On Thursday, while millions of Americans tuned in to watch a Congressional hearing that resulted in exactly nothing, millions of Brits participated in an event that actually mattered – an election.
By all accounts, the event was an attempt by ruling Prime Minister Theresa May to consolidate Conservative control of parliament by giving her party the opportunity to take more seats. While the Tories remain in power, it’s obvious the plan backfired with significant gains for Labour – the country’s leading left-wing faction. Now, Conservative MPs are forced to collaborate with the Democratic Unionists to form a government.
Of course, none of this directly changes how Americans are going to be governed in their own country, but it does have two important implications for the Trump administration. First, it’s been established that Trump doesn’t have to deal with leftist Jeremy Corbyn. This is a good thing, since Corbyn has been openly critical of the American president and his agenda.
Second, while Thursday’s vote was a victory for British conservatives, it was a narrow one in the most generous of terms. This indicates that populist hype on the right may be losing its luster, and that conservatives in America should approach 2018’s elections with passion rather than passivity.
To truly understand what the Anglo-American relationship is going to look like as a result of Thursday’s election, we have to break down these implications a bit further.
Trump Has an Ally in Theresa May
It’s important to understand why Theresa May carries the position she does – the prime minister is in power because of a mandate delivered by Brexit voters.
When British voters opted to take their country out of the European Union, a supranational government with little to no accountability to speak of, then-Prime Minister David Cameron respected the decision by stepping down and offering his position to an MP that actually supported the vote.
In short, the Brits wanted a “Britain first” type of leadership – a person who would fight back against the growing tide of globalism promoted by Germany and some unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Brexit was essentially the British answer to Donald Trump.
President Trump has virtually the same mandate for his own base, and should work with May to strengthen the special relationship America has traditionally enjoyed with Britain for centuries. This should include proper trade agreements that reward private sector productivity, while also encouraging domestic infrastructure development. This is the agenda that handed both leaders their respective stations.
After all, the closer Britain is to the United States, the less it needs whatever benefits it may have received from the European Union. What makes this relationship different is that the U.S. won’t be able to arbitrarily punish British businesses for not complying with centralized decrees.
Lessons for the GOP
There are many important differences between American and British conservatives. For example, many British Tories support socialized healthcare and a national ban on firearm ownership. However, the two countries have been following similar trends as voters from both nations react to the same growing threats of Islamic terror and globalist trade edicts.
Theresa May expected to clean house in Thursday’s election, with the end goal of streamlining Brexit negotiations. The fact that the Conservative Party barely won the day has bleak implications for the Republican Party across the Atlantic.
The prime minister was so humbled, she even felt the need to apologize to MPs who lost their seats.
“I am sorry for those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren’t successful, but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats,” she said.
It is vital for the conservative agenda that Republicans don’t fall into this same trap. Of course, President Trump doesn’t have the power to call for a special election for Congress, but we are not far away from midterm elections – which are essentially referendums on the president’s performance in office.
Republicans owe a lot of their power to the midterm elections of 2010, when the party essentially stormed Capitol Hill with a stunning backlash against then-President Barack Obama. A lot of this was due to Democratic arrogance – how could they lose in the midst of Obama’s never-ending honeymoon?
To avoid this same humiliation, Republicans need to recommit themselves to policy. Whatever rock star status President Trump ever had honestly ended before he even took office.
Sure, conservatism is becoming “the new punk” as British commentator Paul Joseph Watson loves to point out in his videos, but the hype fades every time the president picks fights on Twitter.
Trump’s decision to push for infrastructure reform instead of live-tweeting James Comey’s testimony is a good start, and a strong indicator that his presidency still has a lot of potential despite daily comparisons to Adolf Hitler. Republicans would do well to follow this example, and ensure a conservative victory for America in 2018 and beyond.
~ Liberty Planet