The Washington DC Swamp set received a potent dose of Brexit leader Nigel Farage last night that they are not soon to forget. Appearing at Liberty Nation’s soiree in tony Georgetown, Mr. Farage breathed fire, passion, and of course, humor into the overflowing room, as he talked about Hillary Clinton, Hollywood, President Trump, and the fight for true Conservative values.
After more than two decades battling the political elite who claim to be our betters, it seemed more than apropos that Farage strode to the podium to the strains of Fanfare For the Common Man – a musical work composed by American Aaron Copland. As the acclaimed architect of the successful U.K. Brexit movement, Farage appears a man with almost boundless energy and enthusiasm; added to this, a sense of playfulness and joie de vivre make him an engaging and compelling voice in modern politics. As well he punctuated his quest for nation-state status in countries trying to distance themselves from a united global order that included the U.S., Hungary, Poland, and even a move afoot in Germany.
One of the central themes that emerged during his speech and the following open Q & A session was an idea that will no doubt shock his critics: empathy. He spoke of the need to be more empathetic to those who oppose our beliefs, and that we should try to understand the views of those who disagree.
According to Farage, movements in all parts of the political spectrum seem to be missing the empathy value. He postulated that educators at schools, colleges, and universities are teaching millennials that there are only two answers, and one of them is not only wrong but must be shut down. Despite his well-known fire-brand personality, the Brexit leader encouraged his audience to try and see things from the other side and engage the arguments using knowledge and understanding. As he says:
“The base of real Democracy is divide and debate.”
Nowadays, it is common for leaders to block out opposing views, but this is not so with Mr. Farage. Every week, he talks with everyday people on issues that are ignored by politicians and the elite leftist media on his hugely popular LBC radio show. But unlike others, he welcomes (and in fact, encourages) those who have different views to call in and “have their shot.” What separates Farage out as a cut above the political establishment is that he fully engages each caller, is unfailingly polite, and genuinely welcomes robust debate.
The event was notable for many reasons, but one aspect that really stood out was the surprising age range of attendees. Along with major think tank representatives, writers, and D.C. players, there were also college students from around the world. Farage seemed pleased that so many conservative young people are re-energized and trying to take control of their futures. And he seemed upbeat and optimistic that despite the “indoctrination” meted out by left-leaning educators, there is still hope for national sovereignty because tomorrow’s leaders are fired-up today. For added inspiration he summoned Edmond Burke’s famous quote:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
His natural speaking style mixed with a surprising breadth of knowledge seemed to captivate the audience and left them feeling invigorated with possibilities for the future. Afterward, and with his common man style, Farage mingled with the audience in an entertaining photo session as people of all ages were bubbling with enthusiasm at Farage’s words, ideas, and delivery. Even ‘old hands” of the Washington political scene were ebullient for having seen, heard and been inspired by one the world’s most influential speakers of the Conservative movement today.