Wednesday, April 11, 2018

David Brooks Returns to Sanity

He's not on the Trump train, but he's moving in that direction. His advice to Never Trumpers is sound given they are Never Trumpers. The world would be a better place if people opposed to Trump and nationalism tacked the problems rather than the people.

The Failures of Anti-Trumpism
The main reason Trump won the presidency is that tens of millions of Americans rightly feel that their local economies are under attack, their communities are dissolving and their religious liberties are under threat. Trump understood the problems of large parts of America better than anyone else. He has been able to strengthen his grip on power over the past year because he has governed as he campaigned.

Until somebody comes up with a better defense strategy, Trump and Trumpism will dominate. Voters are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense for a president they think is basically on their side.

Just after the election, Luigi Zingales wrote a Times op-ed on how not to fight Trump, based on the Italian experience fighting Silvio Berlusconi. Don’t focus on personality or the man, Zingales advised. That will just make Trump the people’s hero against the Washington caste. Focus instead on the social problems that gave rise to Trumpism.

That is the advice we anti-Trumpers still need to learn.
The world is several years into a nationalist revival (Brooks might call it a backlash) and the response has been to double, triple and quadruple down on doing what caused nationalist sentiment to rise in the first place. Glboalists need to accept that globalism is a political agenda. The world is interconnected because of technology, not because of politics. Globalists saw the future earlier, or at least moved first to exploit the change. Now nationalists are coming to terms with globalization and they don't agree that it requires globalist political solutions.

Globalists are losing with their migrant push and calling nationalists names such as isolationist, xenophobic and racist because there are no nationalists who think the world hasn't become a smaller place, instead they want a different political arrangement given this reality.

Globalists are like the libertarians who thought the Internet would bring down dictatorships and those who think blockchain tech will bring down central banks. China has developed total societal surveillance, social credit and next will be the public blockchain.

Technology creates possibilities, not inevitablities. Global government is possible because technology allows for global decision making. It also makes possible political fracturing into thousands of smaller governments because coordination between states is all the easier with technology.

Globalists believe in historical determinism, or technological determinism, when it comes to politics. But while they are probably right about the direction of globalization and technology, they are wrong about the politics because politics is about the people. Give them new tools and they have new options. The globalist agenda is to only offer one option. As soon as there are two, or three, or a thousand, the people will abandon the globalist option.

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