Nationalism shouldn’t be dismissed
The New York Times
In the U.S. and throughout the world, “a nationalist backlash” is shaping our politics, said John Judis. Nationalism has been seized mostly by the political right, with overt racial and anti-immigrant messaging, but liberals are making a mistake in dismissing the valid concerns that have fueled these movements. In recent decades, globalization has benefited multinational corporations, China, and the developing world, but its benefits “have sailed over the heads” of middle-class Americans. Free to seek cheap labor outside the U.S., companies have enjoyed “a race to the bottom” on wages, taxes, and regulation, hollowing out the middle class and leaving America filled with desolate, “left-behind” factory towns. Unfortunately, President Trump has laced his version of nationalism with overtly racist, anti-immigrant appeals, but his “policies have not been without merit.” He’s right to challenge China’s ongoing theft of U.S. technology and other intellectual property and its protectionist trade policies, and to champion America’s manufacturing industries and their workers. “A common national identity is essential to democracies,” providing the glue that keeps them together. Liberals dismiss the surge of nationalist feelings at their own peril.