The waiter at the restaurant heard my accent and asked me where I was from in the United States. After I told him he said, "Your president is here."
"I'm not a supporter," I said.
"I knew you were going to say that. Don't worry, we're leaving the European Union, we've got it much worse."
In England and the United States at least half the population is not happy with the current political climate. The vote to leave the EU was as close as the vote to elect Donald Trump and ever since the morning after, the populations of both nations have been asking, "What just happened? And what happens next?"
There is true concern on the part of many here that with Trump as the American president and with political turmoil at home over Brexit, there is a lack of leadership from both countries on the world stage.
Trump supporters in the United States often minimize his disdain for common decency and standards in the conduct of public affairs, but the example he sets has a definite effect on how others around the world view the United States.
At an anti-Trump rally held in London at the beginning of June, journalists from across the globe gave voice to protestors airing various grievances against the American government as a helium filled likeness of "Baby Trump" was hoisted in a public park.
The London demonstrations put both the decision by Britain to leave the EU and the Trump administration in the same broad category. Both the "leave" faction in Britain and Trump supporters in the U.S. are seen as seeking support by appealing to the worst forces in human nature. The political strategy of winning through division and the sowing of hatred.
It feels especially out of place in a city as ethnically diverse as London.
© Dean Pagani 2019