leave the European Union became a freak cyclone that flooded the city of London with shark-infested seawater.

OK, enough dramedy. Brexit is probably not that bad, and it’s not funny that British Prime Minister David Cameron sold his soul to the devil in exchange for 10 Downing St. in 2015, when he promised a referendum on England’s continued membership in the European Union if re-elected.

The seemingly harmless political ploy of Cameron’s to smooth over rough patches within the Conservative Party in England instead created a big, festering pimple that popped Thursday following “a campaign punctuated by numerous claims that have little relationship to the facts, with sharp tones of xenophobia, racism, nativism and Islamophobia,” according to The New York Times.

The Brex-zit sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Here in the U.S., a campaign untethered to facts, filled with white pus, xenophobia, racism, nativism and Islamophobia rings a bell bigger than Big Ben.

Nonchalantly selling their souls to extremists while the floodwaters of hate rise all around them is what American conservatives have been doing, too, at their own little Tea Party.

Just like Cameron has no one to blame but himself for the stunning Brexit vote – one that economists and business people across the globe believe will cause major disruption, chaos and instability – the Republican Party in the United States has no one to blame but itself for the rise of Donald Trump. It has tolerated and even encouraged anti-government fervor and anti-intellectualism across the country, and the result is bad government populated predominantly by stupid people.


Look at our national politics. Republicans control the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, and we can’t get a bill passed that bars people on a terrorist watch list from buying assault-style weapons, let alone reform the tax code, pass long-term budgets or confirm judges and political appointees to vacant positions. With Republicans in charge we can’t even get a ninth Supreme Court justice on the bench.

In the states, the Republican Party has more market share than Walmart. It has a trifecta in 24 states, controlling both the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature. It has majorities in 70 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers and controls both chambers in 30 states, plus Nebraska’s single chamber, and 31 governor’s mansions, including the Blaine House.

No wonder the electorate is angry. We’ve got a bunch of bozos and banksters running things around here – people who don’t believe in science or the rule of law. Large swaths of America’s elected officials aren’t doing their jobs tackling poverty and income inequality because they are too busy getting rich. The median net worth of lawmakers was just over $1 million in 2013, or 18 times the wealth of the typical American household, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. And while Americans’ median wealth is down 43 percent since 2007, the net worth of members of Congress has jumped 28 percent.

Republicans elected to govern most of America aren’t crafting public policy to best cope with globalization. They aren’t fixing a broken immigration system. They aren’t reducing poverty, increasing security for seniors or tackling global warming. Instead, they spend time blocking the president at every turn, chasing kids in and out of bathrooms and bromancing the National Rifle Association.

President Obama has done everything possible to keep America strong and in the driver’s seat. He’s pushed hard to help families, small businesses, kids, immigrants, the LGBT community, seniors and the planet thrive and be secure. But he’s led the fight for average Americans with a monkey the size of the Republican Congress and the handicapped Supreme Court on his back.

The Republican establishment running our country is leading us off a cliff – and now it plans to nominate a casino millionaire braggart-with-a ducktail to be president of the United States in the next referendum here? We can only hope the results are a stunning rejection of the rot that’s been eating away at the fabric of America.


The extreme right has got to go or we too shall perish – and you can bet that America will not follow England down the jackalope hole. Business leaders from Netflix and Dropbox are supporting Hillary Clinton, along with an impressive list of other Republican and Democratic leaders who declared allegiance to sanity, including Jim Cicconi, the senior executive vice president at AT&T who served in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and donated $10,000 last year to Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise superPAC but now says he’s voting for Clinton in November.

“Hillary Clinton is experienced, qualified, and will make a fine president. The alternative, I fear, would set our nation on a very dark path, ” Cicconi said.

Also this past week, Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser for two Republican presidents, endorsed Clinton for president, saying her experience, judgment and understanding of the world prepare her for the job of commander in chief. Meanwhile, Democratic members of Congress stood up against House Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to bring a vote to the floor on gun control by sitting down. They staged a protest and spoke out instead of caving to the status quo of do-nothingness and offering a moment of silence.

Brexits happen, so we must look for the light at the end of the Chunnel. Extremism and ignorance are un-American. Republicans who nonchalantly ignore the threat of a Trump presidency do so at their peril.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and former state senator. She can be contacted at:

Twitter: dillesquire

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