What Dems can learn from the UK election

Going on nearly four years, the politics of the United Kingdom and the United States have circled one another.

In June 2016, Britain’s vote to exit the European Union shocked the world, followed shortly thereafter by the election of Donald Trump. Both suggested a cross-Atlantic reassessment of the liberal world order and presaged an era of chaotic and unsteady politics.

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Last week, British voters delivered a landslide victory to Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party, which campaigned on respecting the will of the people by following through with Brexit. In contrast, Labour, with a muddled message and led by a far-left politician credibly seen as anti-Semitic, saw its worst result since 1935, notwithstanding Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement.

At about the same time, a no less portentous exercise was occurring in the House Judiciary Committee, as members considered and voted out, on strict party-line votes, two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Given the near inevitability of Senate acquittal, impeachment will stand as an important statement about what some legislators deem to be unacceptable, line-crossing behavior in a president. But it would be silly to try to divorce impeachment and its consequences from politics.

With eyes wide open about huge differences between these nations, Democrats have lessons to learn from their left-of-center brethren across the pond.

One, it matters who goes up against Trump. Someone easily caricaturable as a radical risks losing the support of the middle, especially in the Midwest states that gave Trump his margin of victory in the Electoral College.

Two, some percentage of the country bristles at what they see as an elitist project to upend the results of an election.

Democrats must make clear to the public that, rather than overturning the results of the 2016 vote, they stand for the Constitution, for fair play in 2020.

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And in the new year, they must choose their candidate wisely. Very wisely.

— New York Daily News

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