Getting on with it

If people think the US of A has collective amnesia, look at Britain!

In this country, with news cycles that revolve almost with the speed of light, it’s difficult for the average viewer/reader to keep important events or personalities on their mind, because in five seconds they’ll be presented with newer ones.

Cases in point:  Mr. Trump’s latest verbal outburst.   Mrs. Clinton’s latest justification.

But folks, take a look at what’s happened in England since the Brexit vote.

Nigel Farage, leader of  the UK Independent Party,  worked his tail off persuading his fellow malcontents to dump the European Union.   Clearly to his own surprise, he was successful.   Unable or unwilling to begin to think ahead about what Britain would now do in terms of banking, trade, the arts, education, and the National Health Service – he promised that rather than sending 350 million dollars weekly to the EU, the money thus saved should be put into the National Health Service to make it better and more sustainable – he announced his retirement within days of the decision.  Said he, in effect, “I  did what I set out to do, and there’s nothing more I can do.”

To our mind, this is moral cowardice.   The same can be said of Boris Johnson, another rabble-rouser for the Leave side, who like Farage didn’t know what to do after his side won.  What he did do was resign from running as head of the Conservative Party.

Bluntly, he and Farage sang a duet:  “We got you out, now we’re leaving , too.  Goodbye and good luck.”

Imagine if Mr. Trump should become President and did the same thing: stunned by his good fortune, he announces he was just trying to see if what he’d done could be done.  He really prefers playing golf.  And of course he would never fail to honor a campaign promise.  Or Mrs. Clinton, either.

Brexit was the creation of the Conservative Party that thought giving air time to a popular sentiment for “independence” from Europe would take care of the issue and do it in.  Little did David Cameron know.

And following his ouster, and really, before his ouster,  his party was nearly a mirror image of our own Republican party in extremis: fragmented, argumentative, stolid and unable to get off  the dime economically.

Now England is watching as the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, the front runner being Ms. Theresa May, M.P.   Ms. May has a certain sort of  mental attachment to the late Margaret Thatcher.   On being informed that she had become diabetic, she was later asked how she responded.  Her reply tells us all we need to know: just as with everything in her life, she said, she chose to “Just get on and deal with it.”

That stands in fairly stark contrast to the attitude of Mr. Trump, who would prefer us all to forget yesterday as well as today in favor of tomorrow. 

What dismays us is the English press.   After screaming bloody murder for a few hours about how Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson corrupted the Brexit vote with false promises and then having won, rolled back every economic statement they made during the campaign, the press’s focus has blurred, and hardly today bothers to focus on  Farage or Johnson in favor of guessing who will win the position for which Ms. May seems destined.

If Farage or Johnson had ever used THEIR emails as Mrs. Clinton used hers, the press reaction would be loud and ugly for another few hours before it once more turning  to the English habit of betting on the outcomes of where each raindrop will fall.

All of which, incidentally, makes us look at our own press and its comparative long-term memories with gratitude and confidence, even though “mistakes are made.”

Perhaps the British news cycles are even shorter than our own.

Ms. May hasn’t yet said she wants to make Britain great again.  What she has said is that Brexit means Brexit, get on and deal with it.

We imagine, in his own way, that that’s exactly what Mr. Trump is saying as well. If  the press, his own party, and the Democrats will just relax and leave him alone, he’ll  get on with it and do a great, a fantastic , a beautiful job!

The basic difference between us and the English is that the latter are likely to elect someone with a history of public service and strength.

We should remember to be so lucky.


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