It’s still early, but if the polls hold things are looking dim for Theresa May and the Tories in Great Britain. Let’s noodle about why a bit. Prior to tonight, the last two votes in the two greatest English speaking democracies have upset the political apple cart hugely – Brexit in the UK and last fall’s election here in the US. Both were about action over politics as usual. Brexit happened because the people of the UK wanted greater control over immigration and therefore security and because they were sick and tired of the bureaucratic weight of Brussels – they wanted less political crap and more action. Americans looked outside the political system because they wanted someone not mired in the political quagmire that has come to define Washington. In both cases people know things are not working well and they want it fixed – now.
In the months since the Brexit vote Britons have suffered less apparent security, not more. It’s been awful to watch from here, I cannot imagine what it would be like if I lived there. The very Brexit process itself seems simply to be more of the bureaucratic same the vote was clearly intended to end. In an effort to make Brexit easier to accomplish, Theresa May called a snap election to strengthen her political hand. But by current appearances, that is not what the people of the UK want. That is to say they do not want to bother with politics, they want Brexit. They do not need to tell government what to do, they have done that. Now they want a government that will do what they told it to do rather than give them more politics.
If giant red warning lights, klaxons and cries of “Red Alert!” are not going off in every elected and unelected office throughout the free world, something is very, very wrong in those offices. People do not want to see officials talking to each other or the media, they do not want to see preening and people improving their political hands, media presence or pocketbooks – they want to see action on their behalf. The UK vote should make this message loud and clear. In the US it is easy to get the question of what action and what politician all balled up into one, but in this instance in the UK it is quite plain – they voted on the action and now they are casting about for someone to get it done. And yet the message should be heard as loudly in the US as it is in the UK.
If the people I have spoken to today are any indication, James Comey put on a masterful political performance this morning and all it did was tick people off. I spent the vast majority of the day in airports and people were staying away from the CNN TVs and flocking to the sports bars in far greater proportions than normal. During the testimony, if I asked, “He’s just posturing,” was the most common response. Afterwards, if I asked, “Who cares what they are saying,” was the common answer. People are fed up with the whole thing. They are tired of the side show and ready for the big event.
So, if I am Donald Trump, Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell I am going to hear those klaxons and see those lights and I am going to get things moving, ala Justice Gorsuch. That’s what people are looking for. The Dems obstructed and got run over like a steam roller in an old David Letterman sketch. If more rules have to be changed to get rid of Obamacare – change them. A 350 ship Navy was promised – make it happen. The media is mostly sideshow. If they will help you get your message out, use them. If they won’t – ignore them – and get your message out a different way. Don’t let them distract you.
The message is loud and clear, “Don’t make us support you, do what we asked you to do.”