Before Trump, there was Brexit. The two are cut from the same cloth. Indeed, New Yorker described Brexit as a "petri dish for Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign." If that is so, then the rise of Brexit might have been good news for Trump, and its catastrophic collapse today in the House of Parliament is equally bad news for Trump. Both projects are based on racism as a solution to the decline of the welfare state. This began in the 1970s. By the 1990s, Bill Clinton (US) and Tony Blair (UK), brought, in their respective countries, the socialist projects of the leading leftist parties to an end. The market was the only name of the game (TINA). This exposed the working classes to a capitalism it had not experienced since the era of the Great Depression. White working-class voters on both sides of the Atlantic turned to racism as a response to the crisis on the left. This is your Brexit and your Trump.

Today, the Brexit deal constructed by Prime Minister Theresa May was voted/laughed out of parliament by a 230 margin (432 against; 202 for). That is not just a defeat. It is an Icarian fall. All of this comes down to the fact that Brexit is a stupid idea in a complex world.

Brexit emerged from a political space that could produce quick results but, in essence, was entirely unrealistic or, to use another word, mad. May came into power in 2016 on the promise that she would deliver a happy ending to the Brexit fairy tale. She would make regular racists, conservatives, and moderates all happy. But nothing of the kind seems remotely possible. It was, to use the words of the '80s British R&B group Imagination, "just an illusion." May may not even survive this "catastrofuck," as her top opponent on the left, Jeremy Corbyn, has called for a no-confidence vote. (Also recall that the previous prime minister David Cameron resigned after the Brexit win gave him six of the best.) At this point, the UK appears to have two choices. One, depart without a deal (which would be very painful, particularly for the poor); or, two, stay in the EU, which would mean licking wounds very publicly.

All of this recalls Trump's failure today to win over the moderate Democrats on the wall, which is, like him, and Brexit, just a bunch of racist nonsense. Trump thought he could use an old trick and invite potential allies through the White House's backdoor and undermine Nancy Pelosi's power. He did this with Paul Ryan. He could do it with her—and she is just a woman. Then none of the invited Dems showed up. It was a spectacular miscalculation. This man has yet to wake up and realize he is in a different America. He is still that joke behind mountains of Big Macs.