The Difference Between Boris and Donald
Despite their similarities, one is merely very bad; the other is outright dangerous.
Programming Note: No TNB livestream tonight, BUT we did an experimental video version of The Next Level if you want to watch it here.
1. The British Trump
I never fully bought the idea that Boris Johnson was the U.K.’s version of Donald Trump. For one thing, he’s smart. For another thing, he was semi-competent at the the basics of governing.1 And for a third thing, Johnson never seemed like he was intent on blowing up NATO because he was a Russian cat’s paw.
Certainly, the similarities to Trump were too obvious to ignore. Both old men with extravagantly engineered hair. Both populist avengers who played to the working man while privately reviling the rubes. Both interested in using raw executive power in ways rarely contemplated. Both tabloid darlings. Both guys so corrupt that their scandals had scandals.
And another similarity was Johnson’s unwillingness to yield power even as his government collapsed around him.
Today Johnson will finally resign—or perhaps “resign,” since he seems to want to stay in power until his party has a replacement. For all I know he has a secret plan to stoke the pot, prevent a consensus replacement, let his own troubles die down, and then reconsider.
Saying “sure, I’ll quit . . . later” isn’t a binding contract.
But for all of their similarities, there are three very large differences between Boris and Donald that are worth talking about because they highlight how particularly dangerous Trump was/is to American democracy.