“I wouldn’t vote for Hillary if you paid me…. I wouldn’t vote for her if she paid me!”
That was Nigel Farage, the British politician who until about a month ago was leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and also one of the spokesmen for the winning “leave” side in the Brexit referendum that is taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union, speaking to a crowd of Donald Trump supporters at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi. Donald himself stood about six feet away.
Farage was clearly being cute. As a foreigner he didn’t want to look as if he formally endorsed a candidate in an American election, but it couldn’t have been more obvious where he stood. The stone-faced media near me in the press section rolled their eyes, but the crowd in the Mississippi Coliseum loved it.
Was this a foreign politician meddling in a U.S. election? Sure. But Barack Obama, only a couple of months before, was meddling in the Brexit vote in Blighty, but on the “remain” side, of course. Tit for tat. Obama, also, as we have learned recently, conspired against the candidacy of Bibi Netanyahu in Israel. No surprise there.
The real question, however, is whether we are going to have a Brexit in the USA, as Trump was obviously implying by having Farage speak at his rally in the Deep South. In the Brexit vote, an eight percent swing occurred from the predictions of the pollsters from 52-48 “remain” in the last polls to 52-48 “leave” in the actual voting, stunning the British punditocracy. You almost thought the BBC building would explode. (PJM’s and The New Criterion’s Roger Kimball and I were both there at the time and can attest to this.)
But could this happen here?
Kellyanne Conway, Republican pollster and Trump’s new campaign manager, seems to think so:
Donald Trump’s campaign manager said in a British broadcast airing this week that ‘undercover’ Trump voters, invisible to traditional pollsters, will help the Republican win the White House in November.
‘The hidden Trump vote in this country is a very significant proposition,’ Kellyanne Conway told the UK’s Channel 4 in a special broadcast titled ‘President Trump: Can He Really Win?’
‘I call it the “undercover Trump voter,” but it’s real,’ she said.
‘Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election,’ Conway explained.
‘It’s because it’s become socially desirable, if you’re a college-educated person in the United States of America, to say that you’re against Donald Trump.’
Wishful thinking? Possibly. Conway, who has been doing a first-rate job since taking on her new role, has this kind of spin as part of her assignment, but that doesn’t mean she’s wrong. Many Americans these days feel they are constantly surrounded by the PC Police and have to shut up for fear of losing their jobs, friends or, at the very least, getting their cars keyed.
Trump in his speech in Jackson drew parallels between what he and his supporters were trying to do and what Brexit has been attempting to accomplish in the UK, taking control away from faceless, often unelected, bureaucrats and returning it to the citizens. Hillary, who almost never speaks candidly in public, certainly has the look and feel of a bureaucratic leader, acting as far as possible from the prying eyes of the public.
Trump took his attack on Hilary one step further in Jackson. While continuing his theme of reaching out to minorities, he called her a bigot. (It wasn’t an ad lib. It was in the written text distributed by the campaign.)
I saw some of the MSM soldiers sit up straight in their seats. At last something they could use. (They had been snoozing through Trump’s recounting of how the Democratic Party has been betraying African-Americans for decades, something that is so obviously true.)
But is Hillary a bigot? Frankly, I see what Trump means. If you exploit groups by promising them everything and pledging your eternal love and concern for them, but then, after they’ve voted for you en masse, you do nothing for them, you’re a bigot all right—maybe of the worst sort.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can hear an interview about the book with Mark Levin here. You can order the book here.