America’s standing as a global leader and neutral arbiter of international conflicts is significantly being challenged.
The longer term implications for American isolationism are pretty dire. Neither American nor British voters truly understand the role their countries play in the global economy. Britain is recognized globally as the world’s banker, and the American currency is the lingua franca of the global energy trade. If America is seen as less neutral and more openly self-interested, nations may move away from the dollar as a global reserve currency. This could force a massive devaluation of the dollar, and instant economic recession on a par never seen before.
Of course these destructive economic and political forces can be useful; by destroying outmoded or ineffective institutions (arguably NATO and the EU are such), political movements, like forest fires, ultimately give way to fresh, better adapted institutions. The real question of course, is whether American or British citizens truly understand the scope of their decisions in this regard. The British people have seen the worst of the EU – a monetary union without a coordinated fiscal policy – and they did not like it. The idea of being told by a global banking cartel that its taxpayer dollars had to be used to bail out Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal was repugnant to say the least. Will leaving the EU solve the bailout issue? Yes, it will, probably. Does the decision to exit the EU necessarily make British people better off? That remains to be seen.