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We already told you that the post-Brexit hangover was like waking up with Donald Trump as president. John Oliver also had some choice words for Americans not taking the Brexit fallout seriously, reminding us there are "no fucking do-overs." And now President Barack Obama, in a new interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, has drawn his own parallels between Brexit and the presumptive GOP nominee while cautioning against mass hysteria.
"The differences are greater than the similarities," Obama said. "But the ability to tap into a fear that people may have about losing control and to offer some sort of vague nostalgic feelings about how we will make Britain great again or make America great again, and the subtext for that is somehow that a bunch of foreigners and funny looking people are coming in here and changing the basic character of the nation, I think that some of that's out there both in Europe and the United States."
Speaking directly on Trump's divisive campaign rhetoric, Obama said there are "parallels" between the movement behind Brexit and Trump's own political rise. "There's a xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment that's flashing up not just in Great Britain but throughout Europe," Obama said. "That has some parallels to what Mr. Trump is trying to stir up here." But Obama was adamant that frustrated voters putting their faith in a figure like Trump would be counterproductive.
"Mr. Trump embodies global elites and has taken full advantage of it his entire life," Obama said. "He's hardly a spokesperson—a legitimate spokesperson—for a populist surge of working class people on either side of the Atlantic." Trump himself attempted to draw comparisons between his campaign and the controversial Brexit vote, praising the decision upon his arrival in Scotland.
Despite Obama and others' repeated insistence that the vote is not the doomsday prophecy some have predicted, many are now pointing to a rise in public acts of racism as proof of Brexit's negative influence. A petition calling for a second vote and the implementation of a stricter voter turnout policy has amassed nearly 4 million signatures, though John Oliver has already weighed in with a heavy dose of reality regarding any chances of a do-over: