It could be argued that the bucket list, in all its wondrous shapes and forms, may well be one of the more harmful aspects of middle-aged, middle-class humanity. It’s what’s creating havoc atop the most climbed bucket-list big mountains—Everest, Mont Blanc, and so forth—where the crowds are beginning to resemble the ones outside a Walmart during a 50-percent-off sale. It’s why Venice is sinking not only under the water of rising seas but from the weight of tourists wanting to see St. Mark’s Square before the seas claim it. It’s why Galápagos in the summer resembles Times Square at New Year’s. And it’s why two craven, upper-middle-aged opportunists have decided that the absolute topper in the bucket-list sweepstakes is running a country.
So, here we are, America and Britain, the two most powerful nations in the English-speaking world, with two bumbling bulls running amuck in the world’s china shop. Boris Johnson, the more learned, clever, and witty of the two, has never met an opinion he couldn’t embrace—if it meant advancing his career. Donald Trump, the more ignorant, vulgar, and ill-bred of the two, has never met a vile or racist statement he couldn’t embrace—if it meant advancing his standing with his Red Hat base. (This is not exclusive of his own vile, racist statements, of which there appears to be no end.) Both Johnson and Trump have marshaled disaffected older white voters in their efforts to drive their nations toward isolationism: Britain from the rest of Europe, and America from the rest of the Free World.