Donald Trump's ignorant praise of Brexit, issued from within Scotland, was no surprise. (Scotland, of course, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.) Trump has still not found an issue that he chooses to learn about before opening his mouth and expelling.
Despite Trump's stupidity we should take a look at the core claim in his tweet about Brexit: "They took their country back, just like we will take America back."
Trump's entire campaign rests on the premise that America was once a perfect land that has been laid low by trade and immigration.
The fact that America is a nation of immigrants, and that trade actually brings us consumer goods at very low prices, holds no sway against the emotional appeal of "we were robbed." Trump plays to the lizard brain, not our better angels.
The leaders of the "Leave" moment in the UK -- Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove -- used this exact same playbook. Demonize immigrants. Claim that faceless bureaucrats in Brussels are stealing from the UK. Insist against all logic and history that closed borders will lead to more jobs, not few.
Now that Leave has actually won, the backtracking and temporizing has begun.
Of course there will still be immigration! says one Leave leader. Turns out we don't send that much money to the EU, sorry about that! says another.
Should the United States actually elect a President Trump, he would do the same thing. Oh, I didn't mean those things. I've got the biggest heart there is.
And so forth. This is the inevitable result when fools play leader.
The mission before us, though, is to thwart any chance of a President Trump. To do so we must understand and respond to the feelings of Trump's supporters.
Here the Brexit saga is instructive. Both the Leave and Trump campaigns -- misguided and cynical though they may be -- are reactions to real pain felt by real people. The north of England was once a proud manufacturing center, and now those jobs are overseas. The same goes for the US rust belt.
It is true that, on balance, free global trade is a good thing. It lifts up the global economy as a whole, and increases the standard of living for millions of people. But there are also millions of people left behind. The days when you could make an honest and respectable living in the trades have vanished, and now almost all gains go to the educated and politically connected elite.
The solution is not to demonize everyone who looks different, or to pretend that you can build walls that will never actually be built. This is the snake oil peddled by Trump and Leave. The solution -- and something that real leaders such as Hillary Clinton can build toward -- is to genuinely work to include everyone's talents within the new global economy.
In the US, this year it must be all hands on deck to dump Trump. Next year the work of our true leaders can begin.