By Tim Baldwin
Political pundits have characterized Trump v. Clinton as Nationalism v. Globalism more than anything else. In this light, that Trump has so much support is better understood but not more comforting.
Many conservative Americans think Trump is their only and final way to sever America’s global ties. Trump promises to secure the border with a “great wall;” prohibit foreign Muslims from entering; bring jobs “home;” destroy ISIS; and impose tariffs on imports. Trump denigrates Mexicans, undermines women, flips the metaphorical middle finger to the globalist establishment, defies “political correctness” and promises to reinstate “law and order” to the homeland.
As such, Trump’s supporters ignore his dangerous qualities with hopes he will restore their beloved homogenous, red-blooded, black-and-white, home-of-the-brave America; or as Trump phrases it, “Make America Great Again.” This atmosphere is not unlike how other Nationalist leaders of yesteryear rose to and stayed in power who then persecuted the undesired groups of people.
The Founders wisely created a diffused system to guard against the dangers of popular will putting into office potential tyrants. Our system serves this purpose well, but it is not absolute. If Trump loses, his followers’ feelings will continue but their cause may be long-thwarted. If he wins and acts as he promised, America will look very different. But as Trump says to garner votes, how can it get any worse? But it could, actually.
By Joe Carbonari
If someone powerful enough wishes to reach out and “touch” you from across the world, they likely can. From “Whoops, what happened to my Netflix?” to “Hey, the power just went out!” we have become vulnerable. It is truly a global world in which we live. We do so, however, within our own set of morals, customs and beliefs. We’d like to keep it that way.
In many senses we are status quo conservative. We welcome diversity, but wish to meet its challenges, to make our changes, gradually, incrementally. Massive movement of immigrants and refugees is not desired. We perceive it as threatening our physical safety and our economic well-being. We resist.
When coupled with economic stagnation, as with much of our working class, our frustrations and displeasures are multiplied. Widening inequality exacerbates the situation. Many resent those who are enjoying the benefits that they are not and realize that their own competitive abilities are diminished, and that their prospects for self-improvement are not good. Something must change.
Many Trump and Sanders supporters feel this need. Neither’s approach is acceptable, but change we must have, though it must be incremental. We must integrate change, both of people and policies, with sensitivity to our basic beliefs of fairness, tolerance, and inclusion, and we must take care of ourselves first.
It’s a matter of balance. Walk quietly; carry a big stick … with a ready, helping hand.
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