The global implications of the Brexit vote are just beginning to be felt. And nowhere will the outcome of Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union be more closely scrutinised than in New York City.
As the Stock Exchange opens on Wall Street, a few miles away in Brooklyn dozens of the most brilliant minds in the Democratic Party will gather at the Hillary Clinton for President HQ to work out where the vote leaves their candidate.
The immediate answer is: in grave danger.
With the referendum proving, once again, the utter contempt for mainstream politicians felt by the white, working classes of virtually all Western countries, the prospect of a President Trump has never seemed more likely.
“As Brexit proves, working people around the world are in no mood for common sense”
For more than a year, Democrats have assured themselves that America surely would not be foolish enough to favour a maverick, proudly xenophobic, boorish billionaire over the wisdom, experience and poise of Mrs Clinton.
Their confidence echoes that of the British establishment, so sure the electorate would not – could not – defy the collective authority of virtually all the country’s senior politicians, economists and international leaders – until it did.
No wonder Mr Trump was so fulsome in welcoming the Brexit vote during his flying visit to his Scottish golf course this morning.
In contrast, waking in her home in Upstate New York this morning, Mrs Clinton – who previously warned against a vote to leave the EU – must have experienced a sense of dread.
As Brexit proves, working people around the world are in no mood for common sense. They are angry, restless, uncooperative.
They demand a response to their cries in the dark on issues which, for some time now, politicians from Washington to Westminster have proved deaf to.
Primary of these, of course, is immigration. When the political classes not only fail to provide answers but, all too often, insist that the question is not even valid, the public will look elsewhere for leadership.
As in Britain’s northern provincial towns and depressed southern villages, there is a growing sense of grievance in the rust belt region of the United States.
“A cry from Trump to build a wall has an appeal that Mrs Clinton must acknowledge before she can begin to challenge it”
States like Ohio and Pennsylvania, which can usually be relied on to deliver the presidency for the Democrats, but where working and often all-too-often jobless people feel buffeted by the cruel winds of globalisation.
A siren cry by Nigel Farage to quit the EU, or from Donald Trump to build a wall to keep out cheap Mexican labour, has an appeal that Mrs Clinton must first acknowledge before she can even begin to challenge it.
Because in the cold light of Brexit, Mr Trump, despite – or perhaps because – of his outlandish policies and wild declarations; his casual sexism, overt racism; and a political style that more resembles tin pot despotism than the proud tradition of his Republican party, seems alarmingly close to the White House today.