The Nationalism Muddle

The Nationalism Muddle
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

When it comes to understanding the divides within the right, I think that some of the labels are a little off.  Some critics have spoken of a globalist vs. nationalist divide on the right.  I think that Trump and his Republican critics each represent a different form of broken nationalism, but those who speak of “globalist” Republicans are on to something important about the failure of conventional Republicans to connect with large parts of America.

There are globalists on the left, among libertarians, and even within the business community. But these categories don't describe the main fault lines within the right. The main competition on the right is between partisans of different kinds of incomplete nationalism.

Think of the Republicans who are closest to being the opposites of Trump. Some of the names that come to mind are Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. These are the kinds of politicians who are called “globalists” by Trump partisans, but it is useful to compare them to leftwing post-nationalists.

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