Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Meaning of a Conservative Victory Across the Pond

The results of this week’s election in the United Kingdom seems to have conservatives here in the States feeling much better about their chances in the upcoming Presidential election. If the Brits have had enough of The Left, surely this means a big win for Republicans here in November.

I wish. Indeed, I am a moderate conservative and would be inclined to vote for almost anyone representing my side of things, including Trump (which I did in 2016, not in the primary, but as a last resort on election day). So I am encouraged to see a big conservative win in the old country.

But, the U.K. is not the U.S. The process is different, the number of parties represented is different, the Brexit issue has become a defining issue for many voters and, most importantly, a key demographic is different. While the United Kingdom isn’t as “white” as it used to be, it’s still pretty white. Like 85% white. The United States is just over 60% white. I realize this is a highly charged issue. I also realize that there are a lot of white liberals here and in the U.K., and that not all blacks and Hispanics vote Democrat. But, the Republican voters in this country are mostly white and most people of color vote Democrat. That’s just how it is. And the Republicans are struggling to get their message to resonate beyond their traditional base.

The U.K. population is also a bit older, 30% over 55 compared to 25% over 55 here. I think that matters. In addition, many of the “social” issues that divide along party lines in the United States are less divisive among the Brits. And the citizens of United Kingdom, all of Western Europe for that matter, have had more time to experience the negative effects of liberal policies. The idea of moving even further to The Left is no longer acceptable, even to those who would certainly not be considered “conservative” value voters in this country.

So, I am not persuaded that the splash created over there by this week’s big conservative victory will have much of a ripple effect on our election in this country. If anything it may motivate the Democrats to move more toward the middle while the Republicans keep playing their same old sad song, hoping to get just enough electoral votes to sneak across the finish line one more time.

By the moon that shines above us in the misty mornin' night
Let us cease to run ourselves down but praise God that we are white
And better still we're English, tea and toast and muffin rings
Our ladies with stern faces, and the captains and the kings

-lyrics from the song "The Captains and The Kings" by Brendan Behan

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