Brexit is shorthad for "government is the problem."
Liberal intellectuals have mocked Reagan for reducing his theory of government to a bumper sticker. But he elaborated on the idea with words that would have fit the Founders' debates:
"We have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?"
The political values of the American and European left -- heard today in every sentence spoken by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren -- reside in an argument that is essentially this:
A good and just society comes through an economic and social compact between citizens and their government. If citizens will transmit sufficient tax revenue to the government, it will hire experts in public administration (to Reagan an "elite group") who will deliver socially desirable benefits to everyone, and will do so with equity. It is an appealing promise.
People who believe this, and some still do sincerely, regarded Reagan's inaugural formulation as the words of an antigovernment "ideologue." Still, ideology matters, and they have their own founding ideologue, Woodrow Wilson.
In his 1889 book called "The State," the future progressive Democratic president of the [United States] wrote: "Government does now whatever experience permits of the times demand." Across the 20th century, that broad claim summarized the justification for building the administrative state, here and in Europe.
That sound you heard in the United Kingdom last week was the administrative state finally hitting the wall.
. . . .
If Woodrow Wilson was the American godfather of this transformation [in the United States], Hillary Clinton is its handmaiden. She knows the drill. With four more years of an Obama-Clinton presidency and possibly Democratic control of Congress, the 100-year-old progressive goal of making the 50 American states obey one set of administrative specialists who reside in a single city will be close to complete.
(Daniel Henninger, "Wonderl Land: Government Hits the Wall," wsj.com, June 30, 2016)