The last thing any self-respecting politician needs or wants is a ringing endorsement from Donald Trump. The United States president particularly likes to offer his advice to British politicians, and to the British electorate. Neither want it.
After Boris Johnson became prime minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday, Trump told a cheering crowd that he will do a great job. Johnson is the “Britain Trump,” he said, in true Trump fashion, and that’s a good thing because “they like me there.”
It seems fitting that Johnson’s premiership started out with a lie from the biggest liar of them all. (Spoiler: Trump is deeply unpopular here in Britain.)
But, Trump does have a point. The U.K.’s bumbling showman of a new prime minister, with his signature silly blond hair, a trail of mistresses and jilted wives, and a record of lying, is indeed something of a “Britain Trump.”
And that should terrify us all.
First, some background. Johnson is a journalist, though his lifelong ambition was always to become prime minister. His biography of Winston Churchill clearly implied that he sees himself as this generation’s Churchill, and his timing is now perfect. He is taking the reins of power just as the country is in its biggest crisis since the last war. He can now prove himself by rescuing the country from disaster, though as the leader of the Vote Leave campaign, and chief antagonist to former Prime Minister Theresa May, this is mainly a disaster of his own making.
Johnson has a worrying mix of Dunning-Kruger lack of insight and extreme privilege, meaning he, alone, is unable to see that he is not anywhere near the caliber of Churchill. He has the bravado, breeding, and confidence of Churchill without any of the empathy, morality, or intellect. This type of temperament could be his undoing, and ours.
Johnson has ridden the anti-EU wave for years. He helped make the referendum happen, and now he will have to see it through. As a journalist in Brussels, he used to write populist pieces about the absurdity of the EU, mocking its…