In an editorial published in today's New York Times, Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders argued that while the impulse behind the Brexit vote is understandable both on a visceral and economic front, it was also fundamentally ugly in its embrace of the same kind of crass nationalism that Donald Trump is peddling to the American people.
"Workers in Britain," he wrote, "many of whom have seen a decline in their standard of living while the very rich in their country have become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children."
After noting the similarities between the situation among the English and American working classes, he urged Americans not to embrace a "change based on the demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave campaign’s rhetoric." Sanders also urged the party with which he caucuses to take the reins:
The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class.
In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires...