Episode 19: Nowhere Man

In the nineteenth episode of The Latest, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains. Personal trainer Ryan Lewandowski joins the program for this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 19: Nowhere Man


Those voices are discussing The Right Honorable Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the salt-of-the-earth British Prime Minister with five names and an honorific. 

His landslide victory in Thursday’s general election has delivered a newfound majority to conservatives, the right-of-center political party that seems to have an endless supply of chips and Heineken throughout the world.

Johnson’s campaign centered around the catchphrase “Get Brexit Done,” combining the populist fervor behind “Make America Great Again” with the raw, grassroots activism of Larry the Cable Guy. 

The message was simple, pushing those tired of Brexit’s “will they, won’t they” romance to vote for Tim to finally move on from Dawn, or, in American English, for Jim to finally move on from Pam. 

The result was a massive defeat for the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who supported efforts of the remain campaign but was asked himself to leave. 

Johnson’s surprise victory has drawn parallels to the 2020 election in the United States, but it’s not exactly a one-to-one comparison. As is tradition, it’s more of a 1 kilometer to .6214 miles kind of thing.

Britain kind of resembles the United States, in the sense that they bake their sausages in a pastry while we deep fry ours on a stick, or we wear cargo shorts to a funeral while they sport a twelve piece tuxedo. 

Both countries exhibit a massive urban/rural divide, where massive city populations look forward to cramming into a subway car with a hundred of their closest friends, and the sparsely populated cities and towns in between look forward to The Olive Garden extending its hours to 10 p.m., 11 on the weekends

But in this particular election, the parallel was too hard to ignore: a left-leaning opposition candidate who supported popular but expensive reforms and had trouble keeping their glasses straight on their face lost to a divisive, impulsive, often-bewildering incumbent with an avant-grade hairstyle that even John Travolta would reject as a toupee.

As the Democratic primary continues to unfold with no clear nominee in sight, unless Lincoln Chaffee throws his hat into the ring and lock this up overnight, candidates continue trying to out-woke each other. Mayor Pete is now to the right of Mitt Romney because he worked at a company. Elizabeth Warren’s healthcare plan isn’t good enough unless everyone gets to go to the doctor for free, immediately, tomorrow at noon. Even Marianne Williamson’s problematic wizard needs to be canceled for something he saw himself do in the future. 

These debates are important but Democrats are shredding themselves to pieces over verified Twitter purity tests, and I worry that they’re missing the forest for the trees, and not just because they all burned down in a wildfire.

Universal healthcare, strong unions, higher taxes on millionaires — these are all things I strongly support, but something I support above all else is sending Mr. Trump back to his five-flush toilet at the corner of 56th and 5th, where he can harangue his staff over the Chick-Fil-A sauce they brought him that’s Polynesian.

“Get Brexit Done,” “Build The Wall” — these are simple, stupid slogans that fit on a hat. “Medicare-for-All-Who-Want-It” wouldn’t even fit on a belt. In an election that, to me, is very simple, and in a country that, to me, is very stupid, we need to borrow another slogan — keep it simple, stupid — and nominate one person to execute one thing: “Get Anyone Else.”