Nationalism vs. Globalism

Trump vs. Hillary

More than any other commentator, Robert W. Merry, writing for the National Interest (May 4, 2016), has accurately articulated the reason for the rise of Trump and the differences between him and the Globalists (both Democrat and Republican). The battle lines have been drawn. If you’re still wondering why certain Republicans such as Romney, et al, are going to support Hillary over Trump, the reason is as easy as their base ideology and economic loyalty; they’re Globalists at heart.

Examine just a few of the major issues below and you’ll get a good idea whether you lean Globalist (Hillary supporter) or Nationalist (Trump supporter) for the upcoming 2016 general election.

Immigration: Nationalists believe that any true nation must have clearly delineated and protected borders, otherwise it isn’t really a nation. They also believe that their nation’s cultural heritage is sacred and needs to be protected, whereas mass immigration from far-flung lands could undermine the national commitment to that heritage. Globalists don’t care about borders. They believe the nation-state is obsolete, a relic of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which codified the recognition of co-existing nation states. Globalists reject Westphalia in favor of an integrated world with information, money, goods and people traversing the globe at accelerating speeds without much regard to traditional concepts of nationhood or borders.

Foreign Policy: Globalists are motivated by humanitarian impulses. For them, the rights and well-being of the world’s people supersede the rights and well-being of the American populace. Indeed, as writer Robert D. Kaplan has observed, the liberal embrace of universal principles as foreign-policy guidance “leads to a pacifist strain…when it comes to defending our hard-core national interest, and an aggressive strain when it comes to defending human rights.” Globalists, in advocating foreign policy adventurism, are quick to conflate events in the Baltics, say, or Georgia or Ukraine with U.S. national interest, but it’s really about the globalist impulse of dominating world events. Nationalists don’t care about dominating world events. Being nationalists, they want their country to be powerful, with plenty of military reach, but mostly to protect American national interests. They usually ask a fundamental question when foreign adventures are proposed—whether the national interest justifies the expenditure of American blood and treasure on behalf of this or that military initiative. The fate of other people struggling around the globe, however heartrending, doesn’t usually figure large in nationalist considerations. The fate of America is the key.

Trade: The history of trade in America admits of no straight-line analysis. Andrew Jackson was a supreme nationalist, and a free-trader. William McKinley made America a global power, but was a protectionist. In our own time, though, the fault line is clear. Globalists salute the free flow of goods across national borders on the theory that this will foster ever greater global commerce, to the benefit of all peoples of all nations. Writer and commentator Thomas L. Friedman, a leading globalist of his generation, once extolled America as the world’s role model for “globally integrated free-market capitalism.” That was before the Great Recession and the subsequent anemic recovery throughout most of the Obama years. Today’s American nationalists look at the results of the kind of “globalization” extolled by Friedman and conclude that it has hollowed out America’s industrial core. Whether they are right or not, their focus is on the American citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been also hollowed out in many instances. Thus has a powerful new wave of protectionism washed over the body politic, leaving globalist elites running to get out of the way. Globalists were too focused on global trade and commerce to notice the horrendous plight of America’s internal refugees from the industrial nation of old.

Political Correctness: Given that globalists dominate the nation’s elite institutions and often exploit their position of power to ridicule and marginalize the so-called “Middle America” of ordinary citizens, who also happen to be nationalists, these people often feel on the defensive politically and culturally. And we are beginning to understand, courtesy of the Trump candidacy, just how angry they were at the emergence of the political correctness cadres who tell them what to think, how to regard the political issues of the day, and how they themselves will be regarded if they don’t toe the line (racist, homophobe and xenophobe are frequent threatened epithets). Globalists don’t care much about this phenomenon because it is employed largely in behalf of their views and philosophical outlook, including their globalist sensibilities. But nationalists care about it a lot. They send their kids to college in pursuit of betterment, and discover that political correctness is hammering away at the views and values they tried to teach their children as they were growing up. And their views and values aren’t allowed to compete in any free marketplace of ideas on campus but instead are declared inappropriate and intolerable before they are even uttered.

Cultural Heritage: Nationalists care about their national heritage, which they view as a repository of wisdom and lessons handed down by our forebears in this grand experiment that is both mystifying and inspiring. Globalists, not so much. Nationalists see the assault under way against so many giants of our heritage, flawed though they were (as are we today). Globalists are the ones leading the assault.

Trump vs. Hillary Is Nationalism vs. Globalism, 2016

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