My Anglo-American family and I have been um-ing and ah-ing over this question since November. Our opinions change every day with the news, so I’ve decided to turn it into a round of Would You Rather. With any luck this will distract from the spiral of despair.
If your life depended on it, which would you pick? A worryingly ill-considered permanent ruling that plunges your country into economic uncertainty and fuels xenophobic values, or an inexperienced oaf who denies climate change and doesn’t like Meryl Streep? Now, isn’t this a fun game!
For a while I felt quite certain that Brexit took the cake, for the simple reason that it has no four-year expiry. Unlike that which I hope will come into play after Trump, there is no reverse gear on the Brexit ruling. It’s got a frustrating finality paired with its lack of clarity. Yes, we are leaving the European Union. No, we’re not quite sure what that means.
The last few days, however, have started to change my mind. Erasing crucial files on environmental decline, signing an executive order to build the wall, endorsing waterboarding, gagging scientists and pro-choice groups, making baffling cabinet appointments: the new President is still barmy, but unfortunately he’s now the leader of the free world. And he appears to be working fast. In comparison, Brexit has seemed glacial so far (although I probably won’t be using glacial in that context for much longer, what with the things Trump’s been signing this week).
What is terrifying about Trump, I think, is that we can’t accurately predict how far he will go. With Brexit, it’s more like, ‘okay, Theresa, I still hate you and all, but thanks for the heads up…hey, guys, put March in the diary. Yep, definitely leaving the single market. Go ahead and print those posters.’
Still, I’m undecided. What do you think?