...What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community” and permission to wish to see that interest triumph. What makes him popular on immigration is not how extreme his policies are, but the emphasis he puts on the interests of Americans rather than everyone else. His slogan is “Make America Great Again,” and he is not ashamed of the fact that this means making it better than other places, perhaps even at their expense.
His least practical suggestion—making Mexico pay for the border wall—is precisely the most significant: It shows that a President Trump would be willing to take something from someone else in order to give it to the American people. Whether he could achieve this is of secondary importance; the fact that he is willing to say it is everything. Nothing is more terrifying to the business and donor class—as well as the media and the entire elite—than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism. The fact that Trump should by all rights be a member of this class and is in fact a traitor to it makes him all the more attractive to his supporters and all the more baffling to pundits.
In a gentle and not too specific debate with Rick Esenberg (below), we do not quite get to this issue. But in the last few days, my thought has run along the same lines as those of Krein, i.e., yes, indeed, I am more concerned with my next-door neighbor's well-being than I am over the well-being of someone in Thailand making shirts--or for that matter, someone imported here from India to replace my neighbor in an IT position.
Rick argues, along with a large number of others, that "cheaper goods" are the point. I argue, along with a large number of others, that "cheaper goods" cannot be purchased by the jobless; and that while manufacturing may now require less people due to mechanization, it is also true that manufacturing off-shore requires ZERO Americans. That is a whole lot "less", is it not?
So yes. Who has a problem with "My Neighbor First" policy? Or "my children/my grandchildren", for that matter?
When it comes down to it, this is a battle which Capitalism will lose, and deservedly so.
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