The presumptive Republican candidate and former mayor of London have the same anti-globalization rhetoric.
It’s not just the hairstyle that is similar between Donald Trump and the Briton, Boris Johnson, leader of England’s movement to leave the European Union. As representatives of an emergent right-wing populism, they both gained prominence with an anti-globalization rhetoric critical of immigrants and as defenders of a national sovereignty allegedly threatened by regional or global integration.
Adept in inflammatory rhetoric and hyperbole, both are accused by their adversaries of exploiting fear as an instrument of political promotion. Their choice of slogans are similar. Trump promotes “America First,” while Johnson champions “Britain First.”
Both speak of the necessity of “retaking control” of the borders of their countries, depicted as porous membranes incapable of stopping a supposed invasion of immigrants. In Trump’s case, those who need to be stopped are Latinos, especially Mexicans, and Muslims.
Johnson criticized in an explicit manner the anti-Islamic positions of the Republican candidate, affirming that they are contrary to the American ideal of accepting people regardless of “race, religion, color or creed.”
Barriers. In spite of not referring to specific groups, the leader of Brexit defends the imposition of barriers against immigration at a time when Europe is experiencing the arrival of thousands of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East.
Both Trump and Johnson contend that their respective countries have lost control over people coming through their borders, which endangers their very survival. “The only way to take back control of immigration is to Vote Leave on 23 June,” wrote the Briton before the referendum.
The proposals of the American billionaire go beyond abandoning a regional arrangement. Trump defends the deportation of 11 million immigrants who live without documents in the U.S. and the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, which would be paid for by that neighboring country. The United Kingdom is an island, which makes the idea of a wall redundant.
On the day the result of the Brexit was announced, Trump was in Scotland for an inauguration of his golf course. Echoing another slogan of Johnson, the Republican magnate said that the exit from the EU was the equivalent of a declaration of “independence” for the United Kingdom.
The Republican candidate stated that the same thing could occur in the U.S. with his eventual election as president. “Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first,” said the magnate during his visit to Scotland.
“They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people,” stressed Trump, who has businesses in different countries and says he is the owner of a fortune worth $10 billion.
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