It is remarkable the acquittal of President Trump and the delivery of Brexit would occur on the same day – if indeed that is what today holds.
I’ve been a part of these two movements from well before they were popular.
The first time I met Nigel Farage over a decade ago, he was haranguing me – cigarette in hand – about not chasing a girl who had complained her interest in me had not been reciprocated.
That was in Parliament Square in Westminster, where the Brexit celebrations take place tonight.
Back then I was a part of Britain’s Conservative Party (though barely) under the stewardship of Mr. David Cameron (who now shills for China).
I realized as early as summer 2010 that there was no hope for the Tories under Cameron. Similar to how many in the U.S. Republican movement felt about Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.
Corporate “conservatism” was conserving nothing, and selling our nations to foreign capitals.
In Britain, it was Brussels. In America, it has been Beijing.
So I jumped ship to UKIP – the United Kingdom Independence Party – and somehow wound up serving as its leader’s senior advisor, chief of communications, digital strategist, and more.
Working with Farage was eye-opening (and liver-challenging).
A child of Thatcher, Farage was never opposed to the free market mantra that had come to define conservatism over 80s and 90s, but he understood the difference between capitalism and corporatism, and how the latter was being passed off as the former. Between what Americans recognize as the “American Dream” and the vultures of Wall Street and the City of London.
That’s why when I saw Donald Trump at FreedomFest in Las Vegas in 2015, I was convinced the more establishment wing of the Republican Party would have no shot against him.
I was Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart’s London bureau at the time, and published my colleague Benjamin Harris-Quinney’s op-ed on the speech (he accompanied me on the Vegas trip). He wrote:
Even after a few weeks of his campaign, the comparisons to Farage in Britain, Le Pen in France or even Tsipras in Greece are starting to register. Their differences may be as marked as their similarities, but the core similarity is striking: they are challenging the tarnished orthodoxy of third way politics, and clumsily crashing the politically correct boundaries the mainstream media have been delicately constructing for the past 20 years.
Over the course of the next few years, the world would witness two of the most explosive events to take place since the end of the Second World War, pitting ordinary people against the political elites.
Trump trounced the Republican field in short order, while Farage and his band of Brexiteers would steal the limelight from Cameron’s Conservatives in 2013, 2014, 2015, and indeed at the referendum in 2016.
What happened on that fateful night in June 2016 is a long story for another time. But I was one of just a handful of people in the room when Farage realized we had indeed won.
We stood in a smoky circle in the back yard of Chris Bruni-Lowe, our campaign manager and Brexit stalwart.
Nigel and I locked eyes, and I walked across the circle to him and said, “Well done, mate. You did it”. I then began to give him a hug. Ever the stiff-lipped, unemotional Englishman he pushed me back and joked, “Alright mate, it’s good. Nothing’s ever THAT good”.
We all laughed, nervously.
Nervous at the victory and what it meant. Nervous about the global headlines in the morning. And nervous about how, in fact, the political establishment would handle being dealt such an enormous body blow.
Brexit was over four decades in the making – an unsettled score dating back to gargantuan politicians like Thatcher, Enoch Powell, and Tony Benn.
We watched – and participated – as in the weeks and months to come, the establishment would gather together and try to chip away at the expressed will of the British people: in the media, in our parliament, and in our courts.
I took a trip, that summer, to the United States.
On my last day in Washington, D.C. I received a phone call from my boss at Breitbart, Steve Bannon.
Bannon said to me, “Where are you?” to which I replied, “D.C., but I leave tonight”.
On instruction, I extended my stay. But he didn’t tell me why.
“You’ll find out in the New York Times in the morning”, he said.
The next day the Times reported: “Donald J. Trump named as his new campaign chief on Wednesday a conservative media provocateur whose news organization regularly attacks the Republican Party establishment, savages Hillary Clinton and encourages Mr. Trump’s most pugilistic instincts.”
Steve Bannon became the CEO of the Trump campaign, with a mountain to climb in order to defeat Trump’s Democrat opponent.
On November 8th I once again found myself in the room. This time at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan, as the numbers trickled in and it became apparent Trump would defeat establishment embodiment Hillary Clinton. We (or rather, I) belted, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables on the floor of the ballroom.
Having taken over from Steve as host on the Breitbart News Daily radio show, I was also one of the first visitors to meet with the President-elect, alongside Farage, in the Trump Tower in New York. Again, a long story for another day.
It was clear from the moment Trump won that he would undergo the same attempted nullification process that was already well underway with Brexit.
If you had pitched the plot of this to a movie executive – especially the dovetailing of the acquittal of the President within the same 24 hours of the Brexit delivery date – you’d have been laughed out of the room.
But here we are are, and I get to say I lived it. I also get to make some predictions for the years to come as a result.
As Bannon said on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2017: “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken… Every day, it is going to be a fight.”
Despite today’s victories, that doesn’t change.
The establishment is regrouping, transfiguring, and spending unprecedented billions to re-secure its interests and investments across the Western world.
Vigilance is critical. Aggression is necessary.
The fight, in truth, has just begun.