Nationalism vs Cosmopolitanism

Trump’s apologists in the “conservative” intelligentsia portray him as a champion of good old-fashioned nationalism. And they identify as his proper nemesis a cosmopolitanism exemplified by Barack Obama. Trump is for America. Obama is for the world, and Obama therefore is somehow “less American.”

It’s a false and ludicrous dichotomy. No one has to choose between appreciating the distinctive greatness of one’s country and appreciating the opportunities afforded by reaching out to understand and learn from other cultures around the world.

In fact, I’d argue that America needs its cosmopolitans more than ever in this new century. If we wall ourselves off, we’ll be left behind. There’s nothing we have that the world can’t get elsewhere. Our future lies with our fellow humans in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

To reiterate the mantra, we should be building bridges, not walls.

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