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Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Inde­pendent Party, spoke in the Searle Center on Monday. Rachael Reynolds | Col­legian

Nigel Farage, the former leader of the United Kingdom Inde­pen­dence Party and the leader of the movement in Britain to leave the European Union, delivered a speech at the Searle Center on Monday about the Brexit vote and Pres­ident Donald Trump’s election.

The speech was met with raucous reac­tions from the crowd, who Farage encouraged to boo for former Sec­retary of State Hillary Clinton and cheer for Trump.

Farage delivered an account of his role in the Brexit vote, dis­cussing chrono­log­i­cally from the estab­lishment of UKIP, which broke off the Con­ser­v­ative Party in the 1990s, to his now-viral speech in the European Par­liament fol­lowing the Brexit vote.

“Brexit and Trump were not blips,” Farage said. “They were not short-term revolts of angry people. They were fun­da­mental changes of direction…They will see 2016 as the year people took back control of their lives, their coun­tries, and their des­tinies.”

Throughout his speech, he focused on the theme of the worldwide bureau­cratic system’s dilution of the people’s role in their democracy. He touched on the mis­takes made about former U.K. Prime Min­ister Winston Churchill’s opinion of the European Union, tying his speech into his visit for Hillsdale’s Churchill Con­ference.

“What is absolutely clear is that W.C., whether the European project went ahead or not, did not believe that the British nation should be a part of it because he saw we had wider links, bonds, and asso­ci­a­tions with the world, who were our cousins, our fam­ilies, and he was right about that,” Farage said.

Do you think Churchill would have sup­ported the EU of today?

It’s inter­esting isn’t it — both sides claim Churchill. There was a building in Stras­bourg within the European Par­liament called the Winston Churchill building. Now my own view is he’d be hor­rified. And I’ll tell you why — don’t under­es­timate the dis­aster in many ways that occurred in Europe from 1870 to ’72: the Franco-Prussian War; 1914, the Germans invade; 1940, the Germans invade the low coun­tries again. Three times in the space of a normal adult lifetime, Germany invades with huge — in the last two cases, global — con­se­quences, so Churchill was looking for solu­tions and looking for answers, and he did say the U.S. of Europe could be a way of stopping all this from hap­pening, but two key points: Firstly, Britain should not be a member of it, because we had our links and asso­ci­a­tions through what he called the English-speaking world, which today I would define as the com­mon­wealth plus the United States of America, and sec­ondly, Churchill was not an ide­o­logue. If he’d seen that the idea of bringing peaceful coun­tries together had turned into the anti-demo­c­ratic monster that it now is, and it doesn’t have the support and consent of the peoples of Europe, there is no way Winston Churchill today would have sup­ported the EU in its current form. Would he support close European rela­tion­ships? Yes. Would he support being friendly, coop­er­ating, training? Yes, of course. But not this.

How do you think Churchill would have felt about Trump?

It’s very dif­ficult to compare someone who was born in the middle of the Vic­torian era with the 21st century. The one thing Churchill com­pletely under­stood was the power of the simple message and the use of media. People forget this about Churchill — he was a ter­rific showman and on the radio at the time. He was also a pro­lific writer of news­paper articles and every­thing, but he rec­og­nized that the radio was the means to getting into people’s houses, to get close to people, and nobody tried to use and exploit the radio more or in a better way than Winston Churchill. Trump has rec­og­nized that there’s a new thing called social media, and he’s going with that. And I’m quite sure, if Churchill was alive today, he would have the biggest global Twitter fol­lowing of anybody, so I think in terms of under­standing how to deliver mes­sages, in terms of rec­og­nizing new media of the day is, and I think in terms of the passion behind the pol­itics they rep­resent. Maybe they’re not quite as far apart as com­men­tators would suggest.

Trump and Brexit were described as ‘pop­ulist’ rev­o­lu­tions. Is that pejo­rative?

Well I think it is a pejo­rative and so I reject it. I reject it. Actually, in the U.K. media, over the last few years, I’ve seen Trump and I as the two most vil­ified people. We’ve had more abuse thrown at us than anybody else who exists in the world. I mean, you’re a dic­tator in a third-world country, that’s fine. But if you’re going to say don’t advocate Brexit, don’t advocate Trump. What is so extra­or­dinary about the accu­sa­tions of extremism, the accu­sa­tions of iso­la­tionism, the accu­sa­tions of spreading division and fear, what is so extra­or­dinary about all of it is actually all we’re really advo­cating is a return to normal. In normal cir­cum­stances, coun­tries mark their own borders and do what’s in the interest of their own people. That is what normal coun­tries do. And it shows you how abnormal we’ve become that those that advocate such a thing get the abuse they do.