Nigel Farage, the member of European Parliament and U.K.Independence Party co-founder who assisted Donald Trump in his presidential campaign, called 2016 “the beginning of a global political revolution” that was going to “roll out across the rest of the West” at his CPAC speech this afternoon.
Farage addressed Brexit, the British vote to leave the European Union, connecting it to President Trump’s victory, saying the U.K. should “reach out and make our own deals with our real friends,” which he described as countries that “speak English, have common law, and support us in crises.”
He touched on President Obama’s visit to United Kingdom before the Brexit vote, saying he would be “forever grateful” that Obama “interfered in the referendum” by telling “America’s greatest friends and ally in the world” that “if we voted for our independence, we would go to the back of the line.”
Farge dug into globalists, and said Brexit was a reaction to “unelected old men in Brussels,” pointing to elections in Germany, France, the Netherlands, “even Italy,” in 2017 as places where ideological fellow-travelers could win. While he admitted he didn’t know yet whether this year’s results would be “as dramatic as” 2016, he predicted they would “shift the center of gravity of the whole debate.”
Farage called out Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, facing re-election in September, describing her decision in 2015 to increase the number of refugees the country would accept, as “absolute madness and idiocy.”
“We are not against any religion or ethnicity, we’re not against anybody,” Farage insisted at the end of his remarks. “We’re for ourselves, we’re for our country, we’re for our communities, we’re for making us safe and with less risk from global terror. And we’re winning!”
While Farage was introduced as “Mr. Brexit” and Trump, too, said he would be called “Mr. Brexit” when during the presidential campaign he visited Scotland the day after the Brexit vote, both Brexit and the broader backlash against unelected globalist bureaucrats is bigger than Farage or Trump. The two have a narrow, nationalistic response to the growth of government at a global level but it is not the only one. Globalization, while it has been maligned by populists and glommed onto by globalists, remains the most potent force in opposition to both globalism and populism. Liberalization and the freeing of markets lifted billions out of poverty, not the globalists who insist they must micromanage those forces, and who regularly malign these indisputably beneficial forces as the cause of problems actually created by government meddling, and certainly not populists.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Democracy Index, noted that while populism seemed to be ascendenant in the West, such forces have already peaked in Latin America, with the electorates of several Latin American countries suffering from populist fatigue and returning to more sensible right-of-center free market politics. It’s important to disentangle Trump and Farage and populism from the broader backlash against globalism, and to disentangle the positive forces of globalization and the net benefits of the freedom of movement of people, goods, capital, and labor, from the bureaucrats who would seek to take credit for the fruits of those globalizing forces their own policies also threaten. In this way, freedom has the best chance to emerge victorious in the battle between populism and globalism, two bankrupt ideologies of control that have little to nothing to do with globalization and the miracle free markets have delivered in the last half-century and more.