As outgoing UKIP leader Nigel Farage has urged Republicans to "get your walking boots on" and drum up support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Dr Ben Margulies, Research Fellow in the Politics and International Studies examines the partnership.
"The language is interesting – it’s pure populism. People vs. elite, nation vs. globalization; Farage and Trump have a similar (and simplifying) way of framing political conflict. There is, however, a rather considerable difference between a referendum (often treated as a way to punish the incumbent government, whatever the subject) and a presidential election. Farage correctly grasped that part of Trump’s appeal is anti-elitism and hostility to globalization. Calling for American “independence” is a bit of a strained metaphor, though.
"Will it change anything? Well, I checked the local paper in Jackson, Mississippi; Farage’s presence was buried midway through the article. (They were more impressed that Trump bothered to visit Mississippi, a state he is likely to win.) Trump appeals to less-educated nationalist voters, precisely the sort who would not follow politics in other countries, which limits Farage’s effectiveness. Journalists love pointing out how ignorant Americans are in general, and white working-class voters particularly, and The Guardian made sure to point out how little the Mississippi crowd understood Farage’s presence.
"The US press was probably more interested in Trump’s attempts to appeal to African-American voters. He called Hillary a “bigot” for only caring about African-Americans as a pool of votes, which is actually – like much of what Trump says – an old, not very successful Republican talking point (the Democrats keep African-Americans dependent on welfare so they can harvest their votes). Black voters don’t buy it, not least because a) they don’t like being characterized as welfare-dependent ghetto-dwellers and b) Republicans have been trying to make it harder for minorities to vote for years now, a major topic in the left-wing blogosphere. Someone somewhere wrote that Trump is actually trying to seem less racist to appeal to white voters who’d be ashamed to vote for him.
"Why was Farage even there? Isn’t he retiring as UKIP leader? If so, why does he need a public stage in the US? It’s an oddly high-profile act for someone who is tired of politics."