Brexit may be an absolutely devastating political and economic event for the United Kingdom, but it is still a better problem than Trump.
The Brexit negotiations and political posturing have been an unprecedented series of events in the history of British politics. It has created massive uncertainty in the stability of British institutions as well as the precedent of parliamentary sovereignty with the insertion of the courts as a political piece in the Brexit game.
All of these things, however, do not add up to the political damage done to the United States by the Trump administration.
With the Brexit debate, there is a much larger sense that the players are going after what’s best for the country. I think Theresa May genuinely thought that honoring the British decision to leave the EU should be upheld and her plan was the best for it.
Consequently, Boris Johnson’s “just get it over with” strategy (while not one I agree with) appears to also be genuine and I have a feeling a significant portion of the U.K. population agrees with. Lastly, the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn being so committed to being against Brexit due to his liberal economic ideals makes sense given it would weaken international trade between the U.K. and the rest of Europe. All of these positions are, seemingly, from a genuine place.
It may be difficult to see such an objectively bad event in the short run would ever turn out to be a good thing, but it is also reasonable to say those living in the time during and after the civil war would say it was a bad thing. However, in the long run I think it is reasonable to say it has had an overall benefit on the population of the United States. I do not mean to claim Brexit will, with certainty, have such a profound effect on the body politic of the U.K.; I simply claim with this given negative short term event, there is a possibility for profound positive long term change.
I would argue, in juxtaposition to Brexit, the Trump administration has far less potential to have political benefits for the discourse in American politics. It will only have negative long term effects on the way politics is done in the U.S., where Donald Trump has created doubt, mistrust and dysfunction within almost every facet of American politics. He has increased the rate which the courts are being politicized. He has significantly involved the Federal Reserve in the political discussion, and has cast doubt over the media, polling and the intention of all politicians who oppose him.
I don’t think the short term negatives of his administration have the potential of leading us in the direction of any sort of long term good in the way we do politics and the only way to change that is by moving beyond him and the way he does politics.