Monday, May 27, 2019

Back the Other Way

The conservative press is all excited about the British EU elections, the nationalist parties in other European countries, and the Australian elections.  Populism and nationalism are on the rise. At the moment, I consider this a good thing.  The internationalists - who are actually only in favor of a transnational elitist tribe - and the Make Europe Great Again crowd (which is what Junker and the others really are; they want a Europe that rivals the US in organised power) have proven their dangerousness and need to be set on their heels firmly. They have undeserved power, they are equally tribal, and they are hypocrites.  Agreed. They believe that love of country is a regressive thing.

Yet I do not cede all the moral argument to the populists, who believe that the Regular Guys always have the best answers and should have their way; nor to the nationalists, who assert the superiority of their way of life even when it is markedly inferior.  Americans have always tried to ride that middle course, though many of us always fall to one side or the other in every generation.  We love our country both for its ideals of freedom, individualism, and rule of law, as well as for baseball, apple pie, and driving your own car long distances. 

Not all nationalists in the world are our allies, even as we understand their plight.  Not all populists are right, however much we understand their resentment. The pendulum is clearly swinging back, and I am glad.  Let us try to arrest its swing nearer the center this time, as our founding fathers seemed to want.


Christopher B said...

My take is that it doesn't hurt me as an American if a Frenchmen looks after the interests if France, a Mexican Mexico, or even if the Chinese and Russians feel the same way. We can all understand each other's perspective because we share it, and negotiate among the interests of our respective countries. Transnationalists, on the other hand, are driving their own agenda and hiding it at the same time.

Douglas2 said...

Don't forget that the EU parliament is near powerless, so voting for "fringe" candidates to be MEP's is a relatively safe way of sending a strong message of disapproval to the party one would normally support -- without any risk of that vote actually mattering for anything.

The UK tories are seemingly chastened, yet prognosticators still anticipate them putting in a remainer (or closet remainer) as Prime Minister replacing May.

The American Boris Johnson and Raab are the favorite of the party's votors that have official party membership, but the sitting MPs have a much bigger role in who is chosen as party leader than the party's members and activists do.

Christopher B said...

Unknown - The EU Parliament maybe a rubber-stamp but, like the Queen's assent, it's still a necessary stamp. The ability of the populists to throw a spanner in the EU works is more than just a protest vote.